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It’s been a month since I’ve returned from Nicaragua and Costa Rica and I’ve finally gotten around to reflecting on it. Ok, that’s a lie, I’ve been constantly reflecting on it. What I meant was, I have finally organized my thoughts enough that I’m willing to post about it.
To sum it up my experiences, I’ve written a short story. Here’s a written trailer (or whatever the equivalent in short story world is called):
[Black background, scraping sound on a cement wall.]
[Enter white text, reading, “Inspired by a true story…”]
[Music consists of drum beats, inspiring brass crescendos, and aboriginal instruments. Kinda like this.]
Character 1: “We only have one week to paint this school, and even if we do, what difference does it make?!” Character 1 throws his scraper against the wall in frustration.
Character 2: “Sometimes the difference cannot be observed by the eye, but by the heart.” Character 1 looks like he just had an epiphany.
[Another black screen, music continues, white text reads, “David Wen Productions Presents…”]
Character 3: “Which is your favourite picture?”
Disabled Kid 1: “The airplane – so I can see the world.”
[Black screen, music intensifies, white text reads, “A story about volunteers from a world away…”]
Character 1: “You,” [Points at Disabled Kid 2], “are a monument in my heart.”
[Black screen, music climaxes and stops. White text reads, “Who made a world a difference. On the web at www.justsaywen.com/creative-writing Spring of 2010 (i.e. now)”]
The story isn’t that cheesy (I hope). In fact, it’s a bit disheartening. Basically, after the trip, I felt that most of the things we were trying to do would hardly make a material difference – painting the walls, teaching lessons, playing with the kids. However, the real difference was when the kids felt proud to go to school, gave you a high five when they were able to paint something they didn’t think they could, or laughed when you made a funny face. Sometimes, it’s the immaterial things that seem to last the longest and create the greatest legacies.