One, if not the biggest reason for first coming to St. Stephen’s University was for the fantastic chance of traveling the world with a small number of people and studying history actually IN history. But to be completely honest, it was the trip to Europe that seemed to only catch my attention and not Southeast Asia. Not knowing practically anything about the countries that the school traveled to, let alone the history of the country you can only imagine the tremendous feeling of being overwhelmed with learning about something that was so foreign to me.
But I have to say that my school is one of the coolest places ever. I am truly blessed to have understanding and very insightful teachers that are preparing my mind with the important history, the culture and the different religions that we are going to come in contact with. And also the knowledge of those students that have been on the Asia trip before, who are more than willing to share of their past experiences have been a great source of knowledge to tap into. All of this great knowledge and insight has helped me to get a better grasp on what was such a foreign place, but with every passing class and with every day getting closer and closer to Asia I can’t help but get a little nervous. The biggest fear that I have, and I know that I am not alone, is to do something while in Asia that is offensive in their culture but totally respectful in ours. Also the language barrier is going to be difficult because every place that I have travelled to English was more or less the major language that everyone could speak well.
But with having said that, I am overly excited to go on this trip and I can’t wait to go! I think that it is a normal and a good thing that I am a little fearful of going into the unknown. The best thing about this trip is that I am going with great people that will be there for me so how could I not want to go for we are going to experience good – no great times, hardships (hopefully nothing too extreme), and new experiences that will be uniquely ours. I just ask for prayer for the entire SSU class and faculty that is going on this trip for safety in travels, that there will be no physical illness, no homesickness due to culture shock and that all things will go smoothly. I also ask for prayer for the community that we will be leaving behind, friends and family that will be feeling some anxiety for their loved ones.