Wilderness Engagement- Okinawa

For the 10th grade expedition, I went to Okinawa and learned how to dive. While diving I was able to connect with a few marine life. The purpose of diving was to get out of our comfort zone and do something that we have not experienced before.

Before going to Okinawa, we went to a swimming pool near Disney land and learned our necessary skills of diving before trying it out in an open space. We even started studying for the final test that we had before going on the trip which continued for the first two days in Okinawa.

This was the first time I dived so it gave me a chance to learn new skills, skills that I would not have encountered in everyday situations. As it was my first time diving, I was nervous as I kept having the thought of me drowning since I have not been swimming for the past few years. This diving experience has put me out of my comfort zone by a significant amount as I am usually not comfortable doing anything related to swimming or not being able to breathe normally.

The biggest fear that I had during this whole diving experience was me thinking that I would not be able to follow my team in the entire training underwater. On the first day of diving, I had no confidence in my ability to follow my team that rather than enjoying the dive I was anxious the whole time. Even though I was able to follow the team through the first half of the first-day training, I still had no confidence in myself to allow me to enjoy the things around me while diving. In order to overcome my lack of confidence after the first dive, my teammates and I kept learning the things that we needed when diving such as what each hand gestures meant or how to use each different equipment for diving so that when we were inside the water we would not panic. By becoming more confident in the diving concepts I was able to become more comfortable when diving as I stopped panicking underwater about the small details that I was afraid of missing. Therefore, for the second half of the first day and the whole second day I was more relaxed to see more of my surroundings such as the fishes next to me.     

Also, during the experience, I was able to learn about what leadership was about. During the diving training in Okinawa, we had to plan one of the dive as a team. While planing this dive I learned that leadership was not only about one person leading the group but the whole members of the group contributing together to come up with a safe plan.

During this diving experience were not allowed to use our phones for the 5 days. Therefore, through this experience,z I was able to learn that our daily life is always technology-based and that we can live without the use of technology by interacting with people. I realized the importance of interacting with people as I was able to learn more about them such as their personality and their likes and dislikes which helped me to find common things between me and the other person. I realized that I was always into technology and was talking to friends through chat apps rather than talking to them face to face even at school. Therefore, from now on I would like to try to talk to people face to face and interact more with my close friends outside of the classroom environment.   

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