Common Language

As the team prepared for another epic adventure (this is the second Global Education trip for nearly half of the group), we worked to develop a common language and approach to travel and learning.  Here are some of the results:

Community

We agreed that it was important to define community as a term and that the concept was built around the following principles:

  • Respect
  • Giving some of yourself for the greater good
  • Friendship
  • Communication
  • Cooperation
  • Accountability
  • Cohesion

The students look forward to exploring community by:

  • Interviewing people
  • Playing soccer
  • Sharing meals
  • Asking questions
  • Discussing ideas

In order to answer a long list of questions:

  • What are the different roles that people play?
  • How do tourists impact your community?
  • How do you contribute to your community?
  • How can your community become better in the future?
  • How do you feel about living simply? Is it a choice or a way of life?
  • Do the people we meet ever want to leave home?
  • How does one keep traditions going?

 

Preconceptions

The group similarly agreed that it was important to identify and explore preconceptions of what Senegal would be like.  We discussed some common notions that the group expected to disprove:

  1. Everyone in Africa is hungry
  2. Everyone in Africa is poor
  3. Everyone in Africa is sick
  4. Islam is a dangerous religion
  5. Women have only one role

People thought that instead of seeing these broad prejudices, we would instead see a place with a mix of socioeconomic classes, a growing economy, etc.  The group is excited about visiting a mosque and a church in Senegal, eating meals with local families, asking people about acceptance, and much more.

 

Happiness

Happiness is an incredibly powerful idea when you are visiting different cultures and environments.  The group had a lot of ideas about happiness, what it means and how they would find it on the trip:

  • Most people think of success as happiness – looking to challenge that
  • A thrill to be alive
  • Has a lot to do with the people around you – it is a very individual thing but having certain people around me keeps me happy in a lot of ways
  • Living life to the fullest – shark on GoPro, Rhino on GoPro
  • A feeling of belonging – I think looking at family dynamics and the way that people speak with each other.
  • Eating food!!
  • Fishing
  • Swimming and snorkeling
  • Animals
  • That feeling of being on a plane just before you’re going to land. You can see it before you and you’re about to touch down
  • Playing with little kids – and basketball
  • hearing accents, I love that
  • Souvenirs – getting my outfit made
  • Getting my hair braided

 

This is going to be an incredible experience.  We are excited to explore an incredible place and a powerful set of major ideas!

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