“The sea that calls all things unto her calls me, and I must embark.
For, to stay, though the hours burn in the night, is to freeze and crystallize and be bound in a mould.
Fain would I take with me all that is here. But how a shall I?
A voice can not carry the tongue and the lips that gave it wings. Alone must it seek the ether.
And alone and without his nest shall the eagle fly across the sun.”
Khalil Gibran, The Prophet
Sawatdee kha/khrap, Suostei, and Xin chào!
We made it friends! Through 3 countries, 14 cities, 4 homestays, language classes, service projects, countless friendly dogs…and cows, Josephinas, yoga retreats, street food, film crews, copious amounts of bamboo, performances, ceremonies, Vietnamese beds, busses, trains, boats, treks, ancient temples, and new friends everywhere.
From Cari (or Carold) and Jonathan, (Junes/noods) thank you.
As we have seen during our semester, each ending leads us to something new. This ending is no different, and here we all find a new challenge. As we transition home, we are faced with the question of what to do with this experience that we all shared. We walk in the door, our bags full with what maybe only we can understand, and we have the privilege of deciding what to do with this great, sometimes tangled, mass. Each of us will experience this process in our own ways, and we will each have the option of choosing what we take with us.
With this choice in mind, we implore you all, to not just place these past three months in a corner to gather dust. You have each already begun to internalize what this trip has meant to you, and none of you are exactly the same people we met in the airport in Portland and Los Angeles. We know each of you will make the choice that is right for you. Thank you for being open to the process, thank you for giving your time, and for giving yourselves.
As you move forward with new plans and new stages in life, please keep in mind one lesson that we hope you learned during our time together: The lessons we learn in life are often not the ones we set out to learn, and it is our approach and attitude to the unexpected that makes up most of our time here on this Earth. Remember, it is always our choice in how we react when the unexpected inevitably occurs. As Viktor Frankl said in his book, “Man’s Search for Meaning”:
“A human being is a deciding being…Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
We hope that you all choose to face your future challenges with the grace, humility, and gratitude we saw each of you display during this journey. Seek to widen this “space”, and always strive to be a deciding being.
Please keep in touch friends. The world is a small place, and our paths may very well cross again, but for now, this is Sabai signing off.
Cari and Jonathan