It was my freshman year of highschool, and I remember sitting in Bio 1, sick to my stomach and trying not to let the tears in my eyes escape. Two days earlier I had come back from a mission trip to the Dominican Republic. After making friends with ladies who raised six kids in a one room shack and playing with schoolgirls who walked five miles a day just to get an education, I was in intense disgust at the upper middle class American reality I had ungracefully reentered.
I didn’t know back then about culture shock or whiplash. I did know, however, that the short two weeks in that colorful, impoverished nation had touched my heart in a way that made snowy Pennsylvania with its Ugg Boot-wearing residents seem like the least satisfying place in the world.