Halley Berhe, 2019 Glimpser
Plainfield North High School, Plainfield Illinois
Traveled to Chitre, Panama

July 15, 2019, is the day I left for a two-week trip that would change my life forever. That was the day that I went to Chitre, Panama. When I arrived to the airport to go on my trip I saw many new faces. In my head I thought, “I’m going to be spending two weeks with people I don’t even know?” Little did I know how big of an impact these people would make on me in the span of only two weeks. Going on this trip to Panama was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I met the most amazing people, I experienced the most amazing things, and I jumped way out of my comfort zone, which is not a usual thing for me. I was pushed to speak up, to lead, to engage, and to communicate. This trip brought me out of my bubble. It made me become more fearless, more outspoken, and more aware.

While doing a project at one of the schools in Panama, I remember seeing those little kids faces and how happy they were to see us fixing up their school. It was a lot of work but seeing the smiles on their faces was all worth it in the end. Going to Panama made me see a whole other perspective on life and how different it is compared to my life here in the United States. One important thing I noticed there was how the Panamanians not only cared about themselves but their environment, their community, and the people in it. They banned plastic bags to make their environment better. One life changing experience there was going to the dump. I saw so many workers who spent hours at the dump, picking out the trash for a living. The fact that my group and I could barely stay there for an hour, compared to these workers who do this as a part of their daily routine, gives me so much respect for them and their work ethic.

Going to Panama made me realize how privileged I am even though sometimes I don’t feel like it. The connections I made with the people in my group and the Global Glimpse leaders were so amazingly strong. I still keep in touch with all of them. I don’t think I would have ever found a better group of people. This trip made me become more confident in myself, and made me determined to achieve all my goals and aspirations. Panama made me more humble, it made me think of others way more than usual, and it taught me how to stop being selfish. Overall, my Global Glimpse trip to Panama has been the most amazing experience I have ever had in my life. I am so unbelievably happy to have gotten the opportunity to attend this trip because it really did make a huge impact on my life. I can’t wait to return to Chitre, Panama someday.