Carrying my backpack and getting rained on for several hours really did work on my tenacity and adaptability. Hiking the steep terrain in the magnificent forest, I found myself meditating on was how the journey towards peace behaved like the terrain, with its promising moments and painful seasons, yet reassuring along the way. Crossing rivers allowed me to reflect on the refreshing & rejuvenating nature of water. Our diverse nationalities, gender and culture brought depth to everyday chats and laughter. We had fun eating, making tarp and sharing in the circle with insects participating in such moments courtesy of lights at night.
We literally chased after waterfalls and rivers which were numerous in 10 days. At one point, we even got to stand under a waterfall, savouring its beauty, and touch a rainbow. Water rappelling was a reminder of trust; where we caught up with one waterfall and descended it. This meant willfully entrusting my safety to someone else, using their aid to get to the bottom of the waterfall, where I was drenched and amazed at the splendour of nature. I pondered how the peacebuilding process is one of trusting the relationships around us to work and taking the leap; we must learn to trust even when it calls for us to do it with our backs to what is around us and our faces to the wall (challenge) that lies in front of us.
I relished the presence of Hanashita* to journal our experiences, realising that it is through their eyes and ears that we would know of memories made. Lessons from Naturalista and peacebuilding professors brought new perspectives to experiential peacebuilding. It was humbling to be a follower and a co-casique during the Practicum, as it affirmed knowing that leaders and followers work interdependently. The Practicum was a lifetime experience that propelled me to keep journeying in peacebuilding.
Mary Mumbi is a 2016 Practicum alumna. She works with African Christian Camping which facilitates training and equipping camping organizations and facilitators in experiential programming.
*Japanese for scribe. This person plays the daily role of journalist.