Sunday, January 23, 2011

Dreaming about my bunk in Haiti (and subsequently my mosquito net, DEET, and chlorinated water, too).

This week Jess and I are going to give a presentation to elementary school kids about our trip to Haiti. The school collected hundreds of toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes for our trip, and we're going to share about the adventure as a way of saying thanks and providing the kids with a global perspective.

In light of this, I've spent some of this evening remembering little moments, smells, sounds. November seems an eternity ago... I hate that it's so difficult to remember sometimes. It's like the entire trip was a dream.

But, that's the way memories work, isn't it? I've learned that my memories really start to lose their sharpness and "feeling" roughly three months after an event occurs. Clarity begins to fade, and then your stories are all you have left. Unless you don't tend to them when they're fresh, or else they are likely to fade as well.

I recently heard about a man who has recorded a ridiculous amount of personal memories (something like over 500 handwritten pages of simple remembrances). It doesn't matter if it seems significant to him or not, he just jots them down when they come to mind. An example given was a memory he has eating an ice cream cone at a fair when he was 8 years old. And I love that. Personally, at times I feel selfish telling stories. I get this feeling in my gut that says my moment isn't significant enough. But you know, that's life. Life is comprised of moments, decisions, experiences, happenstances, relationships and feelings. And I like that this man (whoever he is) has deemed his insignificant memories significant. Because in time, over a span of days, months, years, and so on, this man's "insignificant" becomes his life. And that is intrinsically valuable.

So, tonight I'm sitting here, trying to remember Haiti. Because I am frustrated that my memories fade, and because I miss those lovely faces. And because it's important.

I really can't wait to go back.


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