Preparing for Falfurrias

As we continue to prepare for our trip, I start to feel more excited and anxious. It feels like time is passing so slowly since we started our weekly meetings and packing lists. Now we have everything to pack, checked all the boxes on lists, and now await our flight on January 3rd. Trying to decipher what I am most excited about is difficult. It feels almost wrong to be excited about a trip to go to a place where so many people are struggling to survive. They experience these harsh conditions everyday and yet, we only go for a week and have everything we could possibly need. I know that a positive mindset is of the utmost importance for this trip, so as I reflect, I am trying to remind myself that there will be exciting times ahead. I am excited to experience a new place and learn more about a culture other than my own. I am excited to create new relationships and grow closer with my team. I know I will learn new technical skills that I will use in my future career and create memories I will never forget. I am so thankful for this opportunity and am anxiously waiting for our arrival to Falfurrias.  

I anticipate we will face many challenges, so many I am sure I can’t even think of them all. I know there will be tasks that I don’t anticipate being a challenge, but turn out to be extremely difficult. The weather will be slightly in our favor since we are traveling in January; however, you never know what Mother Nature has in store for us. I can anticipate physical pain, soreness, blisters, cuts, and thorns. I can anticipate early mornings, long days, and exhaustion. What I cannot completely anticipate are the mental strains of this trip. I have read previous blog posts, had conversations with trip alumni, read articles, and attended our weekly preparation meetings. I know the advice and tips I have been told, but will I actually know what to expect with just that little bit of information? I do not think I will and that creates a daunting task. This trip does not feel like a step outside of my comfort zone, but more like miles outside of it. 

I hope this trip comes with lots of self reflection because it is not one of my strong suits. I know I can be self aware, but struggle to put it into words to express. I know I will be changed for the better because of this trip. As I continue to reflect, I keep the phrase “change is good” in the back of my mind. I will come back as a better version of myself. Hopefully, someone who is even more appreciative of the life I have now, someone who is open to all new possibilities, and someone who is not afraid of the challenges ahead. Our trip to Falfurrias will be the hardest challenge I have yet to face in my adult life. I am determined to squeeze out every ounce of knowledge and experience possible. The majority of this reflection is about me. Right now, it is hard for me to think about anything else because there is so much I don’t know. I know that this experience is not about me, but I don’t know exactly what it will all be about, so thinking about myself and my own anxieties is much of what I do now as I await our departure. I hope Falfurrias can teach me how to focus on the bigger picture and look past my own worries. Our goal is to help others, and learning and discovering myself is just an added bonus.