Hey guys, I know it has been a long time and I’m sorry! I have been busy taking a stroll down memory lane with the Alumni. It’s been a lot of fun, sharing laughs and memories with each other.
So what made participants undertake the journey of lifetime? Many had a thirst for learning about other cultures but others such as Ghulam Aufa 2011, Indonesia came because he had a zeal for actively unfolding the prejudices he had in his mind about people of other countries. He said he came because he ‘wanted to challenge, what the media taught him’. He was conscious that ‘the media had sensationalised certain global affairs’ and he believed that ‘the only way he could find the truth and to challenge the prejudices he had was to ‘meet people from different countries and ‘speak to them heart to heart’. This resonated with me because I feel that we sometimes become desensitised to the news and we forget that the people we see on the TV are in fact human.
Furthermore, I loved hearing about the some of the highlights of peoples trip, many spoke of how much they enjoyed the outdoor activities as well and bonding with people over some of the conversations and workshops they did. Lilla Indonesia 2012 spoke of how making life long friends were the highlight of her trip. This made me really happy because I too feel that I have met some amazing people through my time at Encompass who have become more like family than friends. The greatest thing to come of these chats for me was learning of the impact the journey of understanding has had on participants. As cliché as it sounds many have said how the journey of understanding has literally changed their lives. The one thing that seemed to be coming up most when talking to the participants about the impact the JOU has had on them was the word ‘Understanding’. They spoke about how the JOU helped them to understand and challenge some of the views held and also how it taught them to understand and challenge prejudices and stereotypes that people may have of them.
Aisha, on Placement! 🙂