Learning How to Serve

Learning How to Serve


Ky Nam Le

04th of March, 2020

Travel Journal

My day started out the same way as yesterday. Eggs, toast, and the famous local pineapple but somehow it was even better. Probably because of the early morning laugh at how the room temperature froze my coconut oil, turning it to a buttery substance. We were eating when I heard a boat pull up to the dock, of which a man came out. He was actually an employee of Give and Surf. His name was Alejandro. Alejandro told us his life story. It was eye opening to hear how Bocas transformed from a small village of indigenous peoples to a popular tourist destination in only 40 years. That means that when my dad was born, literally no one from outside had ever visited Bocas Del Toro. Alejandro told us about working in the Panamanian government but later leaving in order to make a bigger difference in the community. I thought it was revealing that Give and Surf was more capable of making a difference in the community than the government.
Alejandro’s big message was that this trip was more about learning how to serve than actually serving. He talked about how painting a fence is not as good as observing a community, identifying issues, brainstorming how to fix them problems overnight before trying to solve these problems. This was important to remember as we spent the day creating friendship bracelets with the children. It brought so much joy into my heart to see them get so happy over the toys that helped shape my childhood. While there, I met a tiny girl named Kay-Kay. She couldn’t have been older than 2. I used my entertainment skills to play with her and teach her peak-a-boo.
After a day with the children, we went swimming. I love swimming. It is great because I have a tendency to fall, but when I am supposed to be swimming, I can just say that I was jumping into the water. Actually, people thought I did a cool jump, but really, I slipped as usual. The water was so salty it could hold even me, which is good because I am not confident in my swimming abilities.
At the meeting we have every night, we have to share a high and a low of the day. My high was easy; being with the kids makes me so happy that I felt this love and care I have for children rise inside me. My low of the day was also a high, which shows just how amazing our lives are and how this trip put that into perspective. Now I will go to sleep dreaming with all the good memories and friends I made today. Hopefully my oil won’t turn to butter again.



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