Personal Narrative: My Trip To Timor-Leste

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My trip to Timor-Leste was definitely an eye opening one, it changed the way I saw the world. Sure enough, our interim group had lots of fun climbing Mount Ramelau, teaching kids at SOLS and farming with the village. But for me, it was a reality check, coming to a realization that people aren’t as well off as the rest of us back in Singapore. It broke my heart watching malnourished kids playing football(soccer), kids the same age as us but much shorter and skinnier as a result of malnourishment. I felt horrible as I accepted the huge clumps of food the villagers were offering us, something they could use themselves. My heart ached as a I listened to Platao mention that the parents of children in Timor would NEVER be home, working from day till night to benefit the family. These living conditions were nothing compared to what we were accustomed to every day. I remember one of my friends complaining about how they couldn’t wait “to get home”. I couldn’t help but agree with that, however at the same time, I felt a huge wave of guilt pass over me. Here we were, a group of privileged students unable to even survive ONE week in a third world country. I still tried to adapt to the changes and in doing so, I stepped out of my comfort zone. I wasn’t really happy when I realized how bad the conditions of the lodge we were staying in was. The rooms were dirty and dusty, there was no electricity and the toilets were simply indescribable. Inside the bedrooms, I refused to use the

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