The realization of being alone came with the start of an itch. My head was itching uncontrollably and I suspected it was lice. Sure enough, it was. Although, it wasn't an impossible circumstance, it definitely wasn't ideal. It also wasn’t the unimaginable – it was bound to happen while serving around countless kids. I can honestly say, that was the first moment that I just wanted to be home.

It's not easy dealing with something so simple as lice in another country especially when you feel alone. I called my mom in complete desperation at the realization: I needed help. Thankfully, it was a fixable situation with hours of combing and a little help with lice shampoo. Situations, just like this can be made easier. For instance, I'm thankful for Angelina from the mission clinic who spent countless hours on her time off to help in my desperation to get rid of the lice before infestation.

But believe it, or not, my experience of getting lice in Mexico – opened my eyes. It was a time to see the culture in a different light. Lice wasn't the end of the world and isn't made into a big deal here. It's something that can be dealt with, despite the time and energy it takes.

On a positive note, getting lice also showed me that I’m not alone. Even though, I'm in another country and now legally an adult, my mom was still there to comfort me thousands of miles away with a simple call (walking me through the steps). Every journey has its bumps in the road and this was mine.

But, turns out, I wasn't alone.

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Shasta Garcia, a 20-year-old graduate from Columbia College where she earned an associates degree in communications, has worked at the Calaveras Enterprise since 2013, first as an intern and then as a Web Content Coordinator.

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