We thought we would give you a report after five weeks of class. Overall we are pleased with how it is progressing. The first few weeks we focused on developing a foundational base for conflict, peace building and conflict transformation and now we are headed into the actual strategies and tools for conflict transformation. This is what our students are asking for and we hope that it will be helpful and practical for their day to day lives.
We also realize that many of our students have never been provided with the opportunity to learn about conflict transformation. Many of these theories, ideas and tangible skills are new for them. That is what makes this exciting! Every week we receive positive comments about what they are learning and how this information is so helpful and critical to their own daily lives, as well as their families, churches and communities.
We often feel inadequate with our language abilities as well as the fact that all of our students lived through the armed conflict and revolution here in Nicaragua. We recognize that they are really the experts and are learning from them as much as they are learning from us.
A couple of weeks ago we asked our students to draw a picture of conflict. We asked them what came to mind when they heard this word. And this is what the majority of pictures looked like:
(Guerra means war)
This is their reality, and that is okay!
But we are trying to impress upon them the idea that conflict is a place for opportunity, growth, change and hope. Conflict can lead to positive places, if we allow it to.
We look forward to our next couple of months in the classroom as we work together to find resolution, healing and even better, transformation in our own lives and the lives around us!
Here are a few pictures of our students Manuela, Jerry and Manuel. They gave us permission to post their pretty/handsome faces on the great world wide web.
Thanks again for your thoughts and prayers, keep them coming!