Charlotte Van Hale

A Community of Service Interim 2010
Medical Mission in Guatemala
Spartanburg Mental Health service internship


In my life at home, everything is fast: I walk quickly, jump from thought to thought in my daily life, and never feel as though there is time enough to finish things, let alone stop and relax. Generally, I am thinking days ahead, planning out my week for tests, study sessions, meetings, and other activities involve my time. This all changed during my stay in Guatemala. Perhaps it was because I had a primary goal: to serve. Maybe it was because the pace of life is simply slower in Central and South America. Whatever the reason, I feel as though my life slowed down during my time spent away from the United States. At school I always find myself thinking “What’s next?”; in San Pedro I was able to enjoy the moment and take in what I was doing by living in the present. I wish I could center my life more soundly upon the moment at hand all the time; however, I do believe that by actually having experienced this feeling, I will be able to focus upon this small goal with more frequency in my daily life. Living in the moment is too often taken for granted, and it is a spiritual concept that guides many philosophies of life. By being more in tune with our own minds, we are better able to sense what others are feeling. This is an important concept in service, and an essential one if we are to live in harmony with one another, working for a common goal together.