Good morning blog followers.
Today Nick had to fly back to Pittsburgh for a job interview. While everyone is very understanding of his situation it does leave a void in the group and Nick has even entertained the impractical idea of flying back on Saturday just to be with us for Sunday mass and the return journey to Duquesne. This desire to be with the group is part of the "magic" of the mission trip.
The intensity of the friendships formed on the mission trip isn't an accident. More than one person on the trip has admitted to being apprehensive before we left because they didn't know too many people going. However, by the time we return to campus they can't imagine not waking up in the next sleeping bag to their new friends.
Pilgrimages, quests, road trips, and family vacations all have the common thread of being times of bonding. We leave our familiar environment and enter into the unknown - new places, new people, new experiences - and our home base (our comfort zone) becomes each other. As we enter the strange and the new we become more reliant on the known and on this trip the known is the group.
Nick having to leave is the first break in the bonded group, an early reminder of what will happen on Sunday evening when we get back to campus. We all understand that he will be waiting for us at the Chapel back at Duquesne when we get out of the vans and offer our prayer of thanksgiving. Still, it's not the same. We are still in the "different" and he is part of our "familiar".
Nick, good luck with the job interview. But know that you are missed.