An Independent School • Grades 5-12

by Luke B. '19

For the past 28 days, 16 hours, 31 minutes, and 34 seconds, I have recorded every single moment of my life. The highs and the lows, the moments where I felt like leaving and the ones where I felt like I never wanted to get on that plane back to Seattle. The moments I would remember whether or not I had written them down, and the small details and jokes that make trips like these, that much more.

As our last day in the village comes to an all too soon close, I decided to reflect on why not only myself, but the rest of my group members have chosen to devote hours upon hours to our pre-made GSL notebooks and why they've tried to pack all of a truly life changing trip into 60 pages of lined paper.

Patrick described how he feels an obligation to himself in the future and to increase his grip strength. Siddarth spoke soon after, "I want to remember stuff. Wait. No. Oh yeah." He paused and proudly smiled, happy with his new response and said, "I want to remember the highs and the lows." Josie informed me that she utilized her journal not only for deep reflection, but also to get more out of the trip and improve from mistakes she'd made on the time away, an admirable usage. Emme let me know, along with some help from Nick, that she wrote to remember all of the small details of a big experience. Nick talked about how he wanted to preserve the day-to-day occurrences when he's older and can't remember. Roman had overheard me talking to a few of the others so when I asked him he promptly responded, "Really cool stuff." He wrinkled his forehead in thought, "Actually no don't write that." Pondering for another moment he now had another answer, "Write that I want to share this experience with those who didn't get the opportunity." Arushi, or Rush as the group likes to say, explained how she wants to recollect all the unique and remarkable things about his trip. Kate and Angela spoke nearly at the same time, living up to their sisterly-like bond, Kate saying how she used it as a form of processing the world around her. Angela, with a bit sadder of an answer telling me how she wrote in her journal so she could talk to something that really cares. With only two responses left I hopped over in my chair to get a better look of Julia, who was leaning coolly against a pole uttered, "I choose not to respond." Then, like so many of the others, paused again, then spoke, "Actually, no my mom's going to get mad if I say that. In that case I guess I use it so I can see how I've changed."

Then, finally, I turned my rusty chair towards William, who, ironically enough, was journaling. I posed my question one last time and he slowly tilted his head up, "Geez I don't know. To rant, remember, and re-enhance the experience." Happy with his truly poetic response, he put his head back down and kept writing away, but after a few seconds I felt a tap on my shoulder, followed by William talking, "Actually, just erase remember and re-enhance, honestly 90% of this journal is ranting."

As for myself, I have a typically cliché answer. I just want to remember. I want to be able to read this journal when I'm 50 and be able to remember every single minute of every single day. From the miserable moments when I'm drenched in sweat and seemingly every insect imaginable has bitten or stung me. To the ones of pure happiness when it's 2:30 in the morning and my 5-year-old niece is calling out, "Luca! Luca!" because the only way she can fall asleep after a nightmare is if I'm there.

So, yeah, I guess I write to remember specific moments, but as a whole it's to get one last fleeting image of the most spectacular place I've ever been, a place I will probably never see again.