Stop and Smell the Roses

By Rebecca Paddock, Wilfrid Laurier University Trip Participant, Los Trozos, Honduras

“Stop and smell the roses”… I never quite understood that quote until I went on an SOS outreach trip this past August. Roses are beautiful, but who really has time during their hectic day to pause everything and enjoy a small piece of nature? Those precious minutes could be spent answering a text, checking your email, or completing an item from your never-ending to-do list.

At least that’s what I used to think.

Spending two weeks in the beautiful community of Los Trozos in Honduras, taught me the importance of taking time to enjoy the little things. Whether it was walking to the worksite at 7:30 am, enjoying a cold pop at the end of a busy day, or looking up at the stars, I believe that we should all take time during our day to slow down and truly enjoy the moment.

The members of the Los Trozos community were the ones who really taught me the importance of enjoying the moment. Everyone from Los Trozos works extremely hard to provide for their family and support the community. However they also take time to stop and appreciate the small, but special, moments during the day.

The first experience was during meal times. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner were special because it was when family and friends from the community would gather to discuss events of the day and reconnect. As a student, I my perception of meals had gone from being a time of enjoyment and reflection, to a daily chore that I had to fit into my schedule. Experiencing these times of bonding and connecting helped me once again see that the 15 minutes spent eating dinner should be appreciated and enjoyed with those in my community, whether it be a roommate, friend, or family member.

My second experience showed me how little moments can turn into something extraordinary. During our trip I brought beads and string to make bracelets with a children from the community. I thought that the activity would last 20 minutes and then the kids would get bored. But the exact opposite happened. Within half an hour at least 20 more children and parents from the community had gathered around the table and were making bracelets, necklaces, and key chains with the SOS volunteers. Even though everyone had been busy preparing for dinner, the families stopped what they were doing and gathered around to enjoy an incredible moment with the community.

Since coming back from my SOS trip I have tried to enjoy the little moments that happen around us everyday. Whether it’s seeing the sunrise on my commute to work, catching up with a friend over lunch, or hearing my favourite song on the radio, I am truly grateful for these special times during busy days. I had an incredible experience in Honduras, and I will be forever thankful to the Los Trozos community for teaching me the importance of stopping to smell the roses.

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