I want to know if the essay that I have relates to the prompt (any other corrections and comments would be more than helpful too). The prompt is choose an issue of importance to you—the issue could be personal, school related, local, political, or international in scope—and write an essay in which you explain the significance of that issue to yourself, your family, your community, or your generation.
Many teenagers in today's society, especially the ones living in developed countries, are handed everything. Therefore, it is difficult for those teenagers to be watchful about things that happen outside of their small world; they are likely to be drawn away from learning about and participating in compelling issues and other cultures around the world. I know that because I was one of those teenagers. However, my perspective changed after I visited Cambodia.
The air was heavy, and it smelled of exotic spices; I could not help reaching my hand up to my nose. The unfamiliar smell was the only factor that dominated my senses for the longest time. It was obvious that I was not ready for my first mission trip, but what could I do? I was already there.
I was to spend a whole week, mainly in the southern rural area of Kampot, Cambodia. Oh, it was amazing, amazingly provincial. Around me, there were no bathrooms, no safe drinking water, and did I mention no bathrooms? All these trivial things, although not so trivial at the time, started to bother me, and at that point I had completely forgotten my reason of being there. Then, one became two and two became three; little children from the area started gathering around us. They had heard about our little mission work. Children of all sizes, though most of them lanky and small, came with one idea, what could these people possibly do for us? When I saw this through their questioning eyes, I was terrified. However, it did not take long for this fear to turn into stimulation. I was more than ready to interact with these kids. I did not know Khmer, and I did not know all their customs, but these cultural barriers motivated me, or rather forced me to, use my heart. I must have done something right, or they must have really pitied my effort. Many of them started showing signs of genuine interest in me. On my third day in Cambodia, this little girl came up to me and handed me a small, green fruit. She showed me how to eat it, and she even shared her salt bag to dip the fruit in. I did not realize right away that this was possibly the best way this little girl could show fondness for me. In Cambodia, people do not have much, and generally, they do not have much to eat. By sharing her food with me, she was opening herself to me. I was truly amazed.
To every beginning, there is an end. Just when I thought I was coming to know many of the kids, it was time for me to leave. At first, my intention of going to Cambodia was to give something to the less fortunate. However, it was the kids who gave and taught me important things I need to know in life. Through them I learned that there are things much more important than being comfortable; in order to understand and reach out to compelling issues and diverse cultures around the world, I need to be able to break away from my temporary, physical desires. Furthermore, through them I learned that being open minded would let me see and feel many inspiring and enriching things in life. And as I walked into the plane, I realized that I didn't even care about the smell anymore.