Thursday, November 23, 2006

11/23/06 (Day 72): Closure activities

Last night, surrounded by the 19 other health volunteers that have made it through 10 weeks of training, Tonie Taft, our tech trainer, offered us some moments of closure and reflection. Two roads divered in a yellow wood and I took the one less traveled by. Robert Frost.

She reminded us that we are adventurers, that we are strong and capable forces, that we will feel emotions we've never felt before,t hat we will struggle and be lost, that we will impact lives and that our lives will be impacted. We are ready-to-serve. In the comfort of her home (a rockslab, multi-tiered, big windowed, bathroom included, house on a hill in a gated community where x-mas lights decorated the deck and coconut curried portabello mushrooms filled our hungry stomachs and waffles with strawberries and whipped cream gave us the final lasting tastes of memories while red wine poured smoothly across our liberal tongues) Tonie gathered us in a circle for two last dinamicas. I was transported north, along the high mountain ridges, dipping over parts of both Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, across the border and north. And suddenly I was sitting around a big wooden table in Kirby dining hall, or perched on a rock on Chapel Point, or dangling my toes off the TB dock, or sitting, sweating, in the dim light of a sauna on Burntside. Of course it was different -- our adventure will be one of service to the people not escape tot he wilderness, it will last over two years instead of 40 short days, we may never reach that silent comfort that is paddling up to a flat orangy bed of tundra, seamlessly unloading two canoes, setting up tents and cooking a meal in a system that has become practiced, routine, easy. We will always look different, we will always speak another language womewhere within, we will never have grown up in the campo of Peru.