We all have a story that is unfolding with each breath we take. The wind, the earth, the waters, the trees, the people in our lives – they are all apart of it, they witness it, and we are apart of and witness their story as it unfolds. Music, art, literature, architecture, people, history books – they all preserve story and retell it so that the story of a nation or culture is not forgotten, and sometimes just one person’s story is grand enough to be retold, whether their story is one of good or evil. As I reflect on the last few months I consider how my own story, and the story of those that I traveled with has changed because of the experiences we have shared and how our journals and photos have recorded our stories. And the ongoing change that occurred within each of us continues to be revealed in our relationships with friends and family, with God, and with our approach to life.As I strive to complete my assignments, particularly my journal, I am consistently amazed by the transformation my mind has taken since the beginning of the trip. I find that I know myself so much more; his is evidence of how the character and personalities of the amazing bunch of people that I traveled with has affected me. And how they have all become an important part of my story. Though I walked through numbers of galleries displaying works of art that express the story of a generation, a nation and the artist, and I have walked through the ruins of a city that was destroyed more two thousand years ago, and I have seen more of Europe than I ever dreamed, I know that I have learned the greatest thing ever that has changed the course of my story forever. I have learned to laugh at myself. In the presence of my classmates, leaders and professors I have tripped over a tent dumping a dinner plate of food on Sam Wollenberg, I have set off the alarm in the Louvre, I have been pooped on by birds twice in one day, I have knocked things over, I have spilt wine, I have told many embarrassing stories and revealed much about myself that could have caused much more embarrassment had my classmates, leaders and professors not encouraged me to laugh. As we sat in the Montreal airport awaiting the plane to Saint John that would take us to the end of our European journey together we had an award ceremony; I was awared the “Poopy Princess” award. And this was in recognition that this self-proclaimed princess survived two months of camping in very wet conditions whilst being pooped on by a bird twice in one day. I am eternally grateful for this life altering experience, and the people that journeyed with me. To my classmates at SSU, to my professors and my leaders, thank you for your contribution to my story. PS: I finalized this post whilst watching the opening ceremonies to the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China -along with millions all over the world – a fitting image for “story”. Thousands of men and women, athletes and supporters, gather together in one place while even more watch at home to share in this event that will shape the stories of many.