by Kathryn Petersen, a member of the February 2016 SkillCorps Dominican Republic trip

We are halfway through our SkillCorps trip and I have already learned so much. One theme that I have been reminded of time after time has been to trust myself. It’s a funny thing how being outside of your comfort zone can cause you to second guess yourself. I do ABA everyday, yet at first, I was shy to offer my ideas and insight. Over time as I felt more comfortable, I realized that I needed to trust in my experience, trust in my ideas, and trust in my education. I already feel like I have given some ideas and strategies that have helped the therapists at Aprendo. I have witnessed them be more successful with their clients and more purposeful with their teaching throughout our observations. 

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This wasn’t just about work either. Who knew I could hold a parrot relatively calmly given my fear of birds? Not me (or the 5 friends/family members who commented on my picture in total shock.) Who would have thought I would have stayed so calm when my cold shower turned dry right after I put conditioner in my hair before going to Aprendo? (For those interested in my solution, I got out of the shower, filled a small cup with water, jumped back in, and poured it over my head…. Repeat 100 times.) I was so nervous about knowing “only a little” Spanish, when in reality I have a minor in Spanish and can understand about 80% of things I hear.

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All these experiences have surprised me and I’ve realized I am so much more prepared for this experience than I realized.  I am excited to go into this second week with this new outlook and can’t wait to see what I learn in our last 5 days at Aprendo!

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