My classmates and I, signed up for Beyond borders for change. We wanted to feel the passion felt by benevolent work, we wanted to be supermen and women. Only after we started our journey we came to discover that our intentions were more internal than external. We are going to do good work in these countries, yet we have been taught that we are not going to change the world. We came to discover we were actually looking for change in ourselves. There are as many motivations in our class as there are students. Some of us are like the Tin man, following the yellow brick for a chance to earn a heart. Others in our class resemble the lion that is desperate for courage, wanting a badge that says “if I can do that, I can do this.” Others want to be the Scarecrow in search for a brain, wanting a experience that shows us how the world “really” is.
Whatever the case may be, we are all making our way to Oz in hopes to obtain something. This much is evident in how many times I have read “I know this experience is going to be life changing” in my fellow classmate’s blogs. We have all come to the table expecting to get something in return for our service. This makes me wonder, “what am I expecting from my experience in Africa?” I strongly related to the lion. Part of me picked Africa because I thought it was the toughest environment offered. I figured if I could make it there, I could make it anywhere. I want to gain courage from this experience so that I could feel comfortable backpacking across Europe, or hitch hiking across America.
As with every good learning experience, I have not learned what I didn’t know, I have merely learned that I don’t know what I don’t know. I suspect that my badge of courage will be blown out of the water by something completely unexpected. I am fully aware I don’t know what I don’t know, none of us do. So we continue down the yellow bricked road with an idea of Oz, but not a good sense of ourselves.