A tropical storm came through here this weekend, intermittent bouts of rain and sunshine consuming the day. As the rain tempered off and I looked out our balcony, my eyes were drawn to a puddle. Rain drops steadily fell from the tree above it, forming ripples upon impact. After three days of intense reflection during orientation, I couldn’t help but see a metaphor in front of me. Quite honestly, as I start my year in the Dominican Republic, I don’t feel far off from a rain drop falling from a tree and striking a large unknown body of water.

Like anything worthwhile, choosing to do a year of service involves taking a risk for me. I struggle daily to communicate with those around me. (This Bridesmaids clip displays perfectly how I feel 90% of the time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szAvasyAavs&playnext=1&list=PLA57BC96ECEAD0545&feature=results_video.)  I am far away from the people that I love. I live with people I’ve just met, and I’m trusting them to support me throughout this process.  There’s a strong chance that I will step on a sea urchin at some point.  The list goes on and to be honest, it’s exciting but also very scary. In many senses, I feel as if I am falling, landing in an unfamiliar place. A very unfamiliar place.

However, all I need to do is hug one of the kids and I have no question why I’ve chosen to take this risk. Mother Teresa said perfectly, “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” This strange ocean is a place that I care deeply about, and many times I feel completely overwhelmed by all of its needs. How can my presence here truly have an impact when the problems far exceed my capabilities? I am a mere raindrop trying to affect an ocean, and as I land I will only see the very first ripple I’ve created. Yet, I need to remember that that ripple will grow and continue to grow into something much greater than I ever could have imagined.