What am I bringing back?

I am leaving India with a new understanding about myself. This trip has brought back memories of things that I did as a child, when I did not have to worry about grades or preparing for college, showing who Isabella really is. I have also learned that if I believe in myself, I CAN accomplish things that I set my mind to.

For instance, when I was only six years old, I stayed back a couple of times from fun group activities or spent more time at the kindergarten in order to keep company to a friend who was sick and was waiting for her/his parents. I did this with true love, even though I did not really know it at the time. This shows how I am naturally, not to brag, very caring, thoughtful, dedicated and loving. I think these amazing characteristics started getting suppressed as I grew older, especially when I started elementary school. I have also realized that in this past year at Andover I have become more self-centered and did not make some time to help others. With everything that I have learned in these past few weeks, I will now try to be more thoughtful and loving about others. I will try to be like the real Isabella.

I got a further understanding about the I CAN superpower through the ‘Design For Change’ project. For this project we partnered with a school for the blind and followed the ‘Design For Change’ stages (feel, imagine, do, share) to improve the students’ life there. At first, it was a little hard finding something to change about the school, as we did not really know how it was to be blind. After spending a few hours blindfolded and talking to the students, navigating through the halls, classrooms, and playground, though, we all got many different ideas on what we could do for the students. The idea that I presented to the group was for us to pick up the trash around campus (which was SO much), as not only was it bad for the environment and the cows that were roaming around, but also for the students. It is necessary for them to be educated about the effects that plastic, paper, … have on the environment and on their own health. Touching the trash bags and various disposed things is unsanitary. When I first presented this to my group, many did not want to go through with this idea, but at the end, after a lot of debating, we decided to pick up trash as part of our project. To make this more permanent, we also made trash bins out of oilcans for the students to use around campus. It was very exciting when the students who could partially see helped us pick up trash and the teachers promised to remind the children of where these bins were placed. This project with the school for the blind shows how dedicated I am to the things I believe in and try my best to complete them, connecting back to how I was and will be as a person.

I will now bring back home and to PA my new confidence and understanding about myself. I am and I can.