Saturday, August 16, 2008


As long as you derive inner help and comfort from anything, you should keep it. If you were to give it up in a mood of self sacrifice or out of a stern sense of duty you would continue to want it back and that unsatisfied want would make trouble for you. Only give up a thing when you want some other condition so much that the thing no longer has any attraction for you. –Voluntary simplicity D. Elgin

Upon my arrival in Buenos Aires this past august I found at the baggage claim that my suit case had broken and my things lay exposed falling out of what I had brought to contain them. There was no fixing it so I pushed my things back in and with help from my fellow Volunteers I was able to temporarily close the suitcase until I arrived in La Plata. I knew then that the things I had brought with me for the year would not return the same way.

This july I went to the winter camp. Following the theme of summer camp which was violence we picked up on civil rights. This has been a current theme all year round as Argentina struggles daily for exactly that it’s human rights. Its been a continuios and unfare fight between the people, and their government as well as among them selves. So much context is necesary in explaining this properly I hope that this is one of the questions I am asked when I come home instead of the impossible: “So, can you tell me how your year was in five minutes or less?”

At camp the youth answered questions such as what are our human rights. Many were named: The right to eat, to be able to work, a right to education, participation and expression.

But are we really free?

The answer to this in my small camp group was: No.

When theory goes to practice theres a big difference of out come.

Those in power use Ignorance + fear = abuse of power and injustice.

For our final devotion we lifted up a wall made out of those things that stop us from fighting for our humanrights. Pride, fear, ignorance, lack of trust...

As a group we had to face this wall and try to get every one over it. However, some of us were blinded to the things surroungding us, others were mute and others had there hands tied and were unable to do much. At first it was all screams and hollers pushes and pulls frantic gestures. Those who couldn´t speak struggled to be heard, those who couldn’t hear cried out to be lead, those whose hands were tied struggled to find a way to help those who surrounded them. Whenever any one tried to cross alone, or refused to let themselves be helped by others the wall would tear and we’de have ourselves a scare. Then those who could see and hear began to look at those who couldn’t speak and speak out for them. Then those those who couldn’t see knew what was going on and were able to lend there hands to those who had none trusting to be moved by those who couldn’t speak who also had their hands to help. My hands were tied and I must admit it was scary letting myself fall into the hands of the blind and the mute, but they carried me over the wall safetly and in the end we accomplished our goal.

But this happens more often than not where we are bouncing around unable to see, speak or be a helping hand but the desire to make things better is there. A farer world isn’t easy or even attractive. We live in a world where some people have more and some people have less. To be fare would mean that those who have more would have less and honestly I don’t think people are lining up for that. In a fare world we would all get the merit we deserve for the work we put in we would all have enough.

In the real world foreners mostly from the united states have bought out most of Argentinas companies leaving them poor tenants of their own land. These same people who are cutting down and ruining the soul with monocultivation, who threaten to cut through an ancient glacier to reach the metals underneath. Then there is the government who refuses to enforce the necesary justice to protect its lands and resources so that in a not so distant future we will still have water to drink.

I see these things happening in my own home with the selling of the phone company the external debt and the IVU. Thats how it starts. Thats how it has been here and I only hope that peopel will wake up to what is happening. There is hope if we learn to rethink our questioning. If we are willing to change and are open to what that really means. So that when I am asked something such as what is the relationship of the US with Puerto Rico I can start asking what is the relationship of Puerto Rico with the US? Will we continue to be an object or will we one day reclaim our identity and become the nation I know we are?

I’ve seen you Puerto Rico here in Argentina, you can not continue with your arms crossed with your eyes closed with your mouth shut...

El problemita Silvio Rodríguez

El problema no es /The problem isn’t

si te buscas o no más problemas / If you look for trouble or not

El problema no es /The problem isn’t

ser capaz de volver a empezar /being able to start over

El problema no es /The problem isn’t

vivir demostrando /being able to live showing

a uno que te exige / those who demand of you

y anda mendigando / those who beg of you

El problema no es /The problem isn’t

repetir el ayer /Repeating yesterday

como fórmula para salvarse. as the formula to save us

El problema no es / The problem isn’t

jugar a darse pretending to give of ones self

El problema no es The problem isn’t

de ocasión of the ocation

El problema señor / The problem Sir

sigue siendo sembrar amor. Continues to be planting love

El problema no es / The problem isn’t

de quien vino y se fue o viceversa Of who came or left or viceversa

El problema no es / The problem isn’t

de los niños que ostentan papás of the boys who resemble fathers

El problema no es / The problem isn’t

de quien saca cuenta of who keeps count

y recuenta y a su bolsillo / and recounts to his pocket.

suma lo que resta adds what he subtracts.

El problema no es The problem isn’t

de la moda mundial of fashion world wide

ni de que haya tan mala memoria or that we have such bad


El problema no queda en la gloria The problem isn’t found in glory

ni en que falten tesón y sudor or that we lack persístanse and


El problema señor / The problem Sir

sigue siendo sembrar amor. Continues to be planting love

El problema no es / The problem isn’t

despeñarse en abismos de ensueño throughing yourself in idealistic


porque hoy no llegó / because today did not arrive

al futuro sangrado de ayer to the future bleading of yesterday

El problema no es / The problem isn’t

que el tiempo sentencie extravío that time sentences the lost way

cuando hay juventudes / when there are youths

soñando desvíos dreaming of detours

El problema no es The problem isn’t

/ darle un hacha al dolor putting an ax to pain

y hacer leña con todo y la palma and making kindling with


including the palm.

El problema vital es el alma The vital problem is the soul

/ El problema es de resurrección It is a problem of resurrection.

El problema señor / The problem Sir

sigue siendo sembrar amor. Continues to be planting love

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