One step, two steps, then, I stopped and looked around inside the airport, feeling nervous. Can I do this? Can I manage to travel alone and navigate a foreign country? Can I communicate clearly so that they can understand me? Will I be able to make friends? Will I be able to participate in the training as I had hoped? These were just a few of the questions that ran through my mind during my trip to Nanjing, China, to participate in the 2019 Summer Peacebuilding Training of the Northeast Asia Regional Peacebuilding Institute (NARPI).
All these questions faded away as soon as I was able to see a secretariat volunteer and some of the participants waiting for the arrival of other participants before departing together to the venue. It was such a relief to see the NARPI signage, the waving hands, and the greeting smiles of the group. Then I realized this must be how most of our participants feel when they arrive at the Davao airport for the annual training.
The summer peacebuilding training was both a privilege and a blessing for me as an individual who is given an opportunity to study the fundamentals of peacebuilding and is given the chance to learn about the culture of the host country (China) as well as the other participants’ countries. The training gathered 95 students and professionals, primarily from Northeast Asia.