Meagan Chuckran '07 (June 21, 2006)
It has now been one full week since we left Mexico, and I have no doubt that it has taken all of us a little time to adjust back to our "real lives." So much of what we took from Mexico is in the understanding that what is real to us is not the reality of the rest of the world. We are now all working to put our actions together with our thoughts, and stay connected to Mexico. We have already begun a long email chain, which will hopefully help us all as we continue the reflection process throughout the summer.
This process will be a significant one, as the phrase "life changing" would not be inappropriate to categorize our experiences in Mexico. Everything from the food and the weather to the faces of the individuals with whom we met marked our experience profoundly. The humility and faith that we saw in the desperately poor, as well as the wisdom and insight of our speakers, pushed each of us to our limits in our own unique way. To walk with one another in our moments of greatest vulnerability created an incredible group bond that we hope will grow in depth as we continue to share with one another on our separate life paths. Although saying goodbye to one another at the airport was difficult, our final speaker, Arturo Ornelas, reminded us that this experience was not our own to possess, and that it is something for the group to own together. With that attitude, and a renewed faith, we went in our separate directions, confident that physical separation would not erase the incredibly moving experience that we had had together.
Going back to Mexico this year as a coordinator was a powerful experience for me. Seeing each of the other participants deal with the same questions that I had dealt with, and am still struggling to answer, pushed me to further examine my own choices and faith. Being witness to the true condition of the world is always moving, always startling, and always challenging. But within this challenge was an incredibly life-giving aspect of the program that I will continue to hold on to in my prayer and reflections. I could not have imagined a more rewarding experience, and I am confident that this trip will continue to inspire both our group and groups in the future to strive for positive change ourselves and in our world.