Here we come India

CQUniversity Bachelor of Education students going to India at the Brisbane airport

We are soon to set off on our grand journey. It has been years since my last expedition. As I write this, I feel excited trepidation as I contemplate the sheer magnitude of the adventure we are soon to undertake. Although what lies ahead, I know not; I am fascinated by the chance to explore a new culture. I have been informed by our fearless leader, that the culture of the people is magnificent. She has ventured to the land previously, and brought back many tales of wonder and grandeur. My comrades continue to use a device known as ‘computal’ (I hope that is the correct pronunciation) to research the cultural norms of the land, and fully appreciate its beauty. We have also undertaken much training in readiness to set out. To be deemed worthy of going, each of us has had to face the frightening beast, paperworkious, in a battle of wit and endurance. Although I lack in both of these traits, with the help of my comrades I became victorious. It was indeed a perilous journey to get to this point. We lost comrades, who will be sorely missed; however, from their absences rose new friendships.

Our journey has been christened ‘Service Learning’. It is indeed a strange name. However, I have been informed that it comes from the ancient land of CQUniverse in the region of Queenslandia. I have heard that loosely translated it means: ‘to learn from and reflect on the experience of meaningful community service’. I have spent many a night pondering how and what I will learn from this excursion, only to come up with more questions than answers. For what I will learn, I will only know when I learn it. Preconceptions aid no one in search for knowledge. My comrades and myself will have to overcome our own preconceived attitudes and assumptions to open up our mind and accept the knowledge that is presented to us on our trek.

Before we are to reach our destination I am to face my final battle. I will confront the giant steel bird of the sky. Many of my comrades seem unphased by this terrifying beast, but I am yet to conquer my fear. It is strange how such a small task can become a gigantic battle within one’s head. I feel each and everyone of us has fears that we must confront on our journey. However, we will each face these with our comrades at our sides. Fear is not something to run away from, but something to embrace, for it is when confronted with fear, one learns the most. To fully unlock our true potential, each of us must face our own trials and tribulations. In doing so, we will return empowered and ready to impart our knowledge onto our community. I leave you with the wisdom of Mahatma Gandhi in the hope that his words will inspire you, as they did me.

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.- Mahatma Gandhi

Hayley Pennells

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