It feels like life has been crazy lately. Perhaps this is true for all students, that time of year - I don't know. I just finished a course called Culture and Learning: from Violence Toward Peace. It was really interesting, although challenging. In the midst of all the discussions at UPeace to be talking about our cultures and the way they impact us. All the different pieces of culture, the things which are obvious like language and food and the things that are buried deeper and then all those assumptions we make about other people, based on - if anything - shallow truths.
I kind of struggled in this class. "Canadian culture" can be a bit hard to define. Goodness knows that I have had plenty of people tell me that we just don't have any, which ruffles my feathers. I feel that, while it may not be always super obvious, it is there and strong. It's also hard being painted as the 'at fault' party in all things negative about globalization. I realize that there is a large difference between individuals and the 'global north' but it is hard to try to listen with an open heart, when at times it feels like people are talking about you - and the people you love, in a giant box of the evil north. I have been told that discomfort is the stretching of learning - and I am trying to get my heart to hear that part. There were many fantastic things which came out of the class. :)
Tomorrow I begin my second to last course (AHHHH) for the year. It's a bit daunting to think that I am coming up on done. How did that happen? My project is still moving slowly - and the idea that I will be done and back in Alberta, at ACGC, in August seems SO soon. This week our colleagues from the ALP (Asia Leaders Program) are departing, so we had a lunch on Friday - this is our department (the Peace Education and Gender and Peacebuilding classes) photo, with all of us (minus Virginia who is in the Philippines right now). It is going to be strange to start a class without these friends - and made the end seem like it is even closer.
The flip however, is missing parts of home. Mostly people, sometimes food. My Auntie Irma and Uncle Jim came for a Costa Rican adventure (and visit!) which was great. It was so nice to have them come, even if school was pretty busy and I didn't get as much holiday/fun time as I wished. Right at the beginning of their trip - we went to the Volcano Poas - which was beautiful. Here are some of the photos. You can tell I am still in love with Costa Rican plants.
For those of you who have spent too much time around me, you will know that I am approaching the time of year where I countdown for cupcakes. This is WAY harder when far away, although I think I may still succeed with new friends. I thought, just in case anyone was wondering about my mailing address though (cause my mailbox is empty often...) I would share it out. Hee hee. You can find me at:
University of Peace
PO Box 138-6100
San Jose, Costa Rica
Ok - that was shameless, clearly I am starting to miss home...
Anyway, classes start again tomorrow so, back to it.
peace to you,