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“Getting to Know You”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: given by Tim (from Davenport, IA)
(From Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson)
Chp. 15 introduction: “Not hammer-strokes, but dance of the water, sings the pebbles into perfection.”
**Global Volunteers are part of the continuum in completing projects for their hosts. **

JOURNAL ENTRY: written by Todd (from Jeffersonville, IN)

It’s funny –living with strangers. Time truly is a trickster. He possesses a supernatural ability that allows him to manipulate environments, intensify experiences, and distort reason. That’s not a bad thing: in a brief span of time friendships are kindled, bonds are formed, circles are connected….has it only been a week? And it was Jamie who reminded me it is time the trickster who is now telling us that those prairies and mountains and streams and Indians who beckoned us to come here are now bidding us a gentle goodbye. Our tribe must disband…but time has a way of doing those things, doesn’t he? Indeed, it is a tribe here: a small band of humble warriors, wise men and sages, elders and care-givers, complete with a chief and yes, even our own medicine man. However, as we return home, it gives me comfort to know that our circle will not be broken, only pulled in different directions, acting not unlike a net to include those we live with and love and even those who may not understand. You see, true bonds can never really be broken, only altered. Personally, I look forward to returning to my own sacred circle to share my experiences with family and friends and students and to ask them to join us. I urge you to do the same…there’s plenty of room at the table.

As for yesterday, the team traveled to Glacier National Park, guests of the Blackfeet Confederacy. It was truly an honor to be included and acknowledged in the opening ceremony. The group was in high spirits on this day of medicine wheels and mountain tops, winding roads and waterfalls. The goodwill and humor was evident among the group, and why shouldn’t it have been given our spectacular surroundings. The day culminated with a short hike and a good meal at the lodge—a full day of listening and laughing, sharing and learning. Yes, it was a good day.

I’m sorry I could not be a better record keeper of the day’s events, but each of us will take away his or her own memories and experiences, and they will be our own. It’s sometimes difficult to explain the significance of our experiences much like it is difficult to find the words to explain the beauty and grandeur of these mountains…but they are there and they mean different things to each of us. Norman Maclean spoke of “spots of time,” a molecular moment frozen in time expounding beauty, harmony, and perfection; a moment forever unaltered when it is recalled in times of “tranquility.” Believe me when this bus driver tells you he has learned something along the way. I respect and enjoy each of you. As you conclude your journey and return to your own sacred circle in British Colombia, Iowa, New York, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Georgia, or Maryland, I hope you see your home with new eyes as you enter it from the East.

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