Oh boy. Do you ever get tired – like really tired. The type of tired that doesn’t go away after getting a good night of sleep. That’s the kind of tired I am. That being said, I can chalk this exhaustion up to one thing: fun. This trip across Western Europe has been anything but unenjoyable, but I can only hang out with the Dutch locals in their pubs for so long, ya’ know? 😉
In all seriousness, I am beyond thankful for the opportunity I was given to visit such beautiful countries and beautiful peoples. In our visit to the Dacha, I was humbled. Growing up, American children learn a great deal about the Holocaust, but it always seems so far away. I’m only 22 years old, so WWII might as well have been a thousand years ago. But it wasn’t. Concentration camp survivors still live to tell their horrifying past.
Walking through the uninviting camp through equally inviting weather gives one a meager fragment of what life there may have been like for some, and even that was too much for me. Me in my warm puffy coat, wool socks, and longjohns. It wasn’t until I looked at the camp’s creamatorium that I realized how close I was to this tragedy. It wasn’t the ovens themselves, but the ash. The ashes of thousands of innocent people coating the insides of these ovens. In that moment I found myself utterly humbled, questions without answers forming in my head. As I go forward I suspect some may be answered and others not.
As our trip winds down to its inevitable end, I can say with the utmost honesty that I have seen more cathedrals than I hoped, walked more kilometers than I hoped, learned more than I hoped, and grew closer with God and many of my wonderful classmates more than I hoped.