Sunday, January 9, 2011

Last day at home

Today is our last day at home-- tomorrow Cassie, Chris and I will head off to Stonehill for our pre-departure orientation.  As I write this, I am feeling a breathless mix of excitement, anxiety, curiosity and hope.  I don't necessarily like admitting that I'm a little scared, but I suppose that scared means that I'm human, right?

I am confident, however, that the next four days at orientation will help prepare us and even define our own motives and goals.  Much of our orientation will be spent in reflection time, which lends me a sense of calm confidence; during my H.O.P.E. trip reflections last year, I saw the powerful connection that can be formed between caring individuals who share a common service experience.  I am really looking forward to building a community with the other two Stonehill alumni and Tori, the Northeastern co-op student who will be joining us in Guaimaca for 6 months, and have high hopes for what we will accomplish together.

Finally, I want to thank all the people, especially my family, who have had a part in me getting to this point.  As I am about to begin my own life, I have to think back on all of the birthday parties, the holidays and the Clamboils that have kept our family so close.  Every day I count myself lucky for a family that has been so vital to my incredibly, essentially, formative.  I realize that the greatest asset I have to share with the world is not my money or my education, it is the dedicated compassion and empathy that you have instilled in me.  Whatever I do in Honduras, or beyond, will be due to you.  This afternoon we had dinner with some neighbors and Sister Dorothy and Father Ted of our old parish, and although I received great advice from them all, there was one story Fr. Ted told that is particularly relevant to and revealing of my point here.  His story described Chinese wedding customs, and how there are no tables at the reception.  Instead, they all sit in a circle, and in the center of the circle sit the grandparents.  Before anything else can be said, the groom stands up and talks about the grandparents, thanking them for their founding influence.  If it wasn't for them, he says, none of the people sitting in the circle would be there, and this wedding, this celebration of life and joy, would never have taken place.  If it wasn't for all of you, I would not be here today, and for this I thank you.


  1. Matthew-
    I suspect we are sharing some of the same emotions at this point. Just from a different perspective. We are excited for you! For us it is a mix of envy and anticipation.
    I'm confident you are about to have an adventure worth sharing with your grandchildren! You have much to offer. We are proud that you are so willing (anxious) to share it.
    Love Daddy and Mommy.
    PS: See you on the web!

  2. Good luck Matthew! We'll be checking back often and look forward to hearing about your adventure. I am putting this site in my favs right now!
    Aunt Nancy
    Ambassador of the Massachusetts Rigby's

  3. Beautiful thoughts! We are all with you but you have to be our eyes and ears - send details!

  4. Wonderful thoughts, Matthew. We are all very proud of your approach to the journey. Fear is a good thing. Risk is also a good thing. This is a scary risk that is very worthwhile. It will bring good to others and provide you an invaluable life/growth experience. EVERYONE wins! We are looking forward to the updates. God Bless. Uncle Pete

  5. Grandma and I are on board. I started reading the story tonight from the beginning we are thru day one in Detroit. Great read.

  6. I'll have you know I shared this with my grandparents after reading it. I look forward to reading more about your adventure. Miss you bud. Best of luck in your time there.

    -Nick Campbell

  7. Thanks Uncle Mark, I appreciate it. When you talk to Grandma next, let her know that I met and toured around a group of volunteers from St. Anne's in Fall River.

    Nick, good to hear from you. Have a good last semester buddy!