Buen Viaje: mental grit and going to El Salvador

I do not like doing things that are hard.  The first time I went on a sea kayaking expedition I spent a significant portion of the time thinking I would quit. That expedition was an exercise in mental grit and agility. Staring myself in the eye every morning I cajoled, yelled, and shamed myself to put on cold wet neoprene and get in the boat.  I was capable but had to fight hard to convince myself of that.

There is this split in all of us, a divide of what we can do and the lengths we go to prevent ourselves from doing that.  When I say I do not like doing things that are hard, I mean that I do not like putting these two sides of myself up against each other.  It is uncomfortable and embarrassing. In order to be my greatest, to do all the things I am most proud of, I have had to fight and kick and shove myself out of the way.

For the next six weeks I will be in El Salvador.  I am going to see the life of my sister friend Catie (see her blog for more about her experience in El Salvador) and to be a guest, observer, and listener of the solidarity work being done by US-El Salvador Sister Cities (see their blog for more information on their work).

During my time there I will be involved in sustainable agriculture projects in the community of Cinquera.  I will participate in a delegation of Salvadorans and internationals witnessing a community consultation seeking to ban metallic mining on a community level.  Plans for eating pupusas, playing on the beach, and improving my Spanish swirl throughout all of this as well.

I will also be writing about my experience in El Salvador.  US-El Salvador Sister Cities was founded around the concept of solidarity and importance of witnessing the lives of others.  This blog will be part of both my solidarity and witnessing. I invite you to read it.

When I get on the plane tomorrow I will shove the scared, doubting part of me out of the way in order to board.  Upon arrival in Mexico City I will elbow the shy, whining part of me aside as I ask for directions to my connecting flight in faltering Spanish.  In order be a person of courage I admit to being a person of fear.  We are all both.

Buen viaje a todos.



6 thoughts on “Buen Viaje: mental grit and going to El Salvador

  1. Dearest Maya, I wish you well on your journey and look forward to hearing about this adventure. Be Safe ….and Enjoy,too! Love Beverly

  2. You are courageous and will do well growing profoundly along the way. Lucky people to have you joining and supporting them. Look forward to reading of your journey & life gleanings!

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