These are all questions I am faced with day to day in my role as Director of Experiential Learning at White Oaks Resort. I am always more than happy to begin a conversation in response to what learning by doing actually means. To me, it’s about opening yourself up to new ideas, experiencing things in a different way, and leaving with a better understating of what you thought you once knew. However, the more I have these conversations the more I begin to think- what have I experienced that has inspired me to grow, to live differently, to challenge myself… And my answers always come up short.
That is why on February 8th 2013 I will be taking the trip of a lifetime, as I join a group of 40 others who will be going to volunteer at the Pehucci Orphanage in Ruai, Kenya. This 14 day trip will have me spending time with the children, playing games, teaching classes and holding babies, as well as assisting with building a facility that will be used as a cafeteria and large meeting space for the orphanage (these may sound like things that you or I would take for granted every day, but the reality is these children have absolutely nothing, not even someone to hold them when they cry). Spending two weeks living at the orphanage is going to challenge my every thought of what I give importance to in my life. I am going to experience a whole new way of life in Kenya, and I cannot wait.
There is no doubt that volunteering at the Pehucci Orphanage will allow me to make a difference in the lives of others. But, I hope these children know that they have just as much to give to me, as I have for them. So here it is. Experiential Learning- plunging out of my comfort zone to understand that it’s not about making money; it’s about making a difference.