Thursday, 8 February 2007

:: Thoughts, mid-time report ::

Wednesday 24th of January

Well.. here are some of the results of the reflections that I mentioned in the previous posts.

Clear change
I had expected some kind of significant change before I came here... but I could never have predicted how profound and how immediate this change would be. I did not expect to see myself changing, as if I was an outsider, observing myself from distance. It is amazingly how clearly I can see myself changing.

Prayerful way of life
Already during the first week I got immersed in an ocean of prayers and meditation. I have learned a lot about the meaning of prayer, but also emotionally gained a new attachment, almost addiction, to prayerfulness in everything I do. I truly hope that I can preserve that when I get home.

Learning through tests - communication problems

We grow through tests. Some of the first tests I got here was using a language that is not my mothertongue and a bodylanguage that I am not very used to. In the English language politeness is shown with many words. I had to learn that really fast, because in the beginning people thought I was impolite for not using as many "thank yous" and "of course, I would love tos" and "you are welcomes", and also my bodylanguage was much more restricted than I think it is now.
Another thing that I have had to deal with has been, that I'm not able to express my thoughts as well as in Finnish. It is very frustrating to constantly realize that I didn't say this or that as well as I know I thought it. It almost feels like I am a lot younger than the other volunteers, because my self-expression in the English language is several years behind theirs. Also, interacting with the other youth serving here, I feel like my humour has become so much more silly and childish, because I'm not able to be witty in English! My friends, however lovely they are, tease me when I say funny things, because they think it sounds sweet. They know that this can be frustrating for me so they are very kind in trying to overlook some of the things I say, and teach me when necessary. These two things have taught me to show kindness in much more than just words, use my body language a lot more, and keep patient when I feel like I'm not fully expressing myself.

I have also learned about living on my own, since I have to constantly keep my trailer in good condition. This will be very useful when I start studying.

Rough conditions
I have never seen children who have truly gone through such hard times in their lives. This was a shock as I first started teaching a children's class, because it really reflects on their behavior, and it keeps surprising me every time, but I am also surprised how pure these children have remained despite all the hardships they have faced and the materialism they see on television.

New beginning
It has been amazing to be in a place where no-one has any pre-conceptions about me. I have been able to mold the image of me in other people's minds, because they don't have much expectations! It is a very refreshing feeling, and it has enabled me to recognise and get rid of behavior that I used to have only for the sake of expectations.

Concept of time
Already now, after the fifth week of service, I feel like I have always been here. The everyday feeling is like I have always lived in NABI and my whole life is here. It's like living in a bubble. The outside world matters only when it has some significance to NABI.

Family love
The ties to my family have really gone through a healthy transformation. I can truly say that I look forward to see them again, even though I'm not the homesick kind of a person. I feel like my Service here has affected my home a lot, and it seems like things have really changed. I want to go back and test my new relationships with my family members in real life. I think also me learning to express love and caring has affected my relations with my home. I have truly learned to see amazing qualities in my family members that I couldn't see before I took a little distance.

Thoughts fly in beauty
The skies of Arizona are so high! I will miss the millions and milions of stars that I see every night, the beautiful, beautiful sunsets that are different every single night, the amazingly pure dusk, and the wide, deep blue skies of the daytime, that are seldom covered with clouds.


Sebastien Tyne said...

Piti käydä kurkkaan tää sun kuvablogi, josko sieltä löytyis se pikkutytöstä otettu kuva, ja tässä postauksessa se ilmeisestikin oli. Huikee kuva, ja ennen kaikkea tunnelma on puhutteleva! Onnistunut otos.

Linda said...

Kiiiiitos! kiva kun kävit kattoon, ja kvia saada palautetta :) missäs sun kuvia on esillä?

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