by Tsering, Civic Semester Staff
Today, we marked our first day of midcourse activities here in Urubamba. It is hard to believe that we are almost halfway through our Tufts Civic Semester here. Keeping with the themes of Review, Reflect and Gratitude, we started the morning off with a Metta meditation-giving loving kindness to self and others. We then went down memory lane reviewing our journey from the moment we landed in Urubamba to this moment, over freshly made chai. From our first awkward encounters with each other, to navigating the narrow streets of Urubamba, to cooking for our first meal, to our first tuk tuk rides, to the cold hail of Paru Paru, to BBQ dinners over the bonfire and asking what leadership means, and how does one fulfill one’s civic duties, the activity ended in loud laughter of good memories underlined by personal growth and development. How far we have come indeed! Reflecting back on our course so far, students connected with the words of Robert Frost’s poem ‘The road not taken’ and sat with the lines in reflection, “ Two roads diverged in the wood and I- Took the one less travelled by. And that has made all the difference.” The students re-read the letter they had written to self, reviewed how far they had come, reflected on how they want this journey to impact their lives in the future, and realigned their personal goals with a new letter to self that will be read again at the end of the course.
We then acknowledge each other’s courage, uniqueness, and personal path. Hand in hand, we stared into each other’s eyes, noticing, and acknowledging not just a fellow student but a beautiful soul and celebrated the infinite possibilities that await us in the future. We hugged each other in gratitude for being a part of each other’s journeys.
To end the first day of midcourse activities, each of us sat in reflection of who we are becoming as we forge into the next phase of this course. Each of us reflected on the prompt “ I am becoming….” Here are the individual responses:
Pablo: I am becoming more aware that I choose the person I develop into. I am learning to be patient with my own growth. I am learning to see humanity in others beyond what I perceive. I am becoming someone who recognizes the beauty of the flaws in myself.
Charles: I am becoming a renewed version of myself with more resilience and self-awareness in this familiar yet foreign place. And a more considerate global citizen.
Fatima: I am becoming better at understanding where people are coming from, better at using my Spanish, better at being aware and comfortable with being uncomfortable, better at being a learner, a better person.
Jordan: I am becoming, happier, more relaxed, less anxious, less stressed, more comfortable with my peers, a little homesick, more grateful, accustomed to Peru, able to live a little more and appreciate life to the fullest.
Sahana: I am becoming a different person who understands her values and is sticking to them. I am becoming more adventurous and fearless. I can walk the streets at night with confidence in myself and comfort. I am becoming older and less concerned with sacrificing personal well being for other’s happiness. I am becoming more certain of the person I want to be and the impact I want to make. The future has endless possibilities but I know the path that I want to carve.
Cassie: I am becoming
– an independent person
– an aspiring world citizen
– a braver person
– the one that speaks better Spanish
– the one that offers care and supports to others
– a proud member of the BEST cohort ever!
Yazaan: I am becoming more disciplined and mature, a better listener, and a more conscientious observer, who is fueled by curiosity. I am becoming an open minded individual, who shared his time equally amongst his many passions, while still willing to embrace on the uncertainty of unravelling new passions. I am finally becoming the man I want to become, not the man imposed on me to become.
I am becoming a civic leader
I am becoming adaptable and flexible
I am becoming strong
I am becoming informed about the world
I am becoming great
I am becoming inspired and motivated to exploit the full potential in me
I am becoming passionate about community
I am becoming a global citizen
I am becoming aware of myself in special way, weaknesses, and strengths
I am becoming inquisitive about life
I am becoming creative
I am becoming an entrepreneur
I am becoming loved
I AM BECOMING THE SELF I LOVE.
Lastly, to end this very long yak post, in gratitude, we want to thank all our friends and families and loved ones back home. This journey wouldn’t be possible without your love and support. We think about you constantly and carry you in our hearts through this sacred valley and magical country. On to the next phase of this course!
With love from Peru,
Cassie, Fatima, Sahana, Yazaan, Pablito, Charles, Matthew, Jordan, Pablo and Tsering
Originally posted here