I have so many thoughts as this trip is coming to an end, but I’ll begin by saying that I never want to forget the faces and the beautiful souls of the sisters with whom I have served here in Jamaica. It is truly an indescribable feeling, a feeling so very special, to be connected to these women in such a way. Last Saturday, we were only strangers from different chapters, and now we are lifelong friends. I have an immense burning love in my heart for these women, as well as a renewed love for Alpha Chi from this experience. We have empowered each other, motivated each other and lifted each other on each work-site where we served, and we did so as if we had been friends for years. The bond – the ties of Alpha Chi Omega – are nothing short of magical, and it is an amazing feeling to know that sisterhood is not limited to one chapter.
Each of us comes from different campus cultures and varied degrees of involvement within our chapters, but we were all instantly able to come together, become friends and take on this journey together. It definitely has been a journey filled with learning – from learning about ourselves and each other to learning about Jamaica. I am a firm believer that the best way to learn is through experience, and that’s exactly what this trip gave to me. I have learned that although it only costs about 80 cents per week for lunch in Jamaican schools, some families still cannot afford that for their children. I’ve learned that it is not so easy to tell someone to “get a job,” when there are no jobs available. Most importantly, I’ve learned how truly generous others can be, even when they do not seem in a position to do so.
Just today, around lunchtime, a man pulled up to the school where we were working. He had attended the school as a child, and he was extremely grateful for the service we were doing. So, although he may not have had much himself, he gifted us with two watermelons to show his appreciation. All of us were completely overwhelmed with joy because it was such a strong gesture of generosity (not to mention really good). It really is true, that those who have the least give the most. That man, along with my sisters, group leaders and the schoolchildren with whom I have built relationships, have changed my perspective and inspired me to give more than I thought I could. I want to give more time, energy and resources to benefit others. There is always something that I can do to help and to effect change.
Although I have a year left as a collegiate member, I am leaving here feeling that I have maximized my Alpha Chi experience, and I know that somehow this trip is leading me to my greater purpose.
With one vision and one love, together we can do so much good.