"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." -Albert Einstein
Friday, September 23, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
quote that said, "A nation is not only what it does, it is also what it tolerates" "
There was a mural with this same quote on the Palestinian side of the wall.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Patience is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on annoyance/anger in a negative way; or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties. Patience is the level of endurance one's character can take before negativity.
Upon embarking on my YAGM journey, I was anticipated to learn and grow as I worked in accompaniment with people in the West Bank. The six YAGM that are spending the year in Jerusalem/West Bank were originally scheduled to depart Chicago on August 24th – the same day as the 44 other YAGM were leaving for their countries of service. A few weeks ago we learned that the six of us had not yet been granted visas and that we would be living in Chicago until our visas arrived. In the spirit of being flexible, I began to look at this extra time in Chicago as a special opportunity to explore a city I had never seen. I soon found out that this process of waiting would be far more challenging than anticipated.
What have we been up to in these past few weeks? From August 17th-24th,we had YAGM orientation with all 50 of us, YAGM alumni, recruiters, many inspiring speakers, led by the amazing Heidi, Tanya, and Steph and alum. It was an incredible week of fun, community, and preparing to leave the country for a year. The catch for those of us going to the West Bank is that we were not yet ready to leave the country after this week. It was now time for us to wait. Wait for our visias to arrive, wait to hear from the Israeli consulate, wait for Hurricane Irene to pass (air travel complications), wait to get places on public transit, wait for our to-go order of Thai food to be ready…we have done a lot of waiting. At many times over the last week I feel as if there was not a light at the end of the tunnel or an end in sight. This has been one gigantic lesson in patience, “persevering in the face of delay.” So persevere is what we did.
I had the amazing opportunity to explore the beautiful city of Chicago, visit the ELCA church-wide offices and meet some wonderful people, grow closer to my five country mates, meet people in Hyde Park and in the Lutheran School of Theology Chicago community. Most of all we had the opportunity over the last week to just BE. Someone wisely said at orientation that we’re called Human Beings, not Human Doings. I have a feeling that over the next year we will often need to just be, be present in the moment and be intentionally invested in each experience.
The Palestinian people that we are spending the next year with have also had experience with waiting and being patient. Many Palestinians have been expelled from their homes, towns, communities, and have been waiting to return home for centuries. They have been waiting for the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank to end. They have been waiting for peace talks to be successful. They have been waiting to be recognized as a legitimate state. The beginning of the end is perhaps in sight with the Palestinian statehood being up for a vote in the UN on September 20th. Such an exciting time to be in the West Bank!
Monday, June 13, 2011
I am currently living in Beaverton, OR for the summer and working for Environment Oregon as a campaign canvasser. I am raising funds for my year in WB/Jerusalem - if you are interested in supporting me send me an email and I can give you more information on how to do so! I will be leaving for Chicago on August 17th and leaving for the Middle East on August 24th. Check back for more updates on my preparations throughout the summer. :)