Tessa VoccolaComment

Vindagua Article // Draft

Tessa VoccolaComment

I feel really inadequate writing this—my perspective on life at Cambridge.  How can I explain to you how incredibly significant this trip is when I can barely form a coherent thought on the matter?  One month in, I am a jumble of tangled-up thoughts and ideas, spilling half-formed out of my mouth, only making sense to those who have felt the same sort of overwhelming need to explain.  But I want you to know—I want to give you something—because it is so incredibly life-changing and special.  It's not special simply because it is so far from home, though that is part of it.  This trip is special because of the people and the way they stretch the very frame of who you think you are.  This trip is special because once you have gone, you cannot ever go back to the way things were.  You will always be a bit bigger, a bit more open than you were before.

You'll meet people so passionate about ideas and issues that have never entered your conscience, and their passion will be infectious.  You’ll meet people who want the exact same things as you, and you'll meet people who believe so strongly in Jesus, that it inspires you to follow Him so much more faithfully than before.  

Each of those people will have a name and a story for you to take with you.   

You may meet John with his leather whales and his dedication to excellence in his art form.  You may meet Martha with her passion for history and understanding. You may meet Shirley with her belief that every part of our lives can be a testament to Truth.  You may meet Andra with her humble heart and desire to learn.  You may meet Masud with his earnest desire to know that we are doing all right.  

There are so many names and faces, and every single one of them has taught me something different about life.  And I have found that every one of the things that I am learning in the classroom is found manifest in the conversations and experiences I have with those around me.  

I could prepare you for this trip by giving you an itinerary, telling you that you'll go to class and buy food in the market and travel miles and miles on your own two feet.  I could tell you about how to exchange money or where to get the best waffle you will ever put in your mouth. Those were some of the things I wanted to know before I left.  The funny thing is that that information and even the itinerary doesn’t matter nearly as much once you’re here.  You’ll quickly realize that you are part of a community. You are not just a tourist. Life at Cambridge is less about a list of things to do and more about experiences. Every day holds a new set of moments that you could never plan for and that I could never do justice to. 

You must come and experience it all for yourself. 

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Just trying my best to hold onto feelings in the heart of Tennessee.