North American culture has worn me down again, and I am sinking back in to familiarities. It hasn’t, however, covered up pieces of Southeast Asian culture that I have intentionally taken from my experience abroad. It was difficult to vocalize and express what these aspects of my experience looked like when I returned back to Canada, but in our final few plane rides I began to understand what I really value from my time in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand. I wrote this while sitting in the Bangkok airport, waiting for our flight home.
The clouded sky and broken trees have been on my mind,
and I’m stumbling for simplicity.
The mist and soil have imprinted my heart,
and I’m begging for peace in the eyes of war.
I’ve seen love here, and I can’t leave it behind.
I’m bringing hope with me and taking her home.
The trip to Southeast Asia was an extremely positive experience for me. I found that the culture and people encouraged me to live in peace, and live a much simpler life than that which is promoted in the West. My fear was that I would see this beauty and simplicity and not recognize it as I come back to a familiar place. I find now, that I am often reminded of the heart that I encountered in Asia. I am continuing to pray that this experience will connect with other aspects of my life, and that I can learn from it as I grow, spiritually and academically.