Archives for posts with tag: study circle

I love how the more I work in the community, the more it becomes a process of mutual sharing. Sharing a song with the youth in a study circle is so much lovelier when they teach me one in return. A gift of my time visiting a neighbor in her home is quite literally sweetened by the tea she serves me. A word in English traded for a word in Spanish, or in Nepali, or maybe just a loving smile.

It sounds so selfish, I know. We’re taught that we should give selflessly, without regard for reward. But I can’t help the feeling that what I’m experiencing isn’t something as petty as tit-for-tat, it’s an emerging environment of equality. We’re just neighbors. Collaborators. Friends. There are no martyrs here.

So I know a prayer in Sanskrit now. I’ve learned to make chatpate from a group of middle school girls and to make origami flowers from a talented boy who used to curse at me in the street. I hoard a collection of construction paper cards that say “I love u Mis Cat” and “Thank you for being a awesome friend.” I’ve been invited to saints’ days and birthdays and dinners and festivals. And I’ve come to understand, most people love the opportunity to share what they have. Knowledge. Art. Stories. Passion. Faith. It brings people joy the same way it does for me. Silly not to have known it all along, eh? But I’m so much richer for having discovered it now.

Celebrating Holi with the some fabulous youth.

Celebrating Holi with the some fabulous youth.

Our teaching team met at Katrina’s house today for a potluck lunch and planning session.  I love our periodic gatherings because

  • we always accomplish a lot of really useful consultation, and
  • I get to try out concocting dishes like peanut-coconut-mint-cilantro-chiles-lime-cucumber-and-carrot cold pasta salad, which people end up saying nice things about, even when it’s the tiniest bit too al dente.

Yum.  (With respect to both.)

Anyhow, this three month cycle, our group of intrepid community builders is going to do something we’ve never done before!

We’re going to focus our efforts on …

grown-ups!

Our class for children is smallish, but getting stronger and more consistent.  Our junior youth group is really developing a sense of identity and is ready to take study and service to the next level.  If more kids join, we’ll be thrilled to have them, but it’s not essential right now.  We’ve got the big and little siblings in a fabulous microcosm of learning and action, of being and doing.  Now it’s time to do the same for their parents and caretakers.

The interest is there.  The logistics are being arranged.  And this will bring a level of coherence to our efforts that we’ve never reached before, strengthening communities by empowering entire families.

I can’t wait.