- The Indianapolis 500, the greatest spectacle in racing, is a Memorial Day Weekend tradition in my home state. The race is just one of the many things I love about Indiana.
This year in particular, three family friends who have young children of their own came to visit. I got to play with all of the kids this weekend, and though shy at first, once they loosened up, they were non-stop balls of energy, running circles around me while I played countless games with them. It was incredible to see how different each one of them was, with their own unique personalities and quirks.
As I tried to keep control of the chaos that the kids were creating, I couldn’t help but think ahead to the children we will soon work with at Ana-El Masry. I can only imagine what some of the children at Ana-El Masry have been through in their lives thus far. I have grown up with everything I could ever need and more provided for me. No one likes to admit they are spoiled–so I’ll say I have been very, very, very lucky throughout my life to be given the things I have. But I think that getting to know the children we will work with, peering inside their souls, connecting with them, teaching them, and learning their stories will help me grow as a person.
Usually my summers are filled with country concerts, eating out with friends, long runs through Carmel, afternoons playing tennis, or late night movies. My life at home is great; it’s comfortable, easy, and relaxing. But from my time spent at Duke the last two years, I have learned that learning doesn’t come when those feelings are present. One must be pushed outside their comfort zone and forced to deal with situations they are not used to. DukeEngage certainly offers this opportunity, and will be unlike anything I have ever done.
As the departure date inches closer (just three days now), my feelings have intensified. Am I ready to leave home? No. Am I excited to experience Cairo and begin our partnerships with the organizations? Absolutely. Am I nervous? Heck yes. I think these feelings are all natural, and frankly I would be worried if I wasn’t having them. I can’t be sure of anything at this point except one thing: the 8 weeks ahead of me will be the most eye-opening, enlightening, and incredible opportunity of my life.