They say that every penny counts when it comes to donating to a cause to make something better, but as John Powers explained to us, it is the experience makes the “good deed” so much more meaningful. Interacting and meeting the people that are less fortunate than myself has truly impacted my life. Every few relationships you make, there is always one that you will remember forever. For me, it will be my relationship with Julian, the boy with a contagious smile. From the moment we met, it was nothing but laughter and happiness…some tears were inevitable.
Julian was the first boy I met in Batey 50, but I was definitely not the first American girl he has ever met. Although Julian is nearly 2 years old and we do not speak the same language, actions spoke louder than words for the six days I was with him. His constant happiness showed me to worry less about the little things and worry more about what truly mattered, like happiness. His free spirit to run around with no clothes on showed me to not worry about what other people think about me and do what makes me happy. His smile could light up a room, like it did to every American on Batey 50 each and every day. Although we never had one conversation, our actions created the relationship. Our actions created joy and laughter and tears when it came time to say goodbye. With no words, I was able to interact with someone who has changed my outlook on life completely.
All these simple lessons I learned from my experience are priceless. Each and every relationship built whether it be at Quinnipiac, around the country, or around the world in a place like Batey 50, is priceless. We cannot learn through a textbook or documentary the happiness spread throughout poverty stricken places like Batey 50. We can only learn by experience, and with that experience we can come back to the states and share our experiences and lessons taught by people like Julian, the boy with the contagious smile.