Submitted by Margaux, 2018 recipient of the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship
While on this life-changing experience to Costa Rica and Panama, I was able to have an eye-opening two weeks with some of the best people ever. Not only, the people on the trip with me, but all the kind and inspirational people we met along the way. I was able to put myself in a whole other world while on this trip. I was able to not just learn about other cultures, but be able to live in it. Cultures that consisted of fresh plantain mornings, soccer afternoons, and rice and bean nights.
When in Talamanca, I feel I became a completely different person. I became part of the Bri Bri’s community and everyday lives. What I found the most different from my hometown was the feeling of community in being able to work, welcome, and entertain with one another. They didn’t even ask if we wanted their help, they automatically rolled up their sleeves and assisted. Every morning, we would start our service, weather it be painting, more painting, or carrying sand to make new stairs, the Bri Bri helped. They welcomed us with open arms and not just in letting us in, but having us join their family. We were complete strangers to them, but without any hesitation they lended a hand. That and they had no hesitation in kicking our butts in soccer.
It was also crazy to see how happy the Bri Bri were. They had practically nothing, but were always smiling. Before we were even ready for breakfast, the school kids would be outside playing soccer. So different from the United States, we will wake up, do our own things, and possibly meet up with people later, sometimes through a screen. That is what we call being a community. In Talamanca, the first thing they do is saying hi to, not just their community, but their family.
In the United States, we have the ability to have everything we want, but we are always still so downcast. Going to Talamanca made all of us so happy. We knew that the work we were doing wasn’t self beneficial. We had a cause that wasn’t going to be spent the next day. It was earned in the work, the smiles, the laughs. Knowing that we were changing the lives of people that didn’t even know our names. It’s impossible to learn what people like the Bri Bri lives are like, you have to experience it. Thank you so much Look Wider for helping me in opening my eyes, and looking wider.
“Look Wider” International Travel Scholarships are made possible by the Rae Ann and Richard Dougherty Look Wider International Travel Fund Endowment at Rose Community Foundation. Thanks to this generous commitment, Girl Scouts of Colorado will award scholarships to girls every year.
Learn more about Girl Scout destinations and other international travel at forgirls.girlscouts.org/travel. Applications for destinations travel are due before Thanksgiving each fall. The application for the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship is available from November through February and is meant for individual girl travel. Read more about Global Girl Scouting and how to get involved at girlscoutsofcolorado.org/global-girl-scouting.