Connection. I talk about it all the time. I talk about how important it is for the work of HBI. I talk about how the core of our values are centered around creating and maintaining relationships.
This week was our annual Team Perú service learning trip. We just finished with the team. Part of the group split off and went to Machu Picchu and tourism activities in the sacred Valley.
Our HBI team took off for another Casa Girasoles in the desert city of Ica. We have a young man who lives in the house, he struggles with identity. He has for a long time. For purposes of this story, let's call him Raul. Raul is Afro-Peruvian. He is the only person of color in the house. He's one of the only people of color he sees day-in and day-out. I think it makes him lonely. He has confided in me that there are times when he feels a bit lost because he doesn't have other people around that look like him.
We are very fortunate to have a young lady from Britain working as an intern with HBI for the next couple of months. Her name is Kaila. She is great. So kind. So empathic. So real.
The connection Kaila and Raul made was amazing. There was something deep inside of Raul that compelled him to connect with Kaila. It wasn't easy. Raul is shy. He kept trying to stimulate a conversation with Kaila; but would get shy and recoil.
When they started talking about their hair - he lit up. Slowly he opened up more and more. He had someone to talk with . . . someone to connect with, and it brought deep meaning for him. It was beautiful. These kinds of connections are healing.
Kaila is amazing young woman. She is a beacon of light. And I know for a fact that she was shining so brightly when she met Raul; and, that is what attracted him to her on many different levels. Raul found someone he could relate with. Connect with. And, perhaps most importantly - someone that looks like him.
I believe the most important part of our work is creating compelling connections. One healing relationship at a time.
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.