Friday, May 22, 2009

For reflection

Part of our service-learning experience in Bolivia involves reflection: active thinking and writing about what we are seeing, feeling, experiencing while in this foreign place. There will be many new and strange things in Bolivia - new ways of doing things, different sets of expectations that people have, new tastes and smells (not all of them pleasant) - and the best way to face these is to be open to them, to be aware of them, and to think and write about your reactions to them. These are our reflections, and we will be writing them on a daily basis and sharing them once a week.

As a guide to reflecting, I present the following questions. Go buy yourself a notebook (any one will do, nothing too fancy) and start keeping a journal now, as I am keeping this blog. Get in the habit of writing every day. Think about things like:

- What are you most hoping to get from your Bolivia experience?
- What scares you the most?
- How do you think/hope this experience will change you?
- What don't you know now that you hope to know by the time you get home?

I will post other suggestions for reflection as our departure date nears.


Ayesha said...

I hope to walk away from the trip with a deeper and richer understanding of a new culture and people. I am excited about being challenged. I love new environments, and I love the personal challenges that traveling can bring. I am looking forward to being open and growing from the people I meet and the work I will be doing.

What scares me? My serious lack of knowledge with Spanish. I've been working on it, but I am still very tentative when I speak. I really need to get more comfortable with it.

By the time I get home, I hope to know more Spanish (obviously). More importantly, I hope to understand and see the world from a different perspective not known to me yet.

I'll of course expand more on this in the actual journal I'll be keeping!

Michelle said...

From Bolivia I hope to gain experience within anthropology through the fieldwork and getting out of the USA. I want to improve my spanish skills, communicating with people I don't know, and being on my own (in some ways).

What scares me the most is becoming so independent. So far I have planned and booked everything by myself, and hopefully getting everything right. I'm scared I'm going to get lost while in Bolivia or say something wrong.

I want to know a different culture besides my own, and have a different perspective on life and the world than the one I've been seeing.