This coming year, I have been selected to be one of the captains for my swim team. I knew going into this ACE experience that I wanted to take whatever lessons I learned from my time in China, and apply them to this new leadership role. Now, since the conclusion of my ACE in China experience, I feel a lot more confident in what I have ahead of me.
I’ve learned countless lessons in my times with the kids – especially patience because of the language barrier and the challenge we faced communicating our ideas. In working with my fellow ACE participants, I learned how to always think on my feet and be adaptable, since somedays our plans were affected by weather or other external forces. Going home, I definitely want to remember the importance of strong and effective communication with my fellow captains, coaches, and team members.
“Going home, I definitely want to remember the importance of strong and effective communication with my fellow captains, coaches, and team members. ”
This trip has also shown me how important it is to look deeper than the surface level. Throughout our three weeks, we saw and experienced many things that at first seemed different than what is typical in the US. However, once we learned the significance or meaning behind something, it became very understandable. Also, with my ACE in China crew, we all interacted well and were friendly in the beginning. We really got to know each other and bond during the three weeks there, and I felt as if these 9 other people from across the US and the world had been my friends my entire life. We were a family. Drawing upon this experience, I definitely want to make sure I get to know everyone on my team personally and grow that family-like bond to bring us closer as a unit.
I will never forget my time in China. From picking up trash with the kids, to visiting a monastery 14,000 ft up, I am so lucky to have been a part of this incredible program and to have experienced it with 9 other amazing people.