One of the hardest decisions to make during the planning stages of project week was whether or not it was ethical to drop in on a service for a short period of time, and then leave as soon as we essentially ticked a box. For some context, an option that we were debating was whether or not to conduct some English lessons for some of our service partners during our project week trip, which would form the service component of our trip (creativity and activity were already included).
In all honesty, the biggest factor was whether or not this would or would not mean that we could conduct a successful project week, in the eyes of our school and in the eyes of the International Baccalaureate. Any decision making that I underwent was personal and was not expressed to other members of the group or to the staff at the school.
I did not think that providing such lessons would be harmful to the kids that are a part of one of our service partners, but I did question the legitimacy of such interactions. We stood more to gain from going forward with the plans than they did.
As I mentioned before there was no conflict, and this was not an issue that was extremely important to me, more of a realization that much of what many groups did in project week would be more self-serving than beneficial to the communities they traveled to.
The plans to meet with the service fell apart due to other reasons, but the experience was not contingent on actually going, deciding whether or not to partake were decisions made prior to the plans ultimately falling apart (for other reasons). I suppose putting my needs first over the service partners was not the most principled action at the time.