Being Friday night I figured I would forget to get onto my blog and write a learning journal, so I'm doing it before class this time. I'd like to think this shows that I'm planning out my time...or at least trying. As the departure for Tonga approaches I realize more and more how blind I am going into this field study experience. Blind in the sense that as of now I have no connections, limited cultural understanding, and a proposed project that everyone keeps saying will probably just change once I get there. I wouldn't say that I'm worried about the experience, but I'm simply acknowledging there will be a period of adjustment and flexibility. I feel like I have an understanding of how I'll go about my project, but I know that won't require all of my time. Thinking about that just makes me wonder what I'll be doing with the rest of my time each day. Getting integrated into my host family will likely help give me stuff to occupy my time. But to some degree I'll go from a regimented schedule dictated by school and work here to a very undefined schedule when I get there. I intend to go through what I want to accomplish each week and set some personal goals. That will provide some amount of structure to my days.
So I guess when I say that I feel like I'm going into this field study blind, I realize that is an integral part of the experience. Cultural immersion and project development are not what we often focus on while in classroom settings on campus. And I think no matter how much we talk about it (however little or great that is) nothing can replace the reality of being in a new culture. Similarly nothing can replace the obstacles of carrying out a field study project, at least that's what I'm assuming. Just in planning and creating proposals I feel like I've hit a few walls in research, but challenges are good because it facilitates growth. More than anything this entry is just trying to reason through the concerns I've had the past few weeks. I think it worked, and I hope its coherent because I'm ending this post replacing my stress with excitement.