Didn't realize Roxie posted last night. I cosign everything she said. Time has flown by (although that first week it seemed to just drag). This trip has reaffirmed for me that "service" is 99% about the person doing the service. And I dont mean that in a selfish way (or maybe I do). What I mean is that those of us "serving" are really just opening ourselves up to experiencing something that will impact the rest of our lives. At times I feel bad because I feel like we're not really contributing much to CAMIG, and I originally thought that was our purpose. I better understand now that our purpose is to spend time getting to know the center, the people who work here, the work they do, and the displaced. Really getting to know how it all works and have that impact our lives. I dont know how a conversation I may have with someone here may affect them - maybe I am impacting Colombia more than it feels like. What I know for sure is that I am gaining so much knowledge and understanding and plan on bringing that back to my "real life" in the States.
I cannot wait to do the month-long fundraiser Roxie and I have already started planning (and have already contacted numerous campus departments and organizations about being involved with... we're not over-achievers, promise!) and send the money back here to contribute to the center monetarily. I know that our physical presence has been very important, but an organization doing this kind of work has a very real need for money as well, and I am looking forward to helping in that arena. The reality of displacement here in Colombia is also something we arelooking forward to sharing with the DePaul community. It is my goal that by the end of the coming school year, every student who spends time at the Lincoln Park campus at least knows that there is large scale internal displcement going on in Colombia. And I want as many of them as possible to have a greater understanding of it all. Going back to the title of the blog, I want DePaul to understand that Colombia is more than drugs and kidnapping. I want them to know real stories of real people.
We have also created a 5-page syllabus/proposal for an Independent Study Spanish class in the fall so we can continue examining in an academic manner the history of the violence in Colombia. We have a faculty advisor and have sent the proposal on to the chair of Modern Languages. Finger's crossed it gets approved.
I feel so lucky to be having this experience and to have so much left to look forward to this summer. Life is treating me very well, yall, and I am just so thankful.
This evening I played a card game with a 10-year old Peruvian boy who I swear to God was making up the rules as we went. It was a Go-Fish! type game, and in the end when we counted cards to see who won we both had exactly 26! It put a smile on my face. We're scheduled for a rematch tomorrow.
Hoping you and your loved ones are healthy and happy,
PS: Roxie almost made a whole post about this earlier, but decided against it. I'm going for it as a "ps": we really enjoy writing here, and know that you all are reading (and we appreciate it!) but dont be afraid to leave a comment every now and then! We miss you all!! :)