“We did so much in five days, and the students worked really hard,” Chamberlain said of the trip’s success.
Before the trip, Chamberlain tried to prepare students with safety precautions and possible life-changing experiences since the group stayed with host families in Ciudad Romero and were immersed in the community’s way of living. Students ate with their host family, stayed in their beds (or hammocks), used outdoor latrines and took bucket showers from the well.
Chamberlain, who has been to El Salvador six times, four of which with students, said he always learns something when visiting the county and that this trip he was really impressed with how hard the host families worked.
“They had two stores out of their house, a bicycle repair shop and provided people with propane gas tanks,” he said.
Cody Rainwater, a freshman at OU, said the trip was an eye-opening culture experience.
“We have running water, refrigerated food, flushing toilets,” Rainwater said. “Really, it’s incredible all that we have here (U.S.).”
Besides reminding students all they have to be grateful for, El Salvador also made students consider whether more really is more. Alawwami, who has traveled all over the world, said the work he did in El Salvador was a positive reflection of the peoples’ attitudes.
“What I loved about the trip was the village’s lifestyle. It was so simple. Everyone had a positive attitude,” Alawwami said. “Our trip was very joyful.”
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