Molded Clay

"It is not the experience that changes you.

It is your perception of that experience."

- 6th grade student.

I had a great discussion with my students yesterday about how our experiences shape us and change us. We concluded that everyone, even if they are having the same experience, are having different experiences. It was also agreed upon that every experience that we have, changes us in some way. One student used the metaphor of comparing us to clay. Every new experience molds us into our future self, regardless of wanting to be altered or not, we are affected by every thing we experience. This builds upon our overall character. (Have I mentioned that I teach brilliant kids?) 

The discussions I have with them stay with me. Especially this one. I crave new experiences. I crave adventure and learning. And I completely agree with my students, every new experience changes and molds me.

"We need both good and bad experiences in order to put our lives into perspective."

- 6th grade student.

Not all experiences are some grand adventure though. And there are many things you need to experience and take care of before venturing out across the pond for an entire month. I have been putting my life into perspective this week by making sure that all the logistical things are taken care of for Europe. There are so many small things to take care of before heading out for a month, but it will pay off in the end.

This week I have spent more time on the phone being told different information, that I simply needed to make my own conclusions. First, I needed to get into the doctor to get an update on my immunizations and find out about anti-malarial medications for Haiti (I haven't written about this yet, but yes, I am going to Haiti at the end of July- more information to come I am sure). I hate mosquitoes to begin with, add in mosquitoes with Malaria- no thank you. Apparently, you can't walk into any clinic and get a tetanus shot and also talk about malaria ridden bugs, so I had to call a special travel clinic to make an appointment. Now, the travel clinic won't give you any general immunizations, so you have to go to a regular clinic for this. Why can't we make this easier people? You can probably imagine my frustration as I went back and forth between clinics and receptionists being redirected from person to person and only going in circles. In the end, I got it squared away- two appointments.

The next process was figuring out health insurance while abroad. I called my health insurance company, and though I am covered internationally- It is the same basic coverage I have in the states. I want a little bit more security when traveling. In case the Peruvian circus comes to down, I want to be ready to vacate the premises and get back to the states safely. My health insurance company couldn't give me any information about traveling circus safety, so I had to look elsewhere. Enter: I was able to get a cheap quote on health insurance while abroad, which pretty much covers me completely from the moment I leave the states to the moment I return. Now, I have two trips to plan for, so this was a process as well. If I bought coverage for the entire duration of 2 months, the price was significantly higher than if I created two separate trips. So two trips it is and two it shall be.

The experiences haven't all been positive. I've been a little stressed this week figuring this out, but it is putting into perspective all the small things I have to take care of. The experiences have molded me into learning about what I am capable of setting up for myself, in building my independence. It is a necessary lesson for me, so I appreciate it, even through the frustration.

Next step is taking care of my credit cards and figuring out how to pay my rent while I am away. These seem easy now though.