I had the honor of delivering a session on building your professional network for the students today. I can’t speak for the participants but I certainly saw myself feeding off the energy in the room. Much of what I had to say really only reinforced some of the knowledge they already have themselves. Their understanding of the concepts and the answers they had to share where both impressive and informative for myself. Again I am convinced that it is these motivated people that will find success
In truth, this is my favorite type of audience. They take the material seriously and yet they are able to take everything with a great sense of humor. That to me is the type of energy in youth that is needed to begin positive movements towards change.
Later in the day I witnessed this yet again when the student groups presented the projects they had been working on. You might remember that in my opening blog I mentioned how much potential there was floating around – ideas going unnoticed. Well today, they were noticed. The spotlight was on them and it suited them so well. Many of these students were born innovators, change agents and others are getting excited because they have realized they have the capacity to be great.
Sometimes I wonder if they see what my colleagues and I do. Here they are, presenting in a foreign language – already hard enough to do, and doing it with such natural confidence. It is beyond admirable and what’s more is that they are genuinely curious about each other’s projects, asking questions, showing support and that is probably the most assuring thing. What that lets me know is that even once we are gone there is some form of a support network that could exist. It’s only up to them to make sure they utilize it.
Given the ideas I’ve seen today, I honestly think that every project here is worth pursuing. I really appreciate the amount of thought, passion and creativity has gone into these projects and sincerely hope that the participants will go forth and implement these projects. I promise that if they were to carry out these projects I will do my part and spread the word in my own community back home about what the students of An-Najah are doing.
Between the time I spend in workshops working with these students and at some point yesterday, watching the sunset in the village of Aseera, I find myself becoming absolutely enamored with this place and the people. Tonight especially sealed my love for this place when I was invited into the home of a Palestinian family and warmly welcomed. Wonderful traditional cooking, a lovely family, and engaging unforgettable conversation that leads me to believe more and more about how limited our perceptions have been about the daily lives of these people. They never cease to amaze me. I’m sorry if I sound like a broken record, but these are the only thoughts on my mind. Sheer awe.
I can’t believe it’s only been four days but I’m exhausted and glad to have the day off tomorrow to explore Jericho.