By: CAITLIN SALVINO
Thursday, July 4, 2013
In less than 24 hours I’ll be on my third plane ride, traveling from Peru to our final destination: Ecuador. Tomorrow I have to be at the Pearson airport at 6:45 am for our first flight to El Salvador which leaves at 10:45. I’ll be in another continent over 5000 km away from home spending two weeks with 26 people from all across Canada and the U.S. who I’ve never met before.
A year ago when I decided to go on this two week trip to Ecuador with Me to We, I really didn’t understand how big a trip I was signing up for. The reason I signed up was because I wanted to see true poverty for the first time. I have spent over six years of my life fundraising thousands of dollars for various charities and sending the money off, having a very vague idea of where it was going and who it was helping. But now that I’m departing on this trip tomorrow, I can honestly say I have no idea what I’ve gotten myself into.
I’ve spent the last two days packing my 60L hiking backpack and that alone was a wake-up call about how different the next 15 days will be from my regular life. Along with my steel toed boots I have six shirts, three shorts, two pairs of pants, a sleeping bag and a few other basic items. Despite packing so lightly my bag is still EXTREMELY HEAVY; I never knew such little items could weigh so much.
I’m extremely nervous about this trip and I have no idea why. I love camping, travelling (minus a fear of flying) and being independent – so I really shouldn’t be. I’ve always known exactly who I am, where I want to go and how I will do it, but recently I’ve lost touch with some of those aspects of my personality. I hope that through this trip I not only get to touch the lives of others, but I hope to have my own life touched by the experiences I gain, the people I meet, the food I taste, and the work I do.
As I said before, I have no idea what I’m getting myself into for the next 15 days.