When I went to the Dominican Republic, it truly was an eye opening experience. From the different culture, to learning how important a smile can be, I learned a LOT of things. One of the most important things I believe I learned was to not take anything in my life, living in the US in a well-nourished area.
Since we were there for community work, we didn't stay in 5 star hotels or anything. We stayed in a really nice outdoor hotel and we would travel back and forth to the inner communities. At the inner communities, we built water filters. We get water easily. All we have to do is turn the tap on and we even have the option of choosing whether or not we want it to be hot or cold. But in the houses we built filters in, those families would get water by putting a bucket outside of their homes and getting water from the rain. If it didn't rain, they would go to the nearest stream and get buckets of water from there.
Getting water from these sources is extremely unsafe and can cause a lot of waterborne diseases and drinking contaminated water can be harmful to the body. But that didn't matter to them as water is an essential for life. Pretty much everyone living in our society has easy access to water- considering it's essential for life. But, every house we went to, water was something they didn't know if they would get or not. It wasn't guaranteed that they would be able to get water or their next meal.
This huge gap between my life and their lives taught me the importance of every single thing I have- even something that might be overlooked like, water. Everything has a value and you never know how valuable it might just be for someone else, so it's always important to never take anything for granted.