Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Final reflection and thoughts of Quest 2010

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“I’ve learned more about my country in the last two weeks being here in Mexico than I have living my whole life in Canada.” – Holly Hoekstra, DSW Student


“It’s easy to turn the chancel at home about a commercial on poverty but to see it first hand is a completely new experience.” – Mia Howes, DSW Student


“I had few expectations for the Quest Trip but not all of them were met. I did have a great time during my two weeks stay and I am still processing all that I did and saw. Side note - The Mexicans are crazy drivers! … and I loved the restaurant Mananitas!” Charity Peeling, Nursing Student


“Change begins with each and every one of us. This emotional roller coaster that we have all been on has been an eye opener and life changing experience for me. Thanks to Quest, Gary, Niel and Sarah for it all. My favourite memory would have been meeting the Lopex family, not because it was the happiest but because it was the most ‘real’ for me as far as seeing the fight for survival.” Kyle Austin, DSW Student


“If I were to bring anything back to Canada from going on this Quest it would have to be friendship. The friendships made with the people on this trip, sharing the journey with me and the friendships in the people we met. I am grateful to have been able to come to Mexico and am definitely a changed person. This experience was amazing! I recommend discovering the culture of Mexico to anyone.” Martie Cannon, Child and Youth Worker Student


“Are lives are so much more than the sum of our experiences. I am so grateful for this opportunity. I love being given enlightenment and purpose that would never be attained in a classroom. I bring so much back with me that I will carry for life. I will miss you Mexico and the wonderful friendships I have made…….”All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle. “” Kirsten Hanson, Photo Journalism Student


“Quest was a chance to experience a new country, culture and make friends. I loved everything I’ve learned and the new opportunities I’ve found to apply to my field. I’m not sure where I will go from here but I do know the things I’ve experienced and learned will be reflected.” Kaitlyn Cooper, Child and Youth Worker Student


“I am not sure what my personal Quest was before I came, but I can say I finished the trip feeling emotionally, spiritually and intellectually fulfilled. It has been an honour to take steps in this journey alongside each person and I look forward to coordination Quest 2011.” Sarah Hopper, Child and Youth Worker Faculty


“Quest is more than a trip, it’s an experience of a lifetime. The friendships you make last forever and the experiences you have are life changing. You can’t learn this is a classroom or on your own. It takes a group of people working together to make it happen and give you amazing memories to remember.” Ashley English, SSW Student


“This experience has forever changed my life. I do not yet know what I will do with my new found knowledge and passion but am excited to begin my new Quest alongside the amazing people I’ve met and will never forget the experiences we have been through together, thick and thin. Overall this trip was amazing, difficult and beautiful!” Alex Kiru, SSW Student


“Can’t believe it’s all over for another year. I’m still amazed at how much you can learn in just two weeks and the relationships you can strengthen and build. I’m excited to see what the new leg of my journey will bring. No matter what happens I know I’ll have people who support me every step of the way. Vivo.Rio.Amor*“ Caila Widdifield, DSW Student


“I have never experienced a journey quite like this before. The experiences I have been privileged enough to go through have forever changed my life for the better. Not only did I learn about the culture of Mexico and the wealth of its people but I’ve learned so much about myself as well. I will carry these lessons with me for the rest of my life. I hope that I will be adequate able to teach these lessons to everyone at home so these lessons can influence them in even a small part as they did me.” Mikala Labelle, Accelerated SSW Student


"On this trip I have had so many wonderful experiences and met so many great friends. A special moment for me was when the sisters (nuns) told me how pleased they were that I showed up for a lot of their mass' and prayer time. They game me a gift which I will hold close to my heart forever. I also feel this trip has changed me in a way that will make me a better father and a better man. Thank you all for the time we have shared." Andrew Wiggins, DSW Student


  1. It sounds like everyone had such an uplifting time, it makes me proud to say I know some of the people who went.
    When I've got the resources to go on missions like this, I will surely follow your lead folks.

    Thanks! :)

  2. My thoughts on my Quest Trip because I was in no mind set to do this on th elast day:

    " If a genie was to grant you three wishes, what would they be? I have been asked this question so many times, by the young and the old. Basically it is a question for people to make you think when really it is always the question that a week later you have a different answer for. But while being on the two Quest trip I have been on, I think I am able to answer these and say Yes, I am positive those are my three wishes. My first wish would be, please allow every single person in 1st World Countries to experience what we as individuals experienced while on our trip. Wish #2 Let every single person come home with their head full fo ideas, wants, needs, new dreams, anger, sadness, pissed offness, happyness, but most of all a sense of wanting to change..Empowerment!! Wish #3 Please allow them to travel the days of these trips and never once have to wake to a phone call of tragedy thousands of miles away. Just let the trip be what it is. It is the most physically, emotionally, and spiritually draining thing you will ever do and a person does not need anymore to that. They need calmness, support, love, caring people, and most of all time to reflect upon it all. A tragedy does not fit into all of that because it demands so much more of all of that. And even though I know for a fact that there is enough of all that if a tragedy does happen, it would just be so much better if it didn't.

    When I finish wishing these three wishes I would wish for one more thing. Wish all my wishes can't come true, that the people on the trip can give each other a little bit more support and get through everything they encounter. Because no matter who each person was when they got on that plane, everyone knows they are not that person 24 hours later, and together they can become this strong undividable, and unbreakable group that can get anyone through anything. :)"

    I would just like to say thanks, for my group for bringing that bond so tight and so unbreakable and being there for me. Supporting me in anyway possible, through all hours of the day and then still engaging in the daily activites that were very tough too.

    Thank you to every single one of you. I needed everyone and everyone was there, a hug, a talk, a computer, a smile, a life lesson, a cellphone, a song on guitar, a rub on the back while brushing your teeth :P, a walk hand in hand, a plane ticket, a plane buddy, a shoulder to cry on, a massage, a morning hug, pepto bismul, a pair of genie pants, a nickname to make me smile, a ticket finder, a giant bottle of beer shh Gary doesn't need to know, a roommate, a bouquet of blue roses, cheesecake that I think finally got eaten, a bond that noone will ever be able to break from here on out.

    Thanks everyone... Love you all a pile!!

    XO Mel

  3. Breaking my silence...yes!
    I saw Melanie's email, went to leave some food on the stove to cook, came back and started reading her comment and I realize my food is burning!! Thanks Mel...this is all your fault!;) keep reading now!

    but She made me to get emotional, WAKE UP and remember my feelings in that 2 weeks in Mexico!

    I didn't write anything, even that letter, at the end of the trip, it is still left blank,because I just couldn't!!! The 2 weeks of Mexico, as much I thought I'm prepared, but still it got me! EVERYTHING, the good and bad....it was sooo overwhelming!....I cried on the second day, survived the 2 week and then I broke down again and got back into my silence!

    Every second on that trip, I asked myself 'WHY'! I still do...came back to Canada, the day after, I got an opportunity to follow the Mayor of Toronto for a day and take pics of him....I'm sitting at the subway at the rush hour in the morning after the night we came back, thinking 'what the hell am i doing here?', 'what is going on here?', 'why these people are different?' and 'WHY are we ALL so different?' even I still find something that makes us the same and answers that question..but it seems it just not enough!

    The Quest was an AMAZING trip for me!!As I love traveling, I will go back and live there for at least a while! I know I will! The memories I made with the Mexican people,and then you guys, the Quest people, will last me a life time!The friendships will always remain in my heart! I will never forget the 'fake' blue roses [Mel, block ur ears!;)], the kindness of the nuns and the opportunity to let me learn about their faith and even letting me to take photos at the mass, the acceptance of the Mexican people, letting us into their hearts and homes and their community, teaching us about the role and sole of a community...community is not just a group of people in your community centre, it's ALL OF US!..I always love when I go to a community centre and take pics of the events...In Toronto, some people call me a 'community photographer' and i absolutely love to remain like that,(even nobody care about community events and I won't get published)...I just loved how much I learned about that one single word while in Mexico!!

    I loved the simplicity, the bad and good, the rich and famous...well, not really...it kinda hurt when going from this side of Cuernavaca to the other side and see how people live...the poorest to the richest and the richest to the poorest...WHY??? why do we live like this everywhere?? i just wonder...

    The 2 weeks of Mexico was 2 weeks of me, too!! sharing my feelings is not my strength....sharing it with a group of people, almost impossible...but you guys became so special and trusted to me that I couldn't run away again....I just let it go!


    P.S. I did not forget about the photos! There are hundreds and hundreds of them if you can believe me! ;) and I'm in the process of putting them online on a private website just for us and it will let you to download them too! as soon as they are up, I will contact you all!! PROMISE IS A PREMISE WHICH I WILL DO!!


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