Thank you Lauren Wulker, IHM Parishioner and teacher at McNick, for sharing your thoughts on your 2015 trip to Nicaragua!
“In this very moment THIS is what I am living for- shared moments with today’s youth that offer a sort of ripening of the soul that comes with challenge. Up until last year the only traveling I had done to Central America was for myself – to learn Spanish, to volunteer, to be a tourist on vacation, to study conservation in the field, etc. My reason for being here this week is one of giving, sharing this experience with all of you. Sure, I have an arsenal of hilarious OK teachable moments that have taken place on McNick’s campus, but the richest and most profound memories of teaching that I will carry with me are the result of service outside the classroom – in the “real world” so to speak. Most of that revolves around accompaniment or solidarity in some way, e.g. Slidell, LA building houses after Katrina; Appalachian service retreat; Kairos, where perhaps for many of us we learn to accompany one another in our shared human suffering for the first time – and of course now in Nicaragua. Being with you in the face of challenge, love, laughter, bug spray, Spanglish, Mangues, rocky roads, street dogs and prayer is who and what I have been living for. Where I go from here – where all of you go from here will undoubtedly also be a place where community, service, and education stand as pillars.
An experience like this moves us, shakes us (like a sand shifter), until suddenly we experience a new kind of “awake.” It is our choice to live without dead time. It is our choice to choose the road filled with crowded buses, feces, hustling of good, poverty, rocks, chickens, and “adios.” It is our choice to say yes to the challenges this brings, the big questions that leave us wondering who we are, who we thought we were and who we want to be. Thank you all for saying yes. Vamos caminando.”