by Justin J. Pearson, Summer 2 Intern
Your journey of a thousand miles
may begin with one step, but who you are travelling with helps you reach your
destination. I am fortunate to be on a journey of self-awareness and evaluation
with my Mannamily. I am challenged to think creatively when making Camp J.A.M. plan. Analytically, when helping create Business Development strategy and
introspectively while walking in the communities where we serve.
Our service is only part of the
experience, but how the community serve us is the other part. I continue to
learn that service is understanding that the people you work with/ serve are
giving of themselves and their stories to help you grow. The communities we
work have strengthened me. I only hope I can help some in theirs. Our shared vision is culminated when sitting
with a community member in her home and listening to her tell about her hopes for
the future. These moments define holistic community development by
understanding the community.
Here, I grow. I have learned how to
evaluate the community without imposing preconceived beliefs or ideals. I
understand the investment that Manna has in this community and the investment
of the community in Manna. I have learned more Spanish, met more people and
engaged in the Nica experience. I work with my Mannamily and work in the
The meals we share and our travels strengthen
our bonds with one another. The homestays, the classes, and the work we do
strengthen our bonds to a wider net of humanity. There are few experience that
have challenged the way I think more than my time here in Nicaragua.
Each step strengthens me. Each
conversation I discover more of who I am.