Wow, what a crazy and challenging weekend! Our Fuel retreat....
We did The Table: half the group arbitrarily gets put on the floor to eat weetbix and water, the other half gets put on a silverservice table to eat bacon and eggs and pankcakes. Lo and behold, Lucy is put on the bottom table. My mouth literally starts watering, my tummy churning, my hearts beating faster: I want scrambeled eggs!!!! This is not fair!!! I look up at Tim enthroned at the top table, longing for him to chuck me something yummy. He doesn't.
I have often intended on doing this with my youth group, but never got round to it- if you have never done this with a group YOU MUST! It is soooooo Powerful! For the first time ever I had a personal experience of the unjust nature of global inequality, and for goodness sake we were only talking eggs here! Not whole livelihoods at stake!
Tim got sent to the lower table on missionary service,and when the General came along to appoint him back to the rich table he took me as his native wife! Man was I stoked, I tucked in and filled up my puku (belly)... but you know what- those eggs tasted sour! I relished the laughter and the sharing we had at the bottom table, up here at the top people were just helping themselves, eyes on their plates, mouths to full to chat. Meanwhile the lower table was hurt, cos Tim just came along and ate their weetbix and then shot off back to eat bacon as soon as he got the chance!
Although there were a thousand billion analogies to take from The Table, the big ones that got me thinking were the individualism of the Western world, the apathy towards those on the other side of the gap, the danger in sending missionaries to the slums for a few years and whipping them out.
"Shivers Lu, its just a silly game" you might think! But it actually nailed home some stuff I have known headwise but not felt heartwise. Now that is surely the definition of one darn good activity!!!
My session on poverty and trade went well. It was so cool having these young people deciding to take the next step on Doing Something. It can be so simple- if 20 young people begin that justice journey; start chatting with friends, buying FT choc, it's wave making...Im convinced.
In sociology there is the concept of Frame Breaks- that life/conversations/events are a series of frames- just like a movie. Shared understanding of whats going on makes it all run smoothly, but when something happens to jar that understanding- a Huh? moment- that is called a Frame Break.This weekend was a multitude of frame breaks for me! Or maybe one big fat frame break! These young people,(some of whom know JC, most dont) were so brutaly honest and crazy I could hardly handle it.... I had my last name mocked hour after hour (Our name does actually sound very very like I Can Read, when said fast) and at one point we were even asked by a yound Somali boy If Tim would like to wife swap with this other couple he knew. Hello???
But, we had fun. 2 man white water rafting(my husband is an absolute hooligan), clambering in bare feet through mud swamps, we also got to chill with my FABULOUS bro and sis in law Kyle and Hania in their whare ataahua (beautiful home), with their little rascal puppy, Tui.
ARGH got home to mammoth flooding in our house where the roof had leaked- WAH! But actually led to an amazing little time of connecting with the neighbours, as we taupolined the roof together.
We still had the work projector at home last night so we set it up in our bedroom, and watched The Constant Gardener in bed as we ate chocolate cheescake yahhooo! Such a treat as we dont have a telly. An incredible, shocking film. Big time recommend it. Might post on it another day as it made me think much.
WOWZA what a huge post, my apologies!