The mundane. Whether you want to believe it or not, the mundane is everyone’s biggest fear in life. For the most part I think that’s why all of the interns are here; to gain experience and to take everything that has become slightly mundane in our everyday lives and apply it somewhere else, somewhere that needs it, somewhere that it becomes..well, not so mundane.
For the most part, everyday in Pearl Lagoon is a new experience. Whether it be doing something new, eating something new, or meeting someone new, the days do not pass by without at least one story to tell. However, at times we have all felt the sinking, uneasy feeling of the mundane. At times we have all felt as though we could do, or even should be doing more than we are; whether in our social lives or in our work lives.
The challenge aside from these things is dealing with our lives back home. I think each and every one of us has faced the challenge of having to balance our Pearl Lagoon lives with our Canadian lives. Whether it be family, significant others, grad school apps, or poor internet connection for Skype calls when you just need to vent; these are not unique feelings. These challenges are real and they have lead us to sometimes forget all of the amazing things we are experiencing here and now- in this moment. We are so used to looking forward that we often forget to appreciate the present. What we have been faced with now, is the reality that soon this will all be over- you never experience the same thing twice.
On October 14th we had the final workshop with the parents of Pearl Lagoon on parent-teacher relations. As I sat there discussing approaches to communication I couldn’t help but think about, not only how far I’ve come, but how far we, including the parents, have come to get to this point. How many obstacles we have had to face, how many challenges we have conquered, how many times we have failed but continued to try- everybody has a story. It is incredible that all of these women took their afternoon to spend time with us and to open the discussion. To laugh with us, to participate with us, to share with us, and to give us glimpses into their lives. These communities are filled with parents that do so much for their children, their families, and their neighbourhoods. There is nothing mundane about their strength and persistence. Everyday that gets closer to the end of our experience here we seem to be able to appreciate our moments more and more.
What we are learning here is more than how to develop our facilitation or professional development skills. We are learning life lessons. We are learning how to appreciate, to be patient and perseverant, and to be open and honest with ourselves as well as others. Most importantly, we are gaining more than we could have ever hoped for by sharing information, sharing stories, sharing laughs, and sharing moments. Moments that will stay with us no matter where we go.
What these parents have given me, what the teachers have given us, and what the community continues to provide, is something that we could never even think of finding anywhere else.
I can only hope that we are able to give even a portion of what they have offered us.