Friday, June 21, 2013

"People are people everywhere."

"People are people everywhere," has been one of the tag lines of ThinkImpact University, our pre-village training. Our group of 17 (15 scholars, 2 advisors) consists of the most diverse group of people that I have ever met. We all come from completely different geographic, religious, ethnic, etc. backgrounds. It could not be more beautiful. In three days, I have learned so much about other cultures from around the world, it is crazy. I cannot think of any better way to get to know people from every continent in one summer!  I am excited to see how my appreciation of people's diverse backgrounds further develops throughout upcoming weeks. 

During ThinkImpact University, we have been completing exercises in team building, leadership, cultural practices, problem-solving, organization, and so much more. These skills will certainly be transferable to almost any future situation in my personal and professional life. 

On Sunday, we transition out of ThinkImpact University and into one of the most intense, challenging, and rewarding experiences of our lives. We split into two groups and enter two different rural communities, each about an hour outside of Mombasa. Our new communities will prepare an elaborate welcome ceremony for us, then we will move in with our host families. Anupama (another scholar) and I will live with our host parents and their four children. From there, we will take each thing as it comes; allowing the experience to guide innovation and immersion. 

Tonight marks my last night of Internet for an unknown period of time (possibly until next weekend, possibly until mid-August). However, tomorrow, I begin life with an old school Nokia phone. Calling to the US is very cheap (6-7 cents a minute!), so I can be in touch at anytime by phone or text! My number is +254704978737.

One last thought, as my perception of cultures changes, I am quickly finding that what the news reports is not how one should judge a country or culture. Our scholars have incredible backgrounds, some include Mexico, Somalia, Taiwan, and India. It has been eye-opening to hear the beauty of their everyday lives and how different it is from the stereotypes that I had in my head about these respective places, which were based only on the information I knew from the media. With that, I am not regretting this decision one bit to have all of these adventures and learning experiences this summer. Catch ya next time!


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