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DukeEngage Cabo Verde
May 22 – July 17, 2018
Urmi Pandya

Reflection 2: Adapting to Change

The structure of this program incorporates extensive adaptability to change, particularly within the different centers. After working at Lem Cachorro where kids as a whole were obedient, I found myself in situations in my new center, Centro de Emergencia, where it was nearly impossible to implement my intended activity, Tae Kwon Do. I struggled to find other meaningful ways to interact with the kids – I played bingo and tried to say the numbers in English, for example, but the kids were not responsive to any English nor were interested in learning. This behavior was a stark contrast from the behavior of the kids at Lem Cachorro, so it took me some time to figure out my plan B. Finally, with some extra help from the other adults at the center, we were able to teach Tae Kwon Do for an entire hour.

The other component of adaptability is regarding the type of work I have been doing at the centers as a whole. Due to the rotation system and transportation, I am with a fixed group throughout the two months. Other activities that I wished to implement with some of the other members were not able to happen since they were not part of my fixed group, so my work every day consists of a lot of flexibility on my part. While this necessity for constant flexibility may be unpleasant at times, it is an important life skill that I have the opportunity to develop here.