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  • Day8

    Service Work in Iceland Part 2!

    May 20, 2019 in Iceland ⋅ ☁️ 8 °C

    11) What about the service experiences is different than the service we do on the team at home?

    Service work conducted in Iceland compared to service work in Winfield, Kansas is superficially similar. In both places, we do various tasks such as cleaning or repairing structures to help individuals or organizations in need. However, after close examination one obvious difference arises. At home, the people we are doing the service work for generally live in our community and we often see the impact of our work right away or over the following weeks as we drive by the sites where we were working. Differently, in Iceland, we were only conducting service at the sites for a couple of days and then we left with the idea that we would most likely never directly encounter that community again. One would generally assume that it would be harder to foster a connection to the work we were conducting but at both Daladýrđ and the “Meet Us Don’t Eat Us” service, our leaders took this into consideration and took extra effort to close this bridge so I almost felt I was making more of a difference in the work I was doing for the people in Iceland than I do at some of the service projects at home. This picture is of me carrying a kid (baby goat) out to the playground we built for Beggy and his family to celebrate the work we did at their petting zoo, which was one way they helped us feel the impact of our hard work.

    Kouzes and Posner suggest exemplary leaders should “treat every job as an adventure.” What have you learned about how to do this on this trip?

    In our service work at Daladýrđ, there were several aspects of this job that felt more like exciting opportunities than work. Using the job to learn as much as I could about the family we were working for and their home and livelihood made the experience more fulfilling and exciting than just mindless work. Learning to celebrate and have fun while doing work or on breaks was also crucial to enjoying the experience. Beggy exemplified this well when we would take breaks for Lolli-waffles or play with the animals. Having a positive mindset allows one to have a better experience with any job and many times, it does feel like an adventure.
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