Thursday, April 23, 2009

Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all. -- Aristotle

It is truly hard to write this final post. As I've compiled the pictures and deeds of our trip onto this blog, I could not help but reflect on how much all of us have grown as people. When I hit the "Publish Post" button a final time, in many ways it will be the close of the actual trip for me -- and I don't really want this experience to end.

The more I consider this, however, the more I wonder if this trip will ever end. We've been back at school for almost a week now, and every time I see one of you in the halls, we say hi, exchange smiles, and there is a new look about your face. Something has changed inside you all and this change shows.

As an English teacher, and a Shakespeare geek at that, I keep recalling Henry V's St. Crispin's Day speech: "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers." In our week together, we have become a band of brothers (and two sisters), and if you read the rest of this speech, I think you'll find quite a few similarities between what Henry V and his loyal compatriots thought and what we feel toward each other. We have our badges of honor, whether they were caused by splinters or fire ants. Our victories were over termites and rot, tiredness and rain. And we prevailed, together.

To the young men who accompanied us on this trip: Thank you for your honesty, your genuine good humor, your hard work, and most of all your open minds. You exemplified the charisms we talked about: Zeal, Humility, Trust, Simplicity, and, most of all, Compassion. You showed me the Mount Man inside each of you, and I am extremely grateful.

To the parents: Thank you for all of your support and for the loan of your children for a week. We could not have done this without you!

To Dan: I am so thankful you came on this trip. Beside your infinite construction knowledge, I found a good friend in the process. I'm not sure about that chess rematch, though. I may just retire undefeated! :)

To Anne: Your presence on this trip was amazing. Thanks for all the great music, teaching me a new card game, and, most importantly, all the time you spent taking spectacular pictures that made this blog possible!

To Sarah: Here I am at a loss for words. All the time and effort you put into this trip truly showed. You set into motion a chain of events that positively impacted twenty people. Nothing I can say will adequately put into words what you meant to this trip. I feel so lucky to be able to call you my friend. Thank you for this incredible journey; you are an inspiring woman.

Peace, David Dutrow

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