The program occurs in the context of a shared group within which to practice the ways of being – empathy, awareness, ethical travel, conscious consumption, mindful presence with limited technology – that are the foundation of Pacific Discovery’s vision.
When we see images of suffering around the world, our first instincts are to help. But sometimes, we need to stop for a while and do nothing.
Too often, we lose sight of the good that we are trying to do, because we lack the time and space to think about it. We also lack empathy.
With these conversations, I had begun to paint a picture in my head. I was ready for an obvious Soviet influence and for the personal frustration that comes with not being able to speak the local languages. I had prepared for the conservative dress, the heat, the fact that people may stare because of my foreign skin color, and the likely possibility that I would lose my suitcase. But my expectations were shattered in many other ways. My original picture has since been edited by the people I have met and my experiences from the past two weeks.