Sunday, October 7, 2012

Road Trip 2012- Lessons in Leadership

The smiling faces of the girls of Methodist College, Trincomalee greet us on our arrival for our first ever workshop at their school. They are a school that hasn't been a part of our network before this, and we don't know what to expect as we introduce them to the concept of Sri Lanka Unites and wonder how they will react to it.

However, as it turns out, any worries we might have had are immediately dissolved. The girls of Methodist College Trincolmalee are so enthusiastic and it is truly amazing ti see how eagerly they take up the activities we give them, determined to learn in whatever way they can. They seem thoroughly  moved (as well as entertained) when fellow members of the Dream Team from different parts of Sri Lanka speak to them in their mother tongue.
Their genuine enthusiasm inspires us all, and when they promise us that they will definitely join the Sri Lanka Unites network as a school, and support us in our journey towards reconciliation, we know their promise is sincere. 

With the end of the Trincomalee workshop, we set out on our journey to Jaffna, which brings back fond memories for most of us on the Dream Team. During the bus ride, we work in groups that we were assigned in the morning, and discuss the next lesson on our syllabus- Mandela's seven principles of leadership. As people begin sharing their reflections on these principles, people begin to realise principles of leadership that they weren't aware of before.  Akila from Matara says that when he learned of Mandela's principle of  leading through whatever obstacle, he began to see how he could apply it to his own life, and is confident that he will be able to recall it in the future. As much as the day's thought provoking activities leave us inspired and empowered, by the end of the day we feel quite exhausted. And yet, as we take to our beds in preparation for Day 7, we feel nothing but excitement and anticipation for the road ahead..

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