Cultural Exploration to the Himalayas
Organized by: Cassie Creighton
EVENT DATE Jun 15, 2016
I guess I should introduce myself. My name is Cassie, and I am a 17 yr old, living in Central Florida. I would probably describe myself as atypical. I learned at a very early age that life is fragile, and the things you do with your life are more important than the things you own. When I was eight my mom was diagnosed with cancer, and for years I wondered if I would wake up one day without her. She taught me during this time that being proud of who you have been is really the only goal at the end of your life...
Almost 10 years later, she is still with me and still teaching me the true importance in life...these lessons were challenged last year, when out of the blue my step-dad passed away. He had been in my life for only 9 years. And when he passed I was angry and hurt, I thought at him for leaving us, but in reality I was mad at myself for taking his presence in my life for granted... I thought he'd always be there...but I was wrong.
Over the last year, as I have looked at the person I want to be, compassionate and worldly are at the top of that list of attributes. I have not had many opportunites to emerse myself in other cultures or to look at my life from a different perspective, which brings me to this:
I am hoping to go to India over the summer to help run a summer camp for Himalayan children under the Global Leadership Adventures. Volunteers will be developing craft projects, dance and theatre workshops, and sharing games and sports from our origin countries. Across all cultures, regardless of language, we communicate through these various expressions; it is so important to me to learn how to implement these mulitcultural teaching methods for use in my future endeavors.
We will also be working in daycare centers where the teachers and staff run their establishments with minimal resources. As a child raised in the U.S. I realize that I have been privileged to attend privately funded daycares, and attend public schools, which even with budget cuts offer a variety of electives and opportunities, such as Dual Enrollment, Advanced Placement Courses, ect.
My goal for volunteering is to make connections with these children, to see them smile while learning, to offer them a compassionate image of a teenage American girl to carry with them. But my goals are self-serving as well... I have questions that I would want the chance to explore the answers to. What would my life be like if I hadn't been offered the luxuries of an education in the States? Does a "priviliged" life make you anymore or anyless kind-hearted, compassionate, or empathetic? And finally, what experience from this volunteer opportunity will be the one that helps me decide my path in this life?