I don't have to think twice when I say that teenagers can be very creative... especially if given the choice to go anywhere and do anything. For the Innovation Academy Simulation day, all fourteen of us innovators were placed in three groups in which we had to find an activity that we wanted everyone to do. Before I "recap" the day, remember that we were given one rule: we could go anywhere and do anything.
1st stop --> 5k to raise money for the Sociedad Peruana de Down Syndrome
The 5k, and the information I learned prior to the 5k from the "Just Like You - Down Syndrome" youtube video, opened my eyes to the way many people treat and often times judge those who look or think differently. We humans have the tendancy to label people, in this case, we label kids with down syndrome as "down kids". But they're not "down kids", they are "kids with down syndrome. They didn't choose to be born with an additional chromosome, and it's not something that will go away. But it's just "one part of who these kids are". As we warmed up, and as we ran the 5k, what most motivated me was seeing the kids with down syndrome warm up, and together with us, run the race!
2nd stop --> Biking along the malecon and MAC museum
Biking along the malecon was beautiful, considering that we had an amazing view of the ocean! As we biked, however, we had a little problem. Mr. Topf's bike chain came off, but luckily, we were surrounded by a team of innovators (and mechanics it seemed), that we were back on our bikes in no time. We biked until MAC, a museum of contemporary art, where we saw a variety of modern pieces through mixed media (sculptures, film, painting, photography, etc). My favorite piece was one by Scarlett Hooft Graafland, a prestigious photographer and sculptor from Holland. To be honest, I don't tend to like museum's, but I loved this one because it was so modern. And the pieces were so hard to "figure out" that they were interesting.
3rd stop --> Horseback riding at Mamacona
Our third and final stop was Mamacona, a caballo de paso club where we had lunch, climbed a mountain (and were followed by the security), and rode horses. This was by far my favorite part of the day because it made me realize how much I missed horseback riding (I used to ride when I was small). I felt so free while I rode that I didn't understand why I had ever stopped!
The simulation day was an amazing experience because we got to do a little bit of everything. Who would have thought that you could run a 5k, bike along the malecon, visit a museum, and ride horses all in one day? It sounds crazy, but it was awesome! The best part of it all is that even though the Innovation Academy hasn't "officially" started, I feel as though I am already learning - learning through experience.