This past week was our last at Kalu Yala for the summer of 2013. Though I’m sure for some of us it is not the last we will be seeing of the beautiful, warm and occasionally exasperating Panama. In some sense, this description mirrors the experience I have had at Kalu Yala as well – working to start the furniture business has been inspiring, rewarding and of course, at times frustrating. But it was from these very frustrations – which ranged from unforeseen circumstances to new information which lead several times to redesigning our business plan – that we learned the most and increased our capacity for dealing with a greater variety of circumstances. For myself, I feel that this exposure has given me the chance to become a more capable individual. Looking back at Kalu Yala, I am most grateful for the unique opportunity I had to spearhead a project myself and assume great responsibility for what I was doing. For my last summer before graduation, this experience is incredibly valuable, and I think I would have been hard-pressed to find it elsewhere.
Similarly, it was with “exasperating Panama”, that we had our greatest adventures. My overall experience this summer has proven to me yet again how we grow most through the challenges we face, and that indeed, though life would be easier without them, comfort also tends to verge on the banal. At the end of the day, what shapes us as individuals are the difficulties we face, and how we grow to overcome them.