Not just a game of handball

Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?

I never imagined that a game of handball could become a proxy battle for who was right about the China-Taiwan conflict, but here I was, my first time in Nepal, and the game was nothing short of savage. Getting into a conflict with my students probably was not the greatest way to introduce myself, but I refused to budge. After spending the first nine years of my life in Taiwan, I stood firm in my belief that Taiwan is an independent nation. However, my Nepalese students stated defiantly that Taiwan is a part of China. The game would settle who was right, once and for all. We played fiercely, and something wonderful happened.

With every bounce of the ball, the bond between us grew stronger. As we played, the walls between us started to come down. Every drop of sweat, every heckle and jeer, every move we made all served to bring us closer together. We replaced our hostility with camaraderie as we bonded over our mutual love of Taylor Swift and spaghetti. Half an hour later, the tension was completely forgotten and I had friends instead of adversaries.

I thought about that game a great deal that summer. Conflict resolution was my passion, and I had the experience from Model UN and living through high school to know not everything...

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