Life Experiences and Pocket Change

I’ve never really been afraid to venture out into a foreign place. With a little pocket money and a few familiar faces beside me, I could take on anything. But this time, it was different. I knew no one here in Sunflower. Dropped into a group where people have known each other for decades, I felt like an outsider, like a puzzle piece that came in the wrong set. I thought of the pre-existing niches and social circles that I would be disturbing. Not only that, the stories that the old timers would tell me only exacerbated my worries. Landmines? Like come on, that’s a fear I didn’t even know I had until I went on this trip.

Putting his back into it. (Photo: Dan Q. Dao)

Putting his back into it. (Photo: Dan Q. Dao)

So saying that I felt apprehensive beginning this trip would be an understatement. However, like all other times I felt like that way, reality turned out to be much better than the dumb hypotheticals playing in my mind. Everyone was welcoming and extremely pleasant to talk to. I haven’t had a single conversation where I didn’t come out without a great big smile on my face. It wasn’t hard to fit in place and feel like I really belonged. Through the different age range, there’s something to be learned and gained. Through conversations with the older folks, it’s their life experiences. Through small game bets with the younger people, it’s their pocket change. In one day, Vietnam didn’t seem so foreign anymore. It’s only the early beginnings of Sunflower Mission but I can already tell it’s going to be a great trip. Thank you to everyone involved in Sunflower Mission for making this possible. There’s no other group of people I’d rather break a sweat with.

Cindy Au