- How did you become more aware of your own strengths and areas for growth?
I definitely think that I became more aware of my strength as a communicator as I tried to help lead the group during the times we were struggling. An example of this is when we were struggling to mix the concrete all at once, as some people were tired and there were too few of us, and I suggested that we create a system so that we can rotate shifts. This made the concrete mixing process much more effective. I think that some of my areas for growth would be
2. How did you undertake challenges that developed new skills?
I think that the most difficult challenge that allowed me to develop new skills was working on the construction of the children’s playground. This task was tiring both physically and mentally, especially when we had been doing the same task over and over for the past 4 days. I think this allowed me to develop teamworking skills, as we had to communicate with one another in order for the construction to be successful, and it has allowed me to develop perseverance, as I never gave up even when I was tired and wanted to stop.
3. How did you discuss, evaluate, and plan student-initiated activities?
I think that one of the ways that I planned a student-initiated activity was when we were travelling to and from the village that we were staying in. The commute from the village back to the city was around 3 hours, and we didn’t have very much to do on the bus, so I suggested that we play card games or other games on the bus with our peers so that we can continue to get to know each other better. I think that this was a great activity to pass time as well as get everyone on the trip involved.
4. How did you persevere in action?
I persevered in action during the whole service portion of the trip as mixing concrete was an extremely tiring activity, and it became quite hard to stay focused and keep on going the longer we mixed concrete. However, all of us were encouraging to one another and were trying our best to help other people which made the job a lot easier.
5. How did you work collaboratively with others?
Throughout the trip, I worked collaboratively with others when mixing and gathering the materials for the concrete as we all did it together in a group. All of us had different jobs at certain times, where some people would be filling buckets up with sand and rocks, some of us formed a line to transport the materials, and some of us mixed the materials. We all worked together collaboratively as we all had to communicate with each other whenever we had enough materials to make the concrete when we needed more people to do a certain job, etc.
6. How did you develop international-mindedness through global engagement, multilingualism, and intercultural understanding?
I think that I developed international-mindedness, especially when experiencing Vietnamese culture within Hanoi as I was able to see different historic buildings, try new foods, and interact with local Vietnamese people. This has shaped my world view as I have a better understanding of their culture, and was able to communicate with them despite the language barrier.
7. How did you consider the ethical implications of your actions?
When I was planting trees in the children’s playground, I realized that my impact on this community will be valued for years to come, as the trees will become an extra source of income for the villagers once they are fully grown as they produce expensive nuts. I have also considered how the playground that we built will be used by the children for a very long time and will continue to positively impact their lives.