Lon Watters once said, “A school is a building that has four walls with tomorrow inside.” Some people don’t realize that school is a special place. Physically and mentally, school is a safe haven for people to escape. There are handfuls of kids that can’t find a place to feel special at home. There are other cases where parents are too busy to spend time with their children, so sports and other extracurricular activities allow them to shine. To me, school is the start. School allows you to recognize who you are, who you want to be and allows you to complete most of the things needed to mold your character and future. Only you hold the key to your destiny, but school provides the stepping stones needed to find it.
In November of 2011, I was accepted to go on a mission with a program at my school called buildOn. It was to Kankhumbwa, Malawi, a country in southeast Africa, to build the foundation for a school in the developing village. I was excited; mainly because I was accepted as a freshman and this was an opportunity for the most part, afforded to upperclassmen. It would allow me to travel abroad, try new things and allow me to go to a place where many can never say they’ve been. My main focus was primarily to document my accomplishment on every college application.
When we arrived in Malawi, there was a joyful ceremony. It was the most welcoming experience. The whole entire village met the bus as we came in on the community’s only path. Kids of all ages were there, celebrating with song and dance. They sang songs in Chichewa, stating things like “today is a great day.” We were then assigned to our host families whom we’d be staying with for our 10 day mission. They accepted my roommate and me with open arms. My “dad” came forth thanking us for giving his children a better life. As we split our separate ways from the other host families, we continued our conversation as he explained how eager he was to