When listing the things that this trip meant to me I went down and started listing all the things that I thought were meaningful: the trip itself, studying climate change, etc. There is a much deeper meaning that this trip has had on my life, and at this point in time, a month has passed since I have come to appreciate the trip as a whole so much more rather than when it finished. The time since the trip has been long enough to let me take a step back and become both introspective and retrospective to dig deep into myself and truly understand what this all really means.
Coming onto this trip, I was prepared to be involved in large group activities and have a very interpersonal aura. More opportunities to have one-on-one conversations with people arose that made my trip worthwhile. This ranged from the US and Bangladeshi participants on the trip to the people whom I interviewed in the slums to the security guard I met on the last day. Everyone has a story, and it is these stories that create the world. By engaging with people on a one-on-one basis it has allowed me to see an even larger sliver of the created world around us all. The best way I learned to get to know someone is by listening to their story; you get to know a thing or two.
Being in Bangladesh, I saw a very different environment/culture/aura than the US’s, which alone was a challenge. The change of everything was a complete 180 that pushed me to become more adaptable to situations. It is a life skill in which I am always willing to keep building.
Overall, there is much learned from the trip that has already affected thus far. There has been a lot of patience that built up from those two hour long horn-honking-filled traffic car rides that has taught me great patience in such chaotic-like situations. I came back home with even a bigger drive and passion to put in more effort into hearing people’s story and to have a better sense of solidarity and understanding amongst all.