Happy (sunny) Thursday afternoon everyone! I hope this first week of April has gone well for you, even though here in Waterloo the weather cannot make up its mind (snow one day, rain the next, and so on). I am currently on the train on my way home to Ottawa for a few days and thought that now would be a great time to invite you to try something new and to step outside of your comfort zone.
I'd like to share a game I played when I was volunteering in Arizona in July 2007 with you. One morning, our facilitators, Erin and Long, drew three circles into the gravel outside out bunkhouses. There was a big circle, with a small circle inside it, and an even smaller circle inside it (kind of like a bull's eye). The activity was simple; our facilitators would say a statement, and then we would have to choose if this made us feel in our comfort zone (biggest, outside circle), our challenge zone (middle circle), or our danger zone (smaller, inner circle). We then had to step into the corresponding circle. After everyone had made their choice, we would step outside of all of the circles, and Erin and Long would ask us another question. The statements they made started out pretty easy, such as "go for a walk" or "phone a friend". But as the game went on, the statements got trickier and made you think a little more, such as "hug a homeless person" or "live in a slum for a day". [One girl was terrified of bananas, so they asked us how eating a banana made us feel, and this girl stepped into the danger zone while the rest of us stayed in our comfort zones.] At the end of the activity the point was to identify things that made us a little uncomfortable or push our limits. Our facilitators challenged us do one thing per day that is outside of our comfort zones, like taking a different route home from school/work, striking up a conversation with a stranger, or tasting a new food.
I've been thinking back to this day a lot recently and trying to prepare myself for all of the new experiences I will be living in 5 months when I begin my internship in Huacho, Peru. In case you didn't know, guinea pig is the national dish in Peru, and considered to be quite a special meal, so I have been mentally preparing myself to eat this when I travel to Peru next year. A few weeks ago I also realized that for the first time in my life I might have to wash my own clothes by hand (or maybe someone else will do it?). I don't know if there are laundromats or washing machines where I will be going, and so I am trying to accustom myself to the fact that I may need to take on this new responsibility. Since there is a shortage of water in the area where I am going (people only have running water 6-12 hours per day), I may also be required to shower less frequently (or at least for a much shorter amount of time). And these are only the obstacles I can think of! I am sure that I will discover many more different and interesting things when I move to Peru in a few short months. I figure that as long as I am open-minded and prepared to try new things that hopefully things should go alright!
I'd like to invite you to share things that make you feel outside of your comfort zone, and try to do one thing that scares you or challenges you per day. What will that thing be for you?
Until next week, hope you have a good one!
ps - here is another one of the new advertisement pictures to come visit Peru: