Scatter Brain!

AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

Sorry I just had to let that one out! Sometimes a good screaming session can be theraputic!

I titled this post “Scatter Brain” because my mind is literally all over the place and I just don’t know if I’m coming or if I’m going. It’s like a whirlwind of emotions, of questions, of thoughts, of things to do, and I’m just trying to get a hold of everything!

Since this is the last post of the semester (The biggest grin came across my face as I typed that!) I guess it would be fitting to go over some key highlights from the semester... again, my mind is all over the place so please bare with me.

VOLUNTEERING

This semester brought me some frustrations with volunteering. I didn’t end up making it to kidsLINK this semester because of extreme delays with a police report (which I still haven’t received a call about) but I emailed the coordinator and she said she’ll save me a spot for when I return! I was looking forward to that experience, and as you know, working with all the children, but my backup volunteer placement was simply great.

As mentioned before, I had to quickly change my plans and I was welcomed at St. John’s with open arms just like all volunteers are. I don’t really have any stories from the kitchen, but I do have great memories, especially memories of the people! I’ll definitely be back, because there is something about the great sense of community and the dedication everyone puts into making the kitchen operate, that I love being around.

BLOGGING

This was a challenge! Blogging, I will admit, is great for keeping people up to date and connected, and for some it is a great place for them to express their thoughts. But blogging is not my cup o’ tea! What I learned from blogging is that I’m probably one of the most reserved and quiet people when it comes to things like that sharing my thoughts with people I don’t know. I really tried to get out of my shell, even in class, and I thought blogging would be a little easier since it’s not face to face, but I was wrong. I couldn’t get myself to take it to that level. I did what I could, however, and shared what I felt was appropriate, but I’m just not that type of person. There are really only a few people in my life that I am fully comfortable with to let my guard down. Most of those people are family, and a few close friends. It’s funny because (from what I’ve been told) some people have this assumption about me that I am more talkative, but what is the cardinal rule that we mustn’t forget? You can’t judge a book by its cover, now can you! I guess I’ve followed this mantra that it’s better to be seen than heard (I think the first time I heard that saying was from an episode of The Bill Cosby Show, and I must have taken it to heart as a little girl). So instead of doing the talking, I like to listen and observe and take everything in first before I make a comment. I do this a lot during classes and I don’t know if it bothered any of my Beyond Borders members, but at least now you know why. It’s not that I didn’t really want to talk or open up more; it’s just hard for me. It always has been. And although I’m trying to work on it, and in some cases I can put up a good front, in the end I’m just too shy. That’s why blogging has not been such a great experience for me. I could have done a lot more reflection and self analysis, but hey, you win some and you lose some. But if any of you did learn something about me, that’s great too! I guess I did something right!

THE EXPERIENCE

This is only the first part of the journey, but my overall experience this far has been, like I said, a whirlwind. I’ve been happy, I’ve felt enlightened and inspired, I’ve felt frustrated and tired, I’ve felt confused; honestly the list could go on! What’s most important is that although I can’t quite pin point where and how, I’ve felt growth. It’s funny because most of us in the class admitted to being more confused now than when we first started the program, which is absolutely true, but at the same time I can’t help but feel that I am not the same person I was when I started this. So what exactly has changed? Well to name a few, my way of thinking has changed, my outlook on Western society has changed (it’s not all it’s cracked up to be); the path I was taking in life has changed. Let me correct myself, the path hasn’t changed, as I didn’t really have a path before. Instead it has become clearer for me, but still, because of all of the confusion, I don’t know where it’s going to end as of yet, but it feels right. (I might have taken that idea from another classmate Nevena, but Nev, you’re absolutely right! I feel the same way)

I’ve also had to deal with a lot of friends and family not really understanding why I’m doing this, or not wanting me to go, or thinking that these programs are cliché and glorify places like India and Africa without recognizing what goes on in our own country. Overall, there are a lot of people that don’t “get it”, and I mean really get it. They see it happening, they understand for the most part or they think it’s “cool”, or whatever the case may be, but at the end of the day the thought remains: “Well if you wanted to volunteer, you can do that here in Canada too!” There is no disputing that this is true. People in Canada suffer from poverty, and there is also discrimination and racism and inequality in developed nations that deserves our attention. But why limit ourselves to our own borders? If we look at the bigger picture, international programs are not about us going to save a nation; it’s about us learning from the people within that nation. It’s about us seeing the commonalities that exist and becoming connected to everyone; it’s about global community.

I guess I’ve always found it hard to articulate my thoughts because I thought it was obvious for everyone to understand why this is important, but that was a silly assumption on my part. Not everyone gets the things that seem so obvious to others. So I’ll try my best to explain, but if you’re looking for something really deep and inspirational, this isn’t it! But here is the Cole’s Notes version of why I joined Beyond Borders: I am not doing this for self aggrandizement, I’m not doing this because I feel pity for developing nations and I’m not doing this because I’m trying to rebel against Canada or any other rich industrialized nation. I’m doing this because I feel that even with all the diversity in the world, we can still find unity; but you cannot unite if you are unwilling to open your eyes to rest of the world. I’m doing this to learn. To learn about a different culture, a different way of living, a different government, a different view on life. Going abroad opens up different doors of truth, truth that one may not be able to find in their own country. I don’t see why I just have to be Canadian. Nationality and borders are just more technicalities that keep people segregated. Therefore I am Canadian, Jamaican, Indian, Ghanaian, Ugandan, Argentinean; I am Catholic, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, Hindu and Muslim. I can be whatever I want, but in the end, I, like everyone else, am human.

(There are more reasons, but those are the main ones)

AND FINALLY...

I just want to finish by saying a few things.
1) I don’t expect everyone to get. That’s absolutely fine and I make no judgements. This is the path I have decided to take and that doesn’t make it any less or more significant than anyone else’s life journey.
2) To my fellow Beyond Bordians, I wish you all safe travels and I hope you all find inspiration in your journeys. I thank you for a wonderful year and I cannot wait until we see each other once again :)
3) To all the readers, I thank you for tuning in. Despite my dislike for blogging, this is not the end. I will be using this as a way to document my experience in India. It would be cruel if I made you read through all the boring – I mean exciting analysis – and didn’t even post a single picture from India! Well don’t fret, there’s more to come!

NAMASTE!

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3 Response to "Scatter Brain!"

  1. Krista says:
    April 3, 2010 at 4:14 PM

    Amen!

  2. savija-nevena says:
    April 4, 2010 at 8:48 AM

    "Better to be seen than heard"

    agreed!

    Good job with the blogging, its haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaard.. good job!

  3. Olivia says:
    April 8, 2010 at 9:00 PM

    Your blogs just speak to me Raqi Miggs. I think we share the same brain, except you can articulate our thoughts better :) This post is so relaxing for some reason. (I'm procrastinating studying for our poli sci exams next week.. I really want to suggest studying together but really it's just another way for me to procrastinate and socialize bahah) Congratulations on being done this blogging (and you're right it is ..boring... (sorry Joanne) but in a couple of weeks we will actually have stuff to write about! wooooo

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