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Returning home from Vietnam is honestly a bit daunting to think about. After seeing and feeling so many things, going back to my daily routine might not be the same. As I prepare to step off the plane in Dallas, I am almost as nervous as I was when I left.

I know that I will be questioned tirelessly by my family — it’s totally valid that they want to know all about this eye opening experience. However, I don’t even know where to begin in recounting it. Three weeks immersed in a vastly different culture, surrounded by inspiring new friends and children — I have learned and changed in so many ways throughout my time away from home. How do I convey that to my friends and family? It is impossible to put into words.

In contrast, I will actually be able to talk on and on about one day in particular — the final Competition Day. On Saturday of my last week spent in Vietnam, we had our final Competition Day with the kids. In the afternoon, we had some time to hang out with the kids and savor our last sweet moments with them. It was pouring rain, and once again that was not going to stop the kids from taking advantage of the great outdoors. One by one the kids grabbed us from the classrooms until all of the American and Vietnamese coaches were being pulled across the field in front of the school, getting more and more soaked by the second.

“I will never forget the two hours I spent playing in the mud in rural Vietnam with amazing people that I had spent three weeks building relationships with. It was a dream of an ending to my experience, and so full of laughter.”

Soon after we made our way down to the grass, madness ensued. Mud was flying everywhere, rain was falling constantly on our heads, one single soccer ball getting chased back and forth by a massive group of coaches and kids — it was insanely fun. It was fun the the most pure sense of the word, and we all knew it. The kind where you can’t help but laugh and it seems impossible to wipe the smile off of your face. My clothes might be ruined, I might have dirt in my hair for the next few days, but I will never forget the two hours I spent playing in the mud in rural Vietnam with amazing people that I had spent three weeks building relationships with. It was a dream of an ending to my experience, and so full of laughter.

I will definitely start off by sharing this with my family — before I dive into the rest of this life changing and very humbling trip!

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