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El Sal…The Beginning of the End April 24, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — kgrader @ 3:16 pm

We arrived in El Salvdor one week ago, ready to run full speed into our last country. Karla Morgan, our El Salvador-born professo, was more than ready to show us everything about her country.

We started in the little town of Suchitoto, where we went to another language school. It was really just 20 something year old girls hanging out with us for 3 days, teaching us everything they could about the culture. We watched the festivities of Semana Santa, spoke with civil war vets, and discovered that we will never be able to fully comprehend this place that is so loaded with traditions and hurt from the war. Every person here is scarred by the war that tore apart families, and led to the death of too many innocent people. Each person has a unique story that frequently ends with “I don`t know why we were fighting`. We are here to listen and understand, yet it is painfully obvious that we will never understand. We can only come alongside these people, offer our hearts, and join together in solidarity.

I also have never met such a graceful people. The U.S. was basically paying for the massacring of the El Salvador population, yet here we are, being welcomed with open arms. Why is it that we fear for our lives when we meet someone from the Middle East, yet these people were wiped out by White North Americans and can still be excited about knowing each individual. Shouldn`t we be full of the same grace? Doesn`t every person deserve the right to be different, the right to surpass a stereotype?

We have had a week loaded with activity and rest, American treats and Pupusas. We have 10 days left of our 4 month adventure and I don`t know that any of us are ready to leave. The people we have met in the last 4 months have breathed life into us. They have left us in awe of their strength, of their willingness to fight for their rights no matter the consequences. In the next 10 days we will meet more of these people. Yes, it was wonderful to go see a Jennifer Aniston movie (in English) and eat a burger at the mall the other day, but that really doesn`t feed life the way that growing with people does. I have come to realize that although there are wonderful little luxuries of my lifestyle in the States, none of those are worth my time if I don`t fill the majority of my life with community- with people who I can learn a lot from, and who might learn from me.



Keep on moving. April 3, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — kgrader @ 5:33 pm

I am sitting in the beautiful city of Granada right now, enjoying our day off in the cutest cafe ever. However that is about to be ruined by the essay I have to write. So, Managua, was fun, a little hard to get through because the lectures were a bit dissapointing and it is HOT here. And with Peter leaving, we all had a rough week. We went dancing to blow off steam and that was wonderful. Then we went to the dump, where there is a neighborhood inside with al the families that sort trash to make $3 each day. It was one of the saddest things I have ever seen. I can barely describe it and haven´t really let the reality soak in. However, there is a family there working to run a school within the dump and they are providing a world of hope for these people. It was an incredible blessing to meet these people and hear how dedicated they were to serving God through this school inside a literal hell. Every time I see hurt here, it is always counteracted with even more hope. I think it´s incredible how that works.

We are now in Granada, staying in the middle of nowhere, yet the stars are amazing and the people are so sweet. We spent the afternoon at the lake yesterday and it was sooooo refreshing! We have only 4 and half weeks left, but I really think I could travel this world for forever. I wish you guys could see all of this.