Project Week (CAS Reflection 2)

CAS Stages 2 (Preparation) and 4 (Reflection)

The news that Project Week would not be allowed to continue due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic was not easy to stomach, by me or by anyone in my group; we were all very excited to visit Laos and engage in a week of environmental service, and the realisation that not only would we not be able to follow through with the trip, but that the planning and preparation that we had conducted for the trip was also null, was difficult. Project Week has always been seen as one of the cornerstone components of the IB experience (along with Prom, Grad walk, Graduation, and so on), so receiving the news that we would not be able to go through with it, to put bluntly, sucked. Nonetheless, I still feel that a valuable experience can be derived from the process of planning, preparation, and investigation that went into it. As logistics officer, I was namely involved with budgeting, transportation, and looking over how we would, in broad strokes, organise the trip. Whilst the planning didn’t go as far as I’d have liked it (we were cut short before making any bookings or reservations, which I suppose may even be a positive, as we didn’t have to contend with the additional burden of asking for refunds or getting our money back), I still thoroughly liked the experience in looking, over the internet, at an entirely foreign and unfamiliar country (Laos), from the rural area where we would actually perform our service (Luang Prabang) and the capital (Vientiane), and looking over bookings, hostels, restaurants, and so on. Overall, though project week did not go through, I feel that the skills I honed in planning transportation, accommodation, etc. have nonetheless grown me as a person and improved my independence.

Project Week (CAS Reflection 1)

CAS Stages 1 (Investigation) and 2 (Preparation)

With preparation for Project Week having begun, I have joined with my group, (Calum, Jake, James, Oliver and I), and begun to plan out how our Project week will proceed. We’ve been bombarded with so much information about how to organise our trips, what to do, where to go, and what types of trip to do (adventure or service trip). We eventually decided on a service trip, but chose to opt for environmental service, a topic which is very close to members of our group (especially Calum). Wanting to remain within SEA (to reduce travel costs and make organisation more easy), we eventually settled on caring for elephants in the rural Luang Prabang region of Laos; a prospect which excited me, having never visited Laos in my life. Leveraging my wishes to help out with the organisational side of things, I was appointed as logistics officer; I think this will take advantage of my natural organisational abilities and, hopefully, make a significant and meaningful contribution to the team as a whole. I am hugely excited at the prospect of Project week.

Jakarta Street Kids (CAS Reflection 2)

LO6: Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance

Having concluded my time in Jakarta Street Kids (joining up in Grade 11 as vice-chair until Grade 12, where I have to relinquish my position), I find myself much more aware of the scale of poverty in the world, in addition to the ways that out global community must work to address it. To be very clear, I am in no way implying that my time in JSK somehow solved poverty or even took any substantial steps towards relief efforts; we worked to sell their upcycled products, but that is in no way implying that it somehow solved the problem. However, even with COVID reducing the scale of the fundraisers we could do substantially, I find my eyes much more opened to how difficult the lives of those living in poverty are, and how those more privileged in the world should work hard to ensure that the less fortunate members of society are still cared for and looked after.