By Jillian Kelly, a member of the SkillCorps Indonesia July 2017 team

“Travel far enough, you meet yourself.”

Welcome to SkillCorps

You have been accepted to travel to another part of the world and have a life changing experience. There is nothing anyone can say or do to fully replicate what you will experience for the next several weeks. I will tell you though, your life is about to change, forever…

While being in New York for orientation I experienced so many different emotions about what to expect over the next several weeks. I met many different people who had gone on these trips before, and some who just like me, had never even left the country. Quickly, I tried to connect with others who were going on this trip with me. I wanted to find people who shared similar interests, whom I could get along with. I had a plan to not experience any kind of discomfort and be prepared for what was ahead. I wanted this trip to conform to my needs and little did I realize at the time that this trip was not about me, at all.

I had to give up my expectations and what was comfortable for me, and get a little uncomfortable. Each one of us had to give a little at some point in this trip. We tried things we didn’t exactly want to try and did things we didn’t really want to do. I still regret not eating  durian! (Psych!)  Taylor, I still have no idea how you out of all of us enjoyed that! Mary you were the one to jump in head first, you wanted to experience it all. Shumaila you were so appreciative and curious about everything and everyone. Maria your smile and laugh was always needed! Jenn, your facial expressions and sense of humor made every situation that much better. Kathryn, you were like the older sister I never had. Lolly, you brought such a light to the team with everything that you do! Arshiya, I learned something new about you every day. Thank you for making this trip everything I never expected it to be. Thank you for introducing this beautiful word to me…

Sonder, the realization that everyone has a story.

An epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background.

Everyone had a story, not just me.

Nine human beings came together from all over the world each bringing different stories and experiences with them. We needed to find a way to put all of these differences together and have it result in something beautiful. Did it ever…

We laughed, we taught, we sang, we collaborated, we made change. None of that would have been possible without the beautiful women of Rumah Tiara. Rumah Tiara is this beautiful school put together by even more beautiful, human beings. A place where love occurs and teaching happens. A school where children are accepted and guided.

I can’t possibly put into words the work that we did together because it goes beyond pen and paper.

Thank you to each and every beautiful human I’ve met along the way who has shown me that life is so much bigger than myself.


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