Retreating to Reality

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I have a love-hate relationship with MCC team retreats. I always feel like I need a retreat to recover. But, I think they may be good for me. Here is why:

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Sometimes, you just have to go on a retreat to remember that you are on the defining line between introvert and extrovert.

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Sometimes, you just have to go on a retreat to experience the best vegetarian food you have ever eaten at an MCC event. In other words, there is always hope for improvement!

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Sometimes, you just have to go on a retreat to realize how much you still do not know, such as hearing from colleagues about their work, for example, with Colombian refuges in Ecuador. Life is hard enough in Colombia for human rights defenders, but it becomes almost impossible far away from family and friends due to lack of support and life in a hostile environment, where there is no possibility of return.

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Sometimes, you just have to go on a retreat to see cows.

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Sometimes, you just have to go on a retreat to laugh really hard at the ridiculousness of trying to construct some sort of social change by being part of this crazy group of people. I mean, I have now attended at least three MCC events where I have used my monocle moustache. If this is what it means to build peace, I am all in!

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Sometimes, you just have to go on a retreat to realize how much you have changed since your first retreat almost three years ago. I used to be less critical but have somehow become more dedicated to what I do and therefore, paradoxically, more cynical.

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Sometimes, you just have to go to a retreat to feel old and experienced, to sit and talk with people who are starting to do what you did three years ago and realize that you do have a lot to share and that you do know something about this place and what it means to live in a community.

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Sometimes, you just have to go on a retreat to remember how much you love clima caliente: hot sun, tank tops, sandals. This is the life I was meant to live.

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Sometimes, you just have to go on a retreat to appreciate the beauty of this country and the privilege it is to live and work within it.

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Sometimes, you just have to go on a retreat to recognize the passing of time. Last retreat, I cried a lot: Jorge had just been arrested and I was in the middle of a giant transition. It was hard, but people hugged me. This retreat, I laughed a lot: Jorge is still in jail and it is bittersweet that life continues, but I feel more calm and settled in what I am doing and where I am living. It is sometimes still hard, but people hugged me at this retreat as well.

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Sometimes, you just have to go on a retreat to in order that normal routines seem more appealing. There is nothing like my own dear bed and my own dear home, patacones or not.

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1 comments on “Retreating to Reality”

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