At the bobsled arena, we were given a chance to either display our artistic ability, present symbols that expose our inner selves, or write a phrase about something we believe in. Our creative expressions were displayed and immortalized by the permanence of the spray paint that we brought. At this location, we were able to be liberalized from the city and from the hindrances of observers. We were alone as a group and could be ourselves, the rambunctious and boisterous group that we were all along, yet here we displayed no self-restrictions on the volume of our voices or the energy that we possessed.
Although this trip was a culmination of our time in Bosnia, I feel that this photo embodies the dynamic and chemistry that we had built together as a team over the course of two months. During the confinement of our living space, we saw the positive and negative aspects of each other’s personalities. We managed to survive with some bumps along the way but we coped and dealt with it.
We had some contentious moments and frustrations but we also had a great deal of laughs that accompanied our journey. In this picture, we were able to be ourselves and present ourselves. There are no fictitious or fake facial expressions; people are being truly authentic in their silliness. As people were painting, we were not concerned about whether or not our “masterpieces” would be accepted by another. We had that deep connection where we were able to expose our inner-selves without the fear of judgment. We were close enough that we painted a symbolized portrait of ourselves, knowing that these expressions would not be questioned. (Even Jon became sporadically artistic in his painting.) We were comfortable enough with each other to show another aspect of our lives. This is what this photo and location means to me. I am glad we ended our journey at this location and was able to experience the warmth, acceptance, and brotherhood that we had developed over the past few months.