Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Checking in from Colorado

I'm all packed and ready to head off to Dubai! I am extremely excited to be going back to Dubai since I haven't been there in 4 years. I spent a semester of my sophomore year of high school there and my father stayed for two years. This trip is an incredible opportunity for all of us to travel to the Middle East and meet with Emiratis.

My hope for this leadership training and conference is that we will all be able to have amazing dialogues about what it means to be a leader, how to lead and how to integrate this into our different cultures. Like Katie said in her post, Mount Holyoke has given me many opportunities to be a leader and to experience new things while learning more about myself. I hope that we will be able to convey this to the women at Dubai Women's College and work with them to create an atmosphere where they feel they can create opportunities to lead.

And I'm going to head off to the airport to meet up with the rest of the delegation in Amsterdam. See you in Dubai!

time to go

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!