Saying Yes

Ayla Blair-Smith - India


September 1, 2017

If you think about how many times a day one either answers by using "yes" or "no" to a question, you'll find that there have been many missed opportunities in one's life. 
"Yes" is often used in situations where we are either certain of the outcome or see a lack in consequences occuring later on down the road. Whereas, "no" is often used in the risky situations, where we are uncertain of the pros and cons, but see the cons as an over ruling power to the decisions we are about to make. 
Now, if you follow Gossip Girl, you'll know that Chuck Bass is a character of certainty. Other than the occasional risk taking moments to gain Blair Waldorf's love, Chuck is all about business. However, after the summer of Season 4, where he realized that Blair does not love him, sorry spoilers, he finds himself saying "yes" to every possible "yes" or "no" answered question thrown his way. This is done in the hopes to experience all that can be experienced in life, and well long story short, I said yes to Global Citizen Year for many reasons, experience being one of them. However, the vibrant culture and diversity of languages by regions intrigued me without a doubt. 
For anyone who knows me personally, you'd know that both culture and language are dear to me as I understand but also have a continuously growing curiosity about how both play a critical role in the formulation of different social groups around the world. I also find that I myself can relate to the curiosity of the outsiders looking in on a different social group to that of their own, in the hopes to gain perspective, as I myself am indigenous to New Zealand. Where people travel near and far to try – for lack of better word – understand my culture. Just as i will travel to India to try and gain understanding and perspective from my experience. 
In saying that, this organization is not about promoting camera shoving into locals people's faces in the hopes to publicize experience. Nor do I want to be a part of an organization that does not see what I have just described as wrong and inhumane.
The plan in short is that Global Citizen works alongside two organizations within India, one being TeachForIndia, and the other being a women's empowerment organization. I will gain an apprenticeship with either one of these two organizations placed in the South West of India, and will work along side them for the next seven months. This is the plan. Sounds pretty straight forward. Well, I am more than certain that I will hit a few bumps on the "pretty straight forward" road that I'll be on, but I'll be sure to keep you updated on all the bumps nevertheless. 
This is simply about people learning from people. And hopefully by documenting my every day learning, you too will be able to learn from the people I will soon encounter.  
Cheers, 

Ayla Blair-Smith