A Life-changing LetterRich Stigall
We recently received the letter below written by a recent Vision Trip GO’er to his parents and wanted to share it with you. How would you feel to get a letter like this from your teenager?
Dear Mom and Dad,
I have been looking at pictures and videos of my trip to Haiti and have realized even more how great an experience it was. Thank you for allowing me to go on this trip as my eyes have been opened to what the real world is about. It is so very hard to put the trip into words, which is why it has taken me this long to type this response, even though I have meant to for weeks. I now understand what a “bubble” (is) and how fortunate we are to all live in the United States. “Poor” in this country is nothing to the impoverished living in Haiti. This experience has made me more thankful for what I have and ashamed for the things I complain about. I will never forget how much this trip has changed my life not only in opening my eyes, but maturing me as a person. Although it may not always show, I have definitely changed as a person since I have returned from Haiti. It is my wish to someday return to the place where I learned and experienced so much.
My mind has been opened to so many more avenues as I am more understanding of what it is to be impoverished. The word impoverished is much different to a person who has actually visited an impoverished country, (compared) to one who has not. Even though some have seen pictures, a real life experience of a country so decimated like that of Haiti, is a once-in-a- lifetime experience. I know that seems cliché, but in all reality, it is the truth. The things I saw and took in while on my trip were even slightly slanted as we still lived in a semi-decent standard of living, but it still made such an impact on my life that I want both (of) you to experience it for yourself. Trust me, it will be the most satisfactory and eye opening trip that one person can have. It is my hope that both of you can make a trip this fall, as it will be the best trip of your life. The more I talk with my friends, the more reassuring it is of how great of a trip it was.
It was tough for some of us to admit, especially myself, but I can whole-heartedly say that my Haiti trip far exceeds any other trip that I have taken throughout my childhood. As I embark on many more challenges in life, I will always look back at this trip as motivation to stay strong and always feel fortunate for what I have. So as I move on into my collegiate life, I hope we can share our mutual stories of our great experiences about the great nation of Haiti.