And a hush fell over the crowd…

And a hush fell over
the crowd…

How do I even begin to put into words the amount of excitement that I am feeling? When I
think back to April, when I first heard that I had gotten in, I was in awe of
the chance that I had received. This opportunity came at such a needed time in
my life, as I had not figured out yet what I would do after I complete the IB
diploma. The news meant a new beginning, a new chance to prove myself, not just
to people around me, but also to myself. Little did I know what “being
accepted” all entails.

So along came summer, which meant time for me to start my summer campaign. My head was
buzzing with the amount of things I had to do before leaving for my
pre-departure training in San Francisco, California. I had to raise USD2’500,
learn Spanish, get my flying documents ready, and also learn to say goodbye to
some pretty close friends. But what was done had to be done.

Arrival at pre-departure training (PDT) was exciting. I came with expectations and hopes
that I would leave PDT feeling as if though I was ready to go and live in
another country for 8 months. None of these goals or expectations were
fulfilled, because as I sit here now at the very end of PDT, I am in a new
mindset. PDT taught me that more than often we wrap our minds around theses
ideas of what might be, which creates expectations, and hence if these
expectations are often (more times than you can imagine) not fulfilled. I don’t
quite feel ready to embark on this 8-month journey, but that’s great because it
means that my head was not full of information, but rather a hunger for more
information, for new ideas, new culture, and new mindsets. Eileen Caddy said,

Life is full and overflowing with the new. But it is
necessary to empty out the old to make room for the new to enter.


PDT has offered me so so much, in but a mere week. I got to
see the wonderful, very tall Redwood tree woods
where I
would later on do some swinging out of trees.
My tree swinging adventures then later on led to me developing a very interesting (but itchy) rash. (Mind the picture). The rash continued to grow, and got worse (much worse), and so when at long last, after only dreaming of going to Stanford University, I found myself spending one full day at the hospital. Paper dress and all.

And with this I encourage all of
you to also make room for the new. You might not necessarily be doing this in a
new country let alone a new continent, but there where you are, decide to make
a change. A fresh start if you dare.