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Friday, February 3, 2012

Looking to the future - making connections

I spent a good part of the day today with Elia Saikaly, a true adventurer with a passion for connecting with people through grand adventures.  He has climbed Everest several times and has climbed mountains on most continents.  Elia's stories are truly inspiring, but he never loses his ability to connect to the individual.  Today at the end of the day, students, even at the grade 1 level were truly thankful that they had had the opportunity to hear his stories.

Elia on his last adventure
You don't always hear that kind of appreciation from kids that young.

The ability to connect is a true gift, maybe one of the most important gifts that one can possess.

There is a link, I think, between what Elia did today at our school and what I experienced last summer when we were in El Salvador.  What passed between us was something special.  It involved the telling of stories, sometimes very painful, but stories that needed to be shared.  A true story that is shared is a gift, it brings people together in ways that can never be forgotten.  Once you share these stories your life is never the same.  Your life path changes.

I think what happened to me today as I listened to Elia was something special.  In some way, it was like being back in El Salvador as I listened to the stories of quiet courage from the teachers of San Jose las Flores.  I really think that a bond was created then that I really can't go back on.  They shared something essential to what makes them who they are.

I have to go back.

If there are people who want to come with me that is great.  But even if there is no group, I have to honour the connections I made to the people of San Jose las Flores.  Maybe there will be others who haven't heard about our experience who still want to come.

you have to listen to the stories

Maybe students from the University of Ottawa where I will be speaking in a few weeks.  Maybe it will be other teachers attending the EOCCC conference in April.  Whoever it is, it is important to keep going back, keep making the connections.  That is what we are about.

As Oscar Romero quoted:

This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promises.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities

Our seeds will grow some day.

Thanks Elia for your inspiration!

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