Thursday, April 21, 2011

Knight Talk: Joel Smus '11 with the MOVE Extended Service Trip to India

1. Why did you apply for a service trip? Why did you choose India?
I applied for a service trip because it is a passion of mine to serve others. I have always had a desire to travel to other parts of the country/world and if I can do that by helping out other people, then that is awesome in my eyes. I chose India because it is a country that I have always wanted to go to and finally I had the opportunity to go. I did apply the last two years but I feel like it is good that I am going now then had I gone either of the two previous years. India is a county of so many contrasting concepts that I am extremely excited for this oppurtunity.

2. How many other service trips have you been on?
I have been on 2 other service trips. I went to Hope House out on Long Island my freshman year and then to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary out in Utah my sophomore year.

3. How do you prepare for a service trip to India?
I have prepared to go to India by going to all the meetings that we have had each week since November. We have learned about the culture, the people, the politics, religion, geography, weather.etc etc. Their is a tremendous amout of information that we could learn about before entering into the country. One of the greatest ways that I have begun to truly get myself ready, now that we are officially only 1 month away, is by trying to remember how I first felt when I arrived in country in Uganda, where I studied abroad. Things were difficult those first two weeks. I want to remember what I did and either change it or do the same when I arrive in India. I have been trying to read up on a little Bengali and cultural custums. I know that when I arrive home I will pour over any last minute information on what I can do to learn about India.

4. How many other students are you going with?
I am going with nine other students. Seven of us are seniors, 2 juniors and one sophomore. Then there is our adult group leader and the other non-student who is an ACA on north campus.

5. What do you hope to learn from this trip?
The greatest thing I hope to learn from this trip is something that I started to learn while I studied abroad in Rwanda. While in Rwanda, I saw some of the worst events, worst things a person could ever see...I saw dead bodies. Nothing prepared me for that. What I want to be able to learn from India is how to continue to see tough images but know how to cope, deal and not move on but learn from it and then give back. I want to be able to handle these situations with understanding and gratitude for what I have in life.

It will have been a year and half since returning from Africa, but I can still remember so many events, stories, people and places so vividly that this is what I hope to gain from India. I want to be able to remember India, what I saw, smelt, felt, heard, and tasted...but above all I want to remember India as if I'm still living there. I hope to be able to learn that when I come back I won't ever forget what I saw, I want to learn that India is a part of me.

1 comment:

Jade Graham said...

It covers four acres of mahogany land snuggled to the top of Farley Comedian,