I'm Still Alive & Kicking! - by James Sorensen

IMG_1773 - Version 2What up good people of the world!!!! I’m still alive and kicking it over here in this lovely hemisphere. A lot has happened since I last blogged. The most notable thing that has occurred since I last was that today was the day that we had to say goodbye to the kids. It was easily one of the most emotional days of my life. One moment we were taking pictures with the kids having a jolley good time, the next were telling the kids that were not coming back tomorrow. The sudden change in dynamic was one of the most unbelievable things that I have ever experienced. An erie silence fell on the school, swallowing any noise that had previously dwelled in our school. One by one, the children realized that we were about to step out of there lives for, if not forever, a really long time. Then, as if by domino effect, everyone (with the exception of me) began to cry. I’m not sure how I feel about being the only person who didn’t cry. Anyways, as if saying goodbye once wasn’t enough, we then had to go to the deaf and blind school where we were not only forced to say goodbye again, but we also preformed our cultural exchange for the sixth time in the past week. Today was unarguably one of the most emotionally draining days of my life. 

    In other news, we start touring at 2:00 am tonight. These next few days are going to be a lot of traveling with a little shopping and sight-seeing thrown in there just to shake things up a little bit. It will be fun.

As I look back on the past few weeks I can’t help but wonder how I’ve changed from when I left the airport, as I’m sure most of the people on my expedition are doing as well. I can, with great confidence, say that I have learned lessons that take a lot of time to learn, or at least I have learned the lessons that my parents have been trying to teach me for the past year. I have learned the benefits of looking past all the problems ing my life and focusing on the good things in my life. I also learned that it takes a lot more energy to harbor a grudge than it does to be happy. Now, mom and dad, this doesn’t mean that you’re going to be picking up the perfect child at the airport on Saturday night, I’m sure we will still get in plenty of spats over meaningless things, but at least there’s hope for me. 

YMAD has been such an amazing opportunity for me. It has taught me more about myself than I ever could have learned back at home. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who was questioning it. It give you the opportunity to reach out side of yourself and your comfort zone and essentially find who you truly are and it helps you to discover all that you can become. This has been one of the most difficult and rewarding experiences of my life.

To my friends and family, know that I love and miss you all and I’m excited to see you on Saturday. I can’t believe that my expedition has gone by this fast, It truly feels like a dream. I don’t know when I’ll wake up, but I have learned that reality usually strikes after its all said and done. I have loved having the opportunity to do what I have done and I can’t express how blessed I am to have had all the support that I have had. I know that I couldn’t have done this with out the support of my family. A special shout out goes to my parents who probably helped me more than they should’ve, I know that I can never give them enough credit for all that they have done, are doing, and will do for me. I also think a shout out to all my friends that have encouraged me to do this is in order. A special thanks goes to Carrie Cooke for constantly supporting and comforting me throughout the entire process. Words can’t explain how much you have helped me. Another shout out goes to my best friend Connor for constantly giving me advice and support. I love and miss all of you and can’t wait to see everyone again on Saturday.

P.S.: Mom and Dad, just to repeat my order from Molcasalsa that I would like to be at the airport when I get off the plane: I would like a California burrito, NO PICO, and a Large horchata. Love you and I can’t wait to see you. On Saturday. At the airport. With my food. 

Love you all, peace and blessings til we meet again.


James Sorensen signing off.