Saturday, December 17, 2011
The Adventure Begins - Washington D.C.
I'm a little bit exhausted after today, but too excited to sleep.
It's still sinking in that tomorrow, I'll be heading off to Frankfurt, Dubai, and landing eventually in Dhaka. In Dhaka, we'll be learning about Bangladeshi culture, and studying climate change. Upon my return to Minneapolis, I'll be completing a social action awareness project, which will hopefully start conversations and encourage people to think with a global perspective.
The day started off with a bittersweet goodbye to my family, whom I'm already missing a lot. The students got through security without a hitch, and boarded the plane just fine. I met a man from Angola, sitting in the seat next to mine. Wouldn't you know? He'd heard Mohammed Yunus speak in Angola while working with an NGO there. (The Bangladesh exchangers will be meeting Mr. Yunus, the founder of the Grameen bank and micro-financing, and a 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner. )
The Minnesota crew heading on this trip is really cool, like, frickin' GROOVY, and we're getting acquainted with the fabulous students from NY and San Francisco. The NY kids graced us with a dance number from West Side Story. Everyone played a massive, 30-person "oboe-shanotentoten" game. Tomorrow, we'll be spending 10am-5pm in a conference room, and then we'll embark on our next leg of the trip. Bonding is a definite must.
I feel so lucky to be able to take part in this trip. It's still very surreal. Hopefully, once I'm in Bangladesh, I'll be able to access the internet and update things for my loved ones 12 hours behind. I've been abroad before, but my horizons haven't ever spanned further than Italy. I have a feeling that I'll be experiencing a jolt/shock like never before.