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.