Of the few consistencies I’ve experienced here in Cabo Verde, the most prevalent is the requirement of adaptability to unfamiliar and disadvantageous situations. Whether it is working with limited spatial resource, less than ideal conditions for dynamic physical activity, or groups of easily-distracted children, one must always be committed to making the objective happen. I’ve found that the hard tasks often only seem impossible until they are finished and their results are rewarding. In that sense, the actual commitment to the task can the hardest part of the project.
Over the past eight weeks, I have been working with various children from various governmental youth support organizations to introduce engaging and purposeful programming, such as taekwondo. More specific to my experiences teaching various self-defense techniques, there have been times that the room has devolved into chaos, and I am left to run from one physical outbreak to the next to separate, calm, and reorganize the children. Most of the time there are staff members who can help keep the kids contained and engaged, but there are times when the staff members are not there, leaving an obvious vacuum. In these moments, my leadership and patience are tested. Speaking to the children with fluency while moving across the room like a hurricane is hard, especially when higher authority does not supply the appropriate measures to ensure amicable participation. However, situations like these force me to be a better leader, to have more patience, and, sometimes, to enjoy the chaos of passionate children. These are all easier to accomplish when one commits to the service, perhaps one of the greatest lessons I have been given by the people of Cabo Verde.
Committed in Cabo Verde