The bags are packed, I'm ready to go, and rather than second or third guessing every item in my suitcase I thought I would post some thoughts...
The planning and preparations for this trip have moved quickly - we had a lot to do in 8 weeks. Selecting the MHC students seemed like the hardest thing we would have to do, but then preparing a training program to represent Mount Holyoke's empowered view of women in leadership didn't come easy either! The 4 MHC student facilitators are amazing - bright, energetic, and so eager to meet students from a new culture and exchange ideas. The enthusiam of MHC co-workers and the Center for Global Initiatives helped me to stay focused on the positive mission of this program, rather than get caught up in the details of planning a conference in another country. I'm very excited to see what unfolds when we arrive in Dubai.
We planned a leadership program that would convey what we feel are key building blocks for successful student leadership. What the Dubai Women's College students do with these building blocks is the exciting part! We have not entered into this cross-cultural training experience with the idea that DWC students should run their student government the same way that MHC does...we only hope to share our ideas with them, and support them through their process of creating change. We'll learn about them, and ourselves, through this exchange of cultural beliefs on leadership.
I'm really looking forward to a few things...
- Seeing the Saunders family who worked at MHC and now live in Dubai
- Witnessing the exchange of 2 different cultures
- Supporting MHC students through the challenges and high points of leadership training
- Warm weather! It's winter in Dubai, so winter temps only get up to 80 degrees, but I'll take it!