Monday, May 28, 2012

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5/28/12 "Life is beautiful, but it can also be difficult, and its full of flowers, but it can also have thorns.." Cacique Marcos The Cacique drove four hours to Recife, for a two hour meeting and four hours back today. Every time he leaves the Xukuru territory he has to have police escorts for his own protection due to assassination attempts, so a non-uniformed officer had to travel with him. When he came home, he made a point to shake hands and greet everyone in the house. Even though he is busy and had a long day, he took time to sit and talk to all of us, like he has done before. Tonight, he talked about how important it is to spread the word about the Xukuru people, and all ingenious people in Brazil. They have a long history of being marginalized, and are often overlooked and cast aside. The Cacique became chief at the age of 21, and he believes that youth have p0wer to mobilize there community.
This can be seen in all aspects of Xukuru culture, they really believe in putting the power of change into the hands of the youth. The Xukuru put great importance and pride into education. They have created a curriculum that teaches about Xukuru values as well as empowerment and love for family, community, and nature. The Cacique is not just an idle leader who pushes papers behind a desk, he is available for people, no matter how large or small their problem is. An important lesson to learn from the Cacique is about being present in everything you do in life, doing everything 100%. If you truly believe in something and are passionate about it, that passion will not go unnoticed.......... I have been taking all of this in like a sponge, earlier this year I was accepted into combined degree program for counseling with an emphasis in rehab. I have always been interested in helping people with disabilities. I grew up going into my mothers special education classrooms, on my days off of school and playing with the children she worked with. As a middle school-er I spent my summer volunteering anywhere that would let me volunteer. In high school, I volunteered in special education classroom, joined anti racism organization and went to workshops. I was never the best athlete, or musician, or dance, but I was always an activist. After, I graduated from high school, I got a full time job at a group home for people with disabilities. I loved the clients, I worked with but knew I needed more education. After journeying through some difficulties, and getting pricked by the thrones of live, I found my way to the University of North Dakota. Where, I have been given wonderful opportunities, like this field school. I have been able to meet wonderful people, hear amazing stores, and see beauty that I have never seen before. This trip, this opportunity has been like a flower, thats helping me see the world in a different way.

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