Tuesday, April 5, 2011
The Knot of Community.
Just as the sun peeked above the cloudy blanket of the morning, our plane hovered above Cajamarca Peru, the former Incan Northern stronghold. The arrival into this small mountain town is such a beautiful experience…the landing is done purely by sight as the town is very remote (aka no radar tower, sometimes just cannot happen on extra rainy days). The pattern is always the same: plane circles mountain morning haze and drops into layers of the clouds, one layer at a time…you literally enter the bowl of green and brown patched land sprawling over the expanse below…framed by mountains on every side. It is really glorious and slightly nerve wracking! Desiree our Program Manager and Oswaldo General Manager of our NGO partner greeted me in the early morning hours with a familiar welcome. We laughed on the ride into town about the welcome sensory vista of Cajamarca: flooded broken streets accented with farm animal dung and crisp air washing the fresh day into your lungs.
I slept for two hours to acclimatize to the mountain altitude and get it all together. There is vulnerability in settling into a totally different culture where you are so different from everyone. I usually begin it all with 1) rest 2) shower 3) coffee and 4) plain old remembering through any doubt that WE ARE MEANT TO HAVE AN AMAZING LIFE.
First stop: Hope House. Today’s class was 40+ women who requested crochet lessons from their favorite teacher, Charro. Walking into their Presence is such a refreshing reminder of all of the conversations I have on the US side…to be close to the women and the reason we do what we do. They are gracious and strong. The KNOT of their community in one another’s lives is so apparent. Watching them all settle into their class, I just let myself float away for a second and listen. I heard the ECHO of communion punctuated by laughter, sharing, and advice. Humbled time and time again by the strength of mothers all over the world, I just loved being close to the experience of their agility and determination—toddler wrapped in blanket on the back, young infant in their arms, and somehow crocheting the design with pride and power. Introductions and goodbyes are very ceremonial so the class began with me giving a formal speech of appreciation and ending with a personal shared kiss with every one of the ladies and their kiddos…talk about love amplified! That I get to be in receipt of such power is truly an honor.
Late Day was punctuated by bringing the entire Peruvian staff together for an evening of sharing over Peruvian pizza (aka cheese not familiar to our pizza). The world is a canvas for our imagination…and this was a joyous evening, inviting each person to contribute to how they see the future ownership of the program here. The resourcefulness and intelligence is well and alive in all of them.
Sitting in safety and gratitude. If you feel it, you can receive it! Your goodness is a magnet to all the riches in life.