GCD graduates have given thoughtful consideration to the complexity of cultural and socio-economic conditions that shape our world, including the least privileged among us. “Explore multiple contexts through study and/or experience, and reflect on the growth of your global understanding as a result.”
I have engaged with cultural and socio-economic conditions, with the least privileged of us during the HOPE Cambodia service trip. Before visiting the school and starting the construction work there, we visited some cultural places, such as the historical significant of the genocide fields and the history of the famous Angkor Watt. We visited the genocide place in Cambodia on the second day and it was very shocking and depressing to hear about the things that have happened there. It was very depressing to hear about what has happened there with an audio guide that was provided at the genocide centre, where the tragedy took place. As we listened to the audio guide, you were able to see the mood we had. The Angkor Watt, was a temple we have visited on the second last day of the trip. The temple was a complete opposite of the genocide centre and we learnt about the impressive structure that was built in Cambodia.
I have also engaged with other cultural and socio-economic conditions that shape our world, as I have been living in two different countries, with completely different cultures. The german culture, contrasts a lot from the Japanese, throughout various school trips, I have learnt a lot about the culture, such as the kimono, the Japanese wear while going to dinner, the local food they eat for breakfast and evening and the futon, they traditionally sleep on. I have learnt about traditions throughout the various trips, to the historical Nakasendo trail, that I have hiked parts of, to the mountains in Niigata, one of the prefectures of Japan.
My global understanding has advanced by this, as I now appreciate the life I am in and the opportunities given to me more. Those include being able to going to an international school, even outside of my home country. But also things that are not necessarily thought about in our society, such as having access to clean water and food. Some people on our planet do not have access to that. I now understand the value of being able to go to school, eventually to university. Being able to get education and not needing to worry about how to survive the next day.