I have now had the opportunity to travel to and do service work in 5 continents, including my own. Here are some of the things I learned:
- Stereotypes are stupid. Let them go and eliminate them from your vocabulary.
- One of those stupid stereotypes is that Muslims hate Christians (or ‘Westerners’). I met a lot of Muslims, and this was not the case for a single one.
- Climate change is happening EVERYWHERE. No place or people are immune, and its gotten exponentially worse recently. Now is the time to act!
- Transportation in Africa sucks.
- Actually, transportation everywhere for tall people (me!) pretty much sucks.
- Christians (and Lutherans) worship differently all over the world…
- … and one style of worship is not better or worse than another.
- The Easter bunny isn’t real
- (actually, I already knew that)
- People are good. I met so many loving, kind people!
- I really appreciate when the bible talks of the importance of welcoming strangers and foreigners. Now how can I be sure to do that back home?
- The situation in Kosovo is still dire. Their status (either as an independent country, province of Serbia, or continued UN governance) is up in the air, and until something is decided NGO’s and other aid orgs will stay away (I favor independence).
- You shouldn’t be afraid of places or people just because you don’t know them- You could be pleasantly surprised if you give it a shot with an open heart.