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.