How Separation Breeds Inclusion

Today was the day we finally split up into three different hotels within our separate groups. Many were quite upset to leave friends they just started to strengthen bonds with, and I myself can say that I was not satisfied with the notion as well. After many hugs and dramatic cries the others were on their way to their new temporary homes as my group stayed behind. We instantly dived into our daily talks to discuss how we were feeling at the moment as well as how we’ve been adapting to our time here in Ahmedabad so far. We all fairly agreed that we didn’t know how we’d cope with not seeing our friends daily for the next six days.

Our leader Eli challenged us to explain why such a decision was made. We all went around expressing different perspectives on the situation and some stood out that made the separation more bearable through understanding. For one, smaller groups allowed everyone to have a chance to express their thoughts and feelings on our daily activities and have an outlet to explain their opinions on topics we discuss. Larger groups can drown out someone’s important thoughts, which wouldn’t be fair. Also, traveling in a small group makes students be able to engage within the culture of India and actually get a feel of the environment and be involved in what is happening outside. It’s harder to feel connected to Ahmedabad when you’re surrounded by several other people with conflicting cultures—it’ll seem more like a field trip than an experience. Overall, these insights made sense all while making me feel better about saying goodbye to my friends. On the bright side, I’ll see them soon and can strengthen the bonds I make to those within my group as well.

Stefani and Raj — two members of the group!

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