My post trek goal is to be transformed from the experience. I was asked during the program weather i had been transformed by the experience. I did not put much thought in to the response until i had some time to reflect. Now my answer is no not yet. While i may have implemented some changes in to my leadership style, and methods I don’t consider it a true transformation yet. Applying these learnings and continuing to work on my personal leadership will hopefully lead to a transformation down the road for me.
I plan to implement much more NOLS leadership wisdom in to my personal style as a leader. I think that with my current leadership style, and goals in the outdoor field it is the most applicable theory for me. I hope to use these skills during my new job as a whitewater raft guide, and beyond. A strong point of transformation for me will hopefully come when I return to my role as a leader in the Pitt Outdoors Club. I hope to be better at facilitating adventures for students and bringing people together while applying the NOLS leadership model.
Aside from the leadership skills i gained in India the country and culture taught me a lot about prospective. I was able to reflect with my good friend about both of our experiences in India. He lived there for years, and gainers a lot of prospective as well. This came in to play while i packed for my summer job. I was much more comfortable leaving things i did not need behind. When i arrived I was able to live extreamly comfortably on my camping sleeping pad with the prospective of appreciating the air conditioning and clean water that I did have rather than dwelling on what i lacked.
I feel that my preparation during school and pre departure meetings set me up to be let down by our cultural experiences. My expectation entering the country was much more immersion in culture. There were also extreme warnings from our staff about things like trash covered streets and extreme sexual harassment of women that were just not nearly on that scale that I anticipated. We also spent our time in a school dominated by western culture, and in the backcountry where we saw very little Indian culture. This is not to say that I did not learn a lot about culture from this experience but i think that without such embellished expectations i would have gotten more from the experience.