I'm home. I'm exhausted. I'm struggling to process the depth of this sacred experience at the border. It made my stomach churn and my heart break, it reminded me of the contrasting good and evil we can find in humans, and it solidified my determination to be amongst the best souls who help ANYONE who is marginalized and without a voice.

I feel the exhaustion of the weary journeys of my new friends. (The following are actual accounts of just a handful of people with whom I sat face-to-face...)

- The panic of being followed late at night by a gang of 8 men with machetes and threats to take my life, simply for refusing to sell their drugs at my family's fruit stand.

- The adrenaline while being attacked, stabbed, losing teeth and almost my life, leaving me with scars that will constantly remind me of that dark night.

- The painful, instanteous choice to get away, often having to choose which family members come with me and which ones stay behind.

- The arduous 15-22 day journey by foot, bus, horse, train (not like the trains in Europe, btw).

- The "helpers" along the way who help get me from one place to the next, only to then beat me up and rob me of what little I have.

- The hopeful feeling of arriving to the border of the "promised land" only to then be detained for 3-10 days in the most inhumane of conditions, worse than any prison conditions I know of, treated worse than the most evil criminals. MY "crime": seeking asylum.

(Seeking asylum is a HUMAN RIGHT, protected by international law. Just to clarify.)

- Being tagged and tracked.

- And, then, AFTER ALL OF THAT, being taken by bus to an unfamiliar church, and though thronged by complete strangers, I am welcomed, fed, showered, clothed, helped with contacting my family sponsor, and reminded that I am a human being worthy of love.

THIS is just a glimpse of the journeys that I've retraced with my new friends for the last 3 days. They are incredible human beings and I come away feeling the weight of their journeys, all of which have only just begun as they try now to navigate an impossibly difficult asylum system, learn a new language, and begin a new life here in America.

And I can't help but be reminded of this truth, that is screaming through my exhausted body and soul today: