It is necessary to cross the bridge
To meet with ourselves
"People should think of their words as if they were seeds. They should plant them, and then allow them to grow in silence. Our elders taught us that the earth is always speaking to us, but that we must keep silent to listen to it "(Indigenous Wisdom)
I.- We speak of what our heart has seen and lived.
The plane landed very heavily at Cusco Airport, Dr. Wayne was waiting for me smiling with open arms and a bottle of water. Our destination Huilloc. More than 1000 km between Lima and Cuzco. Another 75 km from Cusco to Ollantaytambo and 13 km to reach the community of Huilloc.
Huilloc is a Quechua speaking community that keeps within itself the richness of the traditional Andean world as a heritage to share with all humanity. The village has no prisons, the community watches over its own, children play in the fields without any danger, women fall in love and have the children they want, live in the countryside and sell the crafts they produce. The day has more than 24 hours, they know the stars and the language of the clouds. But they still need to improve their conditions of health, housing, and schooling among many other issues. Some say that "civilization still does not reach" Huilloc, the truth is that it's people live with much wisdom in deep harmony with history, nature and traditions.
How far did the St. Olaf College delegation travel from Minnesota to reach Huilloc? The distance was never miles but humanity and solidarity. Dr. Douglas Tate, his team of professors and students, St. Olaf College built and crossed a bridge to meet the people of the Huilloc community and somehow, to find within themselves, the immeasurable truth that we exist.
The human encounter, for service and solidarity; That nothing fills the human heart more than to put itself at the service of another human being. HBI was present sharing the Medical Campaign and drinking from the wisdom of the Quechua world.
II.- A food for our growth in humanity.
They were wonderful days of welcome and encounter with the life, the pain, the illness and the suffering of many people with faces molded by the cold, the wind of the Andes and the harsh conditions of life. Their eyes penetrated the barriers of language and culture: faces of the elderly, children, women and young people who demanded to live in the same conditions of life in which we live. The true human encounter never leaves us the same, always provokes a universal commotion in our interior. It is the beginning of a personal journey that calls us, with a singular intensity, to share life at the service of the other.
Probably the medical campaign, has generated more health and more life in us than the people we served. If some build human barriers and distances, it is clear that, in the small, we can and must continue to build bridges of humanity. Because, where there are vulnerable - there is the center of our concerns. Now I know that there is a community called Huilloc and I can recognize many faces and many names and that they now also know ours and that the only distance between them and us are the kilometers between our cities.
The HBI Blog is a rotating journal from our staff. Our Blog is a series of messages from the field, insights from our work, and lessons in service.