Experiencing a culture so different from my own was fascinating but also difficult. Attempting to keep an open mind when brought to situations outside of my previous comfort zones allowed me to grow as a person but also as a global citizen.
The experience was once in a lifetime chance, and I will cherish my travels to Eastern Europe as long as I live.
We only spent a few days with the Roma of Svinia, but this experience changed me, and I know friends were made for life.
My experiences with the Roma firsthand have given me an understanding of the situation that would have been impossible in a classroom setting; something I am truly grateful for.
No matter how many books one reads, movies one watches, or webpages one goes through, nothing can prepare a person for what is to be experienced.
Spending time with the Roma has transformed how I now approach my studies, relationships, and choices, and even though it was hard, I am extremely glad I chose to travel all the way to Slovakia to meet, study, and learn from these amazing people.