Barnga Diversity Activity Reflection:Understanding the Importance of Adaptation

Last week when we met for class, we did an activity along with students that are traveling to Nicaragua this coming May. How it worked was that there were 4 different pods throughout the room with about 4 or 5 students at the table. We learned the rules for a certain card game, but throughout the game we were unable to speak. After a couple of rounds, the winner and loser would rotate clockwise and counter clockwise respectively. What we soon found out was that at each table, the rules for the game were different. Being unable to speak, we had to find ways to communicate and figure out what the rules were.

This to me related to being in another country, and being able to adapt to their language and/or culture. For myself, I never had to move tables, so I played under the same rules for the duration of the activity. When new students would come to our table, they would play under our rules. It was like that was our “home,” and we had to teach anyone who was unfamiliar with our way of life.

I enjoyed this activity because it makes you think about the different cultures in the world and how you must adapt anywhere you may go in the world. It puts everything into perspective in that there are many different parts of the world, and they are all special and unique. We all learned a good lesson from this activity and it set a good understanding of what we will experience once we embark on our journey to South Africa.

This can related to South Africa because their way of life is much different than Americans. We can’t just go over there and try and make everyone act like an American. We must learn their culture and embrace it to the fullest. There will be people of different skin color, and for the first time in the most of our lives, we will be the minority. It will be a culture shock to all of us but it is up to us to adjust and to welcome the South African culture with open arms.


3 Comments on “Barnga Diversity Activity Reflection:Understanding the Importance of Adaptation

  1. I had a similar experience in this activity. Chrystal and I never had to move tables and therefore the rules were the same for every round of the game. It was interesting to see that when other students came into our “pod”, they followed our rules. It seemed like a sign of respect. This is similar what we will be experiencing in South Africa. As Americans, we wouldn’t force our culture upon South Africans. We are in their country and although it will be a big culture shock, we need to do our best to appreciate and accept their culture.

  2. This seems like a fantastic way to represent going into an unfamiliar territory and trying to adapt to something new. Going into South Africa, you”ll be facing some of the same obstacles that you faced in this activity. Learning to adapt through example and not directly through language will certainly be key in the beginning of your trip. Being able to successfully do this will show the people of South Africa that you respect how they live and are willing to take their culture seriously.

  3. This activity seems like an awesome way to understand how to interact with each other, with a serious communication barrier. I have never traveled abroad and never been in a situation where communicating was a problem. I could see it being very frustrating if you are not a calm person. This activity seems like such a good way to work on communication. You have to be open minded to learning different peoples style, and ways of teaching. This is a very cool way to work on being in an unfamiliar territory and getting through the language and communication barrier.

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