I‘ve completed El Camino, and now I immerse myself in the thick problems of conquest and domination. My friend in Seville wants to go on a trip in to Cuba before it is wide open to US traffic. Cruise ships will be going there next May. How strange is that? Let’s rush over to this exotic country before other US people go. It just doesn’t sit right with me although I’ll felt the impulse. My Cuban friend Kirenia was visiting us in August and she insists, “Cuba has already changed and evolved.” Who are we to think that we can find a culture in a purer state today than it will be in 6 months? To think the US culture has that much influence is a bit imperialist.
The Cubans are in control of their destiny. Native Americans were massacred in the 1700s, but they were not passive and innocent in the 1600s. In fact, for 100 years the Wampanoags and other Algonguin tribes were so populous on the Atlantic Coast (and more able warriors, dictating who came on and off the land), they kept the Europeans at bay. (then pestilence struck…)
I’m inbetween 3 cultures: coming from the US; visiting in Spain, on the eve of going to Israel. In Spain they are still repercussions of their New World conquest, their expulsion of all Jews and Muslims in 1492, and the state violence during Franco’s reign until 1974. The beauty of Inca gold glitters on the altars its 500 year-old churches. At what price was this gold extracted?
The US has not gotten close to its rebellious declaration of equality: that all men (and women) have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The liberal party in Canada, the Black Lives Matter, the debates of immigration and climate disruption around the world creates a dynamic time to reconsider our checkered past. We can make history.
And we travel tomorrow to Israel, which like most countries doesn’t want to see the crimes of state being commited. How can I talk about this with compassion? In the occupied territories we will be working with teens at the Quaker school in Ramallah, exploring justice/peace groups and leading Alternative to Violence groups. How can I demonstrate to others that the crimes are wrong but the people are worthy?
Blessings to you as you live and work in Ramallah. I think your question is the hard one and the one to keep in our hearts. The crimes are wrong but the people are worthy–all around.
Thanks for your postings.
I love the photo of your shadows! I hope you have a very positive impact in Israel and so glad they will have the opportunity to discuss these topics openly with you facilitating.
thank you for this thoughtful and evocative post, MInga, and traveling mercies to you both. yes, the crimes are wrong but the people are worthy. xoxo, Wendy
Congratulations to both of you! I’m envious. I’ve often talked about walking the Camino and now I want to even more. I have loved your beautiful descriptions and reflections while on the walk. And now I look forward to your time in Israel. I was there a number of years ago, visiting my cousin and his family. We argued a lot about the treatment of the Palestinians. I also had a chance to stay at Kibbutz Lotan and learn of their environmental efforts and Kibbutz Ketura, home of the Arava Institute, an incredible learning center for Jordanians, Palestinians, and Israelis to learn to care for their land together. Maybe you’ll have a chance to get south? I also visited the Marda Permaculture farm in Marda in the West Bank. It’s incredible. I don’t know your itinerary, but these would be great places to visit. Safe journey. I’m holding you two in my heart and prayers.