26 March 2012

.weekend.visits.


A college friend visited the pioneer mansion this weekend and it was so refreshing. We haven’t seen each other in a while but that doesn’t matter when you connect with someone. The older I get the more I find the power in the moment, in the now. Some things don’t need fostering - just presence.
Erin, was a Peace Corps volunteer in Uganda and was a fabulous African cultural translator for me. I’ve really been challenged by the passive nature of Malawian culture, by the “place” of a woman, and the concept of time. Erin offered me the space to discuss and ask her about ideas/situations, she was so honest and offered such genuine compassion in her responses. I’m really grateful for her visit.
Talking with her I realized that my frustrations have become a part of my experience. I’ve held on to them, identified with them. I returned from Ecuador 3 years in August, and this weekend I realized that despite my ego’s telling I have put my American glasses on again. It challenging being here, I don’t speak the language (English is spoken but it’s limited and different), I didn’t have a host family, I mostly mingle with the local government workers (college educated Malawians), leaving me feeling detached and objective. I think because of this it’s been easy to keep my American glasses on (without even knowing). It’s a long road, I’m not sure if I even know how to take off my American glasses here but consciousness is the first step.
This week I’m grateful for honest conversations and friendly reminders to look at life from another angle.
What are you grateful this week?

2 comments:

Jenni said...

Do you know that I start every staff meeting asking my students that?! Rather than "high/lows" or "happy/crappy" I've shifted to "what are you most grateful for this week" - it really helps to put in perspective the privileges we carry with us.

melissa & alicia said...

further proof we are TRUE kindred spirits. i'm so grateful for YOU! <3