As I was sitting on the plane on the ride home, I wrote an entry in a journal that a friend and I share. I focused on every word and after re-reading it, I realized that a similar summary to the one I gave her was required here as well. So here it is, almost straight from a teenage girl's journal...
*As you know, I left for New Orleans on Monday with 6 other UDLC teens. It started out okay, no major problems, we just walked around the city together and absorbed our surroundings while also souvenir shopping. One night we even got a tour around the french quarter to hear ghost-based stories. It was interesting, mostly. Once the gathering really started, we went through some workshops that seemed simple. Looking back on those workshops, however, makes me realize that they really had an impact. They gave us an opportunity to think about our relationship with God in a way that was accessible to teenagers. We played and crafted in the interaction center, and even cleaned up a highway median. We also toured some of the more devastated areas of the city, which really gave all of us a new outlook on the preciousness of life and the effects of any event that could happen to any of our towns. We updated the blog, which is way cooler than I had expected. And, of course, we met tons of new people. We have so many stories to tell about so many things, including an extrememly bumpy plan ride home. *
I am extremely thankful for this amazing opportunity to explore and strengthen exsisting relationships while also building new ones. I am also so blessed to have had the chance to really think about my relationship with God and my peers, as well as my overall faith. Even with the intense humidity and the occasional bickering, I would not trade this trip for the world, and I thank all those in the communities here and abroad that made the experience possible.