We are Historians

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" - George Santayana

Reflecting on our experiences, I keep coming back to this quote. I look back on our afternoon walking through the  National Socialist Documentation Center and seeing the history behind the movement that created one of the biggest crimes against humanity in our history, and I just keep asking myself if today's society has actually learned from it? The parallels between some recent events and rhetoric seen globally and of back then are evident. Surely some have had similar accounts of deja vu. Surely some have learned from history, and hopefully those will continue to stand up so that history does not repeat itself. 
- This is a picture on display at the National Socialist Documentation Center. The caption beside it states: " 'A little man asks for large gifts. His motto: I have millions behind me', Cover of the 'Workers Illustrated Newspaper' by John Heartfield, October 16, 1932." Doesn't "I have millions behind me," sound familiar? -

Being able to observe and serve with an NGO that is open-minded and fighting to help vulnerable populations obtain safety and basic human rights, allowed me to see the history lessons at work. Even within our own group,  found that we were all there because we genuinely cared about the refugee "crisis," and we all wanted to our part whether that be through service or furthering our own knowledge in order to eventually be able to influence policies. It was an incredible experience to be able to live with such caring hearts for the two weeks that we did. Whether from New Mexico or Virginia or the level of degrees, we all connected in our desires to provide aid and care for the refugees and people in general. This one factor brought our small group together so quickly that it makes me wonder how the rest of the world would work if everyone cared a little bit more for each other rather than for each other's wallets.
- This photo was taken after our group meeting at a mosque near Munich's center. We were able to talk with the Imam and a local leader for Islamic women. It was an incredible experience. - 

Being back in the States, I find myself wanting to do more. Observing the NGOs in Ghana and Germany this summer sparked a flame in my heart. I would love to work with or start an NGO, and I would especially love to work with women, children, and refugees. Perhaps more than my yearning for professional development and service are the desires to walk down the hall after lectures and ask my new-found friends if they want to go for a walk or a doner or an ice cream. I miss the nights sitting up late talking about our days and our experiences. The people on the trip became my family, and I miss having that. 
 - First picture: Some of us on an adventure while trying to find some dinner. Second picture: My friend Madison and I stopped for a selfie near Marienplatz, we know, we're shameless. -

I grew so much on this trip. I made mistakes; they were messy, but they were also a learning experience. I found my passions: NGO work and doners. I gained so much insight and knowledge from the evening lectures. I lost countless hours of sleep from staying up late discussing and talking. I made amazing memories, and even better friends. We are all caring hearts working to ensure history is remembered and never repeated. 
- This is my last picture in Europe. Groggy and sitting on my flight heading home. Thank you all for such an amazing experience. I love every minute of it. - 

Emma Tobe


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