Thursday, December 13, 2012



Chris Lowney says there are four pillars to become a successful leader: self-awareness, ingenuity, love, and heroism. Self-awareness is the idea of recognizing one’s strengths and weaknesses, and how those strengths and weaknesses affect relationships with those around oneself. Having a strong self-awareness prior to arriving in the Dominican Republic is wonderful. However, once you are here, in the Dominican Republic, those strengths and weaknesses will be tested. You may find yourself recognizing strengths and/or weaknesses you did not know you had before. Upon leaving the DR, you may find that the self-awareness you were so sure of has changed. Aspects you had never considered may come to the forefront of your thinking, and parts of yourself you thought were unchangeable are suddenly being questioned.

This change in self-awareness is nothing to be frightful of. Our self-awareness is continually changing as we progress through life. Allow yourself to be open to change and not to change. Just because you are a part of the Encuentro experience does not mean you have to return to the USA a completely different person. You might, but do not force yourself to do so.

The best way we have found to strengthen our self-awareness is to dive into the uncomfortable. Take full advantage of every opportunity at hand while you are living in the Dominican Republic.  Have deeper conversations with your host families and group. Go beyond asking the comfortable questions of “How is your day?”, “What is your favorite color?”, “What is your favorite food?” etc. Instead, begin to ask the questions that you really want to know. Dive into the unknown. It was John F. Kennedy who said, “We do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”

Enjoy this experience. Make the most out of it, and allow yourself to have fun. This experience is a time for you to grow and learn about yourself and others. There are going to be a lot of good times and there are going to be bad times. But always remember, regardless of your situation or how confused you are, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer
than You.” - Dr. Seuss.

Enjoy Encuentro Dominicano J

You will be in our thoughts and prayers. Enjoy.

P.S. Try the quipe.


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