Fellows' Blog Archives

Training: All Posts


Home is Where the Heart is, and my Heart is Now with Me
by | September 1, 2014

“House At Pooh Corner” – Loggins & Messina (Also, I recommend reading “The Tao of Pooh”)
One of the invited speakers during Pre-Departure Training (PDT) at Stanford, Ian Slattery, led a simple, illuminating storytelling exercise: with closed eyes, he said one word and gave us 30 seconds to recall stories that were triggered by that word.
“Broom.” Keur Yoro Kodia village, Senegal – June, 2014 – one morning I arose much earlier than usual, so I walked to the meeting/meal house – a girl was stooped, moving in a curved pattern across the courtyard, sweeping the dirt with a handheld…

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Monkey Bars and Onions
by | August 31, 2014

Over the past week, we took part in Pre-Departure Training. We began at Alliance Redwoods Conference Grounds in Occidental, California, among some of the country’s largest and beautiful trees, and ended the training on the well known Stanford University campus.
During PDT, we have had the privilege to hear from some of the most amazing speakers; one of which was Global Citizen Year’s CEO and Founder, Abby Falik. Abby began her talk by asking us to close our eyes and just breathe. At first, I thought she was crazy. I don’t think I can remember the last time I stop…

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Self: A person’s complete individuality
by | August 31, 2014

The notion of “self” is an odd one. The idea that we as people can be completely summed up into this one entity is so abstract, so indefinite that it’s hard to grasp on to. People make entire careers, base all of their goals, and develop views of the world based solely on the idea of one’s self, but how do we really know that our concept of our self is the right one?
Lots of people have looked at my bridge year as a ways of me finding my “self”, of me developing this concrete idea of who I…

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by | August 31, 2014

While we were in the Redwoods, Abby Falik, the founder and CEO of Global Citizen Year, said something during her presentation that really stuck with me. Well, she said a lot of really cool things, but one thing in particular resonated with me that got me a little concerned. She said, “Some of you may look around and think, ‘Maybe, somehow, I slipped through the cracks. Am I really supposed to be here? Am I really what they were looking for?’” She then reassured us that no, we had not slipped through the cracks. That each of us ended up…

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Special Dinner Event (English Blog #3)
by | August 31, 2014

I have two other blog posts about my time in Pre-Departure Training in the process of being completed. But after tonight, I feel the need to break the chronological coherence I had planned to maintain for my blog page.
I write these words on the evening of August 25th, 2014
Hello, guys! I know many of you are curious of knowing what I’ve been up to in Pre-Departure Training. I promise I’ll give more detailed updates soon. Tonight, though, I’d like to share a little story with you. Today was our second day of training at Stanford– fifth day of…

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Fundraising Challenge
by | August 19, 2014

“Raise twenty-five hundred dollars in the span of 3 months”
It sounded ludicrous, not to mention intimidating, particularly to an amateur like me. The extent of my fundraising experience extended to selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door in elementary school. The experience had been a blazing success, with a grand total of two subscriptions and one pity donation. To say the least, I had dreaded starting my fundraising campaign. In fact, the prospect of the summer campaign had been my primary hesitation in joining Global Citizen Year. Yet somehow, despite my apprehensions and doubts, I have managed to meet and far surpass…

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Mangi Fi Rekk
by | July 30, 2014

In Wolof, “How are you?” is said “Nanga def?” which literally means “Where are you?”. The usual response to this is “Mangi fi rekk.” which means, “I am here.” By saying “I am here,” you are saying that you are alive, and that is something to be grateful for. “I am here” and that in itself is a beautiful thing. I don’t know very much Wolof yet, but I’m already falling in love with the vibrance and energy of the language. To quote my language coach, Barker, “French is, for lack of a better word, sexy. But Wolof is a…

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