The Humanitarian Experience: The Adventure of the Grand Ol’ 15 Passenger Van

In just about 1 month I am going to finally get back to the real humanitarian life… well for a week anyways, but needless to say I am excited. No longer will I be reminiscing about days past. But until then I will share this with you.

Photo Cred. ~ M. Murphy ~ 2012

The grand Ol’ 15 passenger van. Great for hauling large quantities of humans across long distances, while avoiding high priced airfare. Along with the convenience comes, the uncomfortable truth. And when I say uncomfortable I mean, uncomfortable literally.

The arms of a new stranger pressed up against your own, creating a sweaty mess of whose arm is whose. The not so cool music of the driver’s choice humming in the background and that guy who can’t stop talking about… well I can’t remember because I zoned out at that point. And while you stare in envy at the leg room of car-sick person who gets to sit in the front seat, you begin to wish you suffered from the vomiting and nausea just this once.  That is typically how the first few hours of the drive start, and then something magical happens and no, not the passing of gas that the 15 year old boy thinks is hilarious.

Photo Cred. ~ M. Murphy ~ 2012

Photo Cred. ~ M. Murphy ~ 2012

No, something more magical. somewhere between here and there, you find that these new strangers are your best friends. And when you stop at the truck stop for a break and a stretch, you realize that your van is so much cooler than the other van of people. This van has that guy who climbed mount Everest and the driver of this van, is clearly the only one who will get you there safely. You find that the other van of people looks just plain mean, all while you are attentively offering the car-sick person a soda to help settle their stomach.

The ride becomes less of a 18 hour drive and more of an adventure. The van becomes summer camp on wheels and when the first person falls asleep well, your glad that it wasn’t you! A you get closer to your destination and leave your “reality” behind and you get closer to the humanitarian experience, one of them unexpectedly being the outhouse experience…

And this is all the first few hours of, weeks that you will spend on a true life adventure, who knows you may even meet your soul-mate on this trip (God forbid they are from the other van!).

A feat that only some can conquer… sleeping in the van. (Photo Cred. ~ M. Murphy ~ 2012)


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