Monday, March 28, 2011
One word: incredible. The day started with a special orientation to the Dubai Men's College of Higher Technology. We presenters had an orientation there to see where exactly we will be presenting. Of course I am in the room that seats 500+ the massive auditorium instead of the other three locations that seat 100. Am I nervous? Nooo not at all... I have met so many amazing people thus far. My roommate is a graudate student studying in Amsterdam but is from Moldova. I have met several students who have developed their own NGOs, financial organizations, etc. Everyone is very accomplished and still very interesting in what you have to say and what you are doing with your life. Regular orientations continued as I continued to meet amazing people. The main event of the day was the opening ceremony which took place in the evening at the base of the Burj Khalifa, which is the tallest building in the world. The opening ceremony was breathtaking. It included an address by the Sheik, cultural dancing, a representation of what EWB is all about, singing, and fireworks. The stress of the opening ceremony was pointing out the importance of 131 nationalities being represented sitting next to each other and listening to what one another has to say. It's all about crossing those barriers of communication, finding innovative solutions, and coming together across cultures to face our global challenges. Admittedly, tears were streaming down my face as they continued to talk about the signifcance of such a coming together. The male graduate student from Canada sitting next to me was taken over by similar surprising emotions. Never have I been so proud and honored to be sitting exactly where I was at that moment. Pictures are to come tomorrow after the stress of my presentation is over.