Henry Miller, an American writer, was once quoted, “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” We’ve all had opportunities to shine in unfamiliar circumstances when we could prove to ourselves we can succeed at many great things. In this next week, I will be traveling to Haiti for eight short days to study agriculture.
I don’t know much about Haiti: only what I’ve been told to expect so far. They have power, but it may shut off every now-and-then throughout the day as well as the wifi. They are a conservative country. When we go there, we are to wear conservative clothing as to not stand out so much.
I plan to teach agriculture to high school students after obtaining my bachelor’s degree in agricultural education at Iowa State University. I feel that studying abroad and traveling to Haiti would provide me understanding I wouldn’t fathom without the experience. Being in the new environment for the time would humble me and help to understand what it’s like to live in a setting different from my home.
As a teacher, you never know what a student’s background may be walking into your classroom. In order to better relate to each student, knowing how to understand culture and background will help me find a connection to students. Seeing the materials teachers have in other countries will make me feel more grateful for the materials I am provided in my future classroom. Seeing Haitian classrooms will give me insight on how to motivate students to prioritize their education and provide me stories to tell the students about how they should be grateful for the education provided to them.
As Clifton Fadiman, an American author and editor, once stated, “When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.” I am excited to reach out to the people of Haiti to understand their culture and values. I have a strong desire and urge to travel to this unfamiliar country and find comfort in the experiences of meeting new people while creating new connections. I understand the comforts of Haitians are unique from my comforts, and I am looking forward to accept that and adapt.