Nothing can compare to what I have experienced in the last 6 weeks of travelling through Western Europe. No textbook or television show could ever give me the tastes, smells, and interchangeable conversations with foreigners that have come as we’ve passed through Spain, Italy, Germany and so on. After a heavy semester of long working hours preceding this travel term I thought this time might allow me to catch my breathe – I was wrong. I am grateful for some of the long travel days on the bus, because they allow me to sort through the intense days that we have that are filled with museums, lectures, cultural interactions, and thoughts of where all of this fits into my academic and personal life. A couple of weeks ago we were in Prague and took some time to visit the Communist Museum which to this point had hit me the hardest. Communism was something that completely devestated this city and country, where men and women my age were fighting for a freedom that I’ve only ever known. As we walked down main streets I couldn’t seem to wrap my mind around the fact that not even twenty years ago these streets were filled with violent demonstrations. I have never had to fight for anything like that in my life. For a day or two I struggled with this thought, feeling ashamed for the comfortable and luxurious lifestyle I live in Canada. I also felt increasingly angry at those world leaders in the world that have caused so much anguish in peoples lives. People like Stalin, Hitler, Lenin, the Apartheid in South Africa…and war in general. However, then after hearing Pete Fitch talk about healing in the midst of anger and brutality, I realized that we continue to kick hope as long as we hold onto our anger. As soon as we lay our anger down, that is when freedom and hope can fully be embraced. Not an easy thing to do, but I’m learning how important it is in my own life.