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Finding Shalom: A TAM reflection by Joel Johnson

It’s been just over six months since my time in Costa Rica with ADE—and for me, those months have been a whirlwind of transition. In May, I was wrapping up my degrees in English and Sustainability Studies at Messiah College in central Pennsylvania. I spoke at baccalaureate on May 12th, walked for graduation on May 13th, and boarded a plane to San Jose two days later.
It seems foolish in retrospect, but I was not excited to travel to Central America that Monday morning. I had just completed my yearlong senior thesis, was in the final stages of planning my June wedding, and eager to join my fiancé in Colorado at the backpacking basecamp where we would work the summer and have our wedding. After a weekend of celebrating with my family, the prospect of saying goodbye, and diving into one last class, was frustrating at best.
Thankfully, I discovered that ADE was not just another requirement. Yes, we memorized plant families, learned about agricultural systems, and wrestled with the role …

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