Crossing Cultures on GYV Orientation Day

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A few hours before sunset on July 30th, a mini-bus full of students from Libya, Japan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United States arrived at the Global Youth Village.  From that moment on, 26 teens from around the world have worked, played, dined, laughed, overcome challenges and learned together. It has only been 2 and half days at GYV so far, but the group has accomplished a lot!

After an introduction to Life at GYV, by Mary Helmig, Director of Youth Initiatives, teens had an opportunity to swap ideas with Mr. Rash, Founder and President of Legacy International and the Global Youth Village.  Mr. Rash encouraged the students not to focus on what is wrong with the world, but rather to focus on what they, as young leaders, can do to improve their communities.

Izzy, from Virginia; and Saja from Libya take the opportunity to talk with J.E. Rash, Founder and President of Legacy International

Izzy from Virginia and Saja from Libya take the opportunity to talk with J.E. Rash, Founder and President of Legacy International

The group then worked together to complete various team challenges, including crossing a “Hot Chocolate River” and flipping a “Magic Carpet” while it flew hundreds of feet in the air!  Students began breaking down barriers as they worked together with teens from different backgrounds.

Haruhi, from Japan makes room for Ana, from California on her "Marshmallow" as their team crosses the "Hot Chocolate River"

Haruhi from Japan makes room for Ana from California on her “Marshmallow” as their team crosses the “Hot Chocolate River”

Shortly after lunch, students learned of the disappearance of Two Ancient Kings!  A trail of clues across the Global Youth Village campus would lead two groups to the hiding place of the kings.  Student worked together, completing various challenges across campus – including trying out yoga in the World Faith Room, playing team building games in the Cafe, designing a team banner in the Arts Studio, and creating a “team beat” outside the Health House.  As the students completed each task, they earned another clue–and they also began learning their way around the GYV campus!  Soon, each team followed their clues to the Kings’ hiding spot and accomplished the rescue of their King!

Faris, from Jordan; Maya, from Florida; and Abby, from Massachusetts who off their King after completing "GYV's 173rd Scavenger Hunt"

Faris from Jordan, Maya from Florida, and Abby from Massachusetts show off their King after completing “GYV’s 173rd Scavenger Hunt”

Lorraine “Rain” Warren and Danielle Rogers then led the group in Legacy’s Values Exercise, which helps students identify personal values and explore how values can be different based on culture.  Students also discovered that some values transcend culture – MacKenzie, who is Native American; Lilia, who’s family is Irish and Izzy, who’s mother is from Malaysia all ranked “Friendship” as their most important value.  Samah, from Virginia; and Ahmed from Saudi Arabia, agreed that “Family” is most important to them.

Samah, from Virginia; and Ahmad, from Saudi Arabia, agree that Family is the most important value to them.

Samah, from Virginia; and Ahmad, from Saudi Arabia, agree that Family is the most important value to them.

The day wrapped up with an evening activity of performance and creativity.  In small groups, students worked together to re-enact folktales from around the world.  Izzy, from Virginia, shined as he narrated the Greek folktale, “The Lamb with the Golden Fleece”.

Izzy, from Virginia narrates the classic Greek folktale "The Lamb with the Golden Fleece"

Izzy, from Virginia narrates the classic Greek folktale “The Lamb with the Golden Fleece”

After Orientation Day the Global Youth Village started to feel like home for students from across the globe.  Settling into their cabins for their first cabin meeting, teens quickly fell asleep after the busy day – time to rest for the first day of workshop!  Stayed tuned for more updates from GYV Session 2 and leave a note of encouragements for the students, below!

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2 comments:

Bruce08/02/2014 at 1:13 pmReply

Thanks for the great update and photos! It looks like Orientation Day was an amazing way to create a sense of place, bond with new friends, and begin exploring worldviews. Thanks for creating such a dynamic environment for youth to grow.

Abdullah Alhamoudi08/03/2014 at 1:39 amReply

Thank you for sharing me the ordination day
It very good start to be familiar with group and place.
Abdullah Alhamoudi

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