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Gratitude & generosity in cross cultural exchanges-revision2


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Gratitude & generosity in cross cultural exchanges-revision2

  1. 1. Gratitude & Generosity inCross-Cultural Exchanges BEARING WITNESS ACTING IN SOLIDARITY BUILDING COMMUNITY
  2. 2. My context
  3. 3. My power We (first world, privileged) and I (white male, first world, privileged) carry inherent power. It cannot be set aside – going “native” is a comforting myth. The question is – how do we employ this power?
  4. 4. “I can look on a tree…”
  5. 5. encounterTravel, whether crosstown or international, isencounter.Each encounter is a callevoking a response.Each response is basedin, and reveals, thetravelers intent.
  6. 6. Exploring intentWe areintentional, rarelyaccidental, in our crosscultural encounters.We go somewhere for areason – which may beclear or obscure to us.Understanding ourintentions can bechallengingAnd may span a rangeof intention
  7. 7. Mistaken intentions & false generosities To hell with good intentions  “I am here to entreat you to use your money, your status and your education to travel in Latin America. Come to look, come to climb our mountains, to enjoy our flowers. Come to study. But do not come to help.” Ivan Illich, 1968 Service?  Service has a tendency to emphasize a “focalized” view of problems and issues .
  8. 8. Student trips2011 and 2012 learningexchanges toNicaragua.Small student groupsengage in experientiallearning – decidedlynot “service learning”.
  9. 9. ReceivinggenerosityIn my experience, we –the privileged fromNorth America – aremost often therecipients of truegenerosity.
  10. 10. ReturninggratitudeEncountering thisgenerosity, we canreturn only honestgratitude to our hosts.
  11. 11. Now what?
  12. 12. Dialogue Dialogue is the encounter between men, mediated by the world, in order to name the world.
  13. 13. Hope “…dialogue cannot exist without hope. Hope is rooted in mens incompletion, from which they move out in constant search-a search which can be carried out only in communion with others"
  14. 14. Returning homeWE ALWAYS (EVENTUALLY) COME HOME
  15. 15. SolidaritySolidarity deepens andtransformservice, creating a lensthrough which what hasbeen seen andexperienced creates abridge. There is noother world, no place togo to – there is only thestruggle of humansworking together tobuild a world
  16. 16. CommunityBuilding a communityof truth which can bearwitness and act insolidarity to sustainhope, support dialogueand transform theworld.
  17. 17. In gratitudeDon Teofilo –unknowing mentor formuch of my work onthis subject