This is what happens when you travel to faraway regions all by yourself to volunteer. You become a complete and utter superstar. There you are, just on the make for something more, and you find an outfit like 4th World Love and before you know it, you're in cahoots with me and Lis, getting details about how to get to the mountain village of Sembalun, Lombok. We get you sorted, and next thing you know, you're stumbling off the jam-packed ferry on a remote Muslim island...waiting to be picked up by our happy-go-lucky team of field ninja's.
Once you are in the village, you barely get any sleep cause you are so excited, nervous and happy to be rolling into the CDC (Community Development Center) to see what our little set up is all about. You are beyond delighted that there is a fridge and you can't help but notice the beautiful world map and post-its full of Spanish words littering the walls. Lots going on here.
Time to get down to business and teach English - at CDC and the local schools. The kids go absolutely ballistic when you roll in. Every time. In fact, the adults are beyond joyous too. They can't believe you've made your way to their tiny village from some real faraway land just to help them have a better future.
A couple days pass. You eat the best food you've ever tasted. You've stared out your bedroom window and contemplated trekking Rinjani (2nd largest volcano in Indo). You've gone to the secret waterfall and almost drown (from happiness). You've made a gazillion friends already who all know you by name, and somehow you remember theirs. You see progress in students that seemed impossible 72 hours ago. You actually participated in a late night jam session on the village guitar. And nothing ever felt more right in the world.
A few weeks more pass and it's time to go. There are tears. There are small, incredibly thoughtful gifts. There are promises to come back. But you must go. The journey of life and travel is still out there and for now, your time in SMBL is over.
But, on the four hour journey back to the ferry, you think - I LOVE IT THERE. I LOVE THOSE PEOPLE. I LOVE WHO I AM BECOMING. AND I CANNOT WAIT TO RETURN.
Trust me - it happens every time.
Thanks for the pix Kasey!