Sunday, May 1

Maren's Experience in Earth Project

All in all, the Earth project and Sri Lanka were really nice and a lovely experience. During the School sessions I noticed that most of the children and the teachers were somehow touched by realizing, that we, the project members, have taken time for them and to think about Sri Lanka. 

As one girl mentioned in a Session, she was really happy about the fact that we came there, to a rural school and give them the chance to learn something about sustainability. While the kids created and presented their posters I noticed that they have an awareness of sustainability and that they had already some ideas what they should or could do to make this a better world. 

But nevertheless I think it was certainly a good step to communicate the importance to the kids. Because especially on some train rides I have noticed that there are some people with no awareness of sustainability. For example, they just threw empty plastic bottles out of the window in the beautiful environment in the hill country. 

A few critical remarks on my part about the project. Sometimes I felt more like a tool than a really part of the project. Because sometimes it seemed that we are just there to hold the presentation. Because our presentations to the children were always translated by one of the AIESECers, so that every Sri Lankan could understand what we say. 

But in the beginning or especially at the end there were also some announcements of the Sri Lankan in Sinhala, but that were not translated for us into English. I actually think that’s kind of sad. Because at the end the children told something about their feelings about sustainability. And I was really interested in it, but I couldn’t understand it. Because in my mind we were not only there to tell them our feelings, I expected an exchange of ideas. 

About Sri Lanka, I can only say good things. I found it very nice. All people were always very friendly to me and also very interested in me and my culture. Whether on the train or at a station, there was always someone who wanted to get into conversation with me about my feelings for Sri Lanka or my country. Also the close contact with the AIESEC members from Sri Lanka was very nice. In this way I could take a deep insight into the culture. It conveyed the differences of both countries to me.

And I like and I miss Sri Lanka. But it conveyed also the independence I have in Germany to me.

Maren Alberecht
Exchange Participant 
Project Earth 1.0

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