Happy Holidays!!!!

Oh how easy it is to get sidetracked….

How easy it is to temporarily forget what you passionately care for.

I am pretty sure I’ve mentioned it before about “life keeping you away from life.” It almost feels like a sense of relief to write again. Especially on this stage, here.

I want to congratulate all the students and teachers reading this! YAY you made it through a semester, it was tough, you were frustrated many times….but YOU made it! December is truly a HAPPY month, there are so many things to look forward to.

But even for those who are not students, nor teachers. I know everyone looks forward to December because it marks an end and a beginning. For some of you, you might WANT this year to end, and get a fresh start. For others, letting go of 2013 might be a tough task. The point is, how ever you felt about this year, I want you to remember, you CAN make January a fresh new start to something more amazing!

I challenge you to set goals and STICK to them. I heard if you do something for 21 days, it is then a habit. So if you stay positive for 21 days straight, does that mean it’ll be a daily habit? (Only one way to find out hehe).

Personally, I like to reflect on my months every 3 months, to kind of “remind” myself of how meaningful my life is. I think it is a cool little practice I do, to keep my mind, body and soul on the right track and prioritizing.

What is something you do to remind yourself of what you’re doing and where you’re heading??? (Might be time to start a little practice of your own reflection).

I wish you all Happy Holidays from the Solidarity in Action team. May the new year bring some fresh new ideas into your head.

Try something new 😉

-Mansi Parasher

 

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Paulina’s Journey

 

 

 

Paulina is a sweet individual that I met in Peru during the summer in the community. She is from Poland and was working alongside SIA and Youth in action! This is her input from her experience in Pacifico.

How did you come to know about SIA and our work in Pacifico de villa?

I got to know obout SIA in Pacifico from Jacek Klisowki. I was working in the house for street children named Ayllu Situwa which he set up and has been running for more than 8 years. I was doing my volunteer service ( I was send by Papaya Foundation from Poland, and I was implementing the project funded by Ministry of Forein Affairs in Poland – program named Polish help) there and he told me about Larry and the activities for children which you organize. I really wanted to help and was interested in the work which you do.

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 What was your first impression of Pacifico and Youth in Action program/the kids?

I was amazed by the energy and happiness of the children. It was surprising that in this some kind of desert place there were so many children and that they are so willing to do all things which volunteers proposed them. That they get so deep into all activities, always with big smiles on their faces, try to do it perfectly…

What were your expectations or goal that you wanted to achieve while working with Daniel?

First of all I wanted to share with children and Daniel my experience in working with creativity. In Poland I work in developing creativity center named Kangur – cangaroo:) I wanted to share what I know and be with those children, help them with homeworks, spend time just be. I also wanted to get to know something from Daniel, he is very wise, has great contact with children. He is amaizing. I am very happy that I could work with him.

What were some of the challenges you faced while working with Daniel and youth in action?

The biggest challange was when they told us that we can not use local communal anymore:( We had to organize it outside and that it still was very cold…but all the rest was a great pleasure.

What kind of activities were you able to do with the kids?

We did a lot of art activities. Also connected with art and cultures. We were talking about Egyptian culture, a little bit about the India, we got to know some arabic letters, listening to polish legends. We did mandalas from spices, builded animals, were making a lot of ideas how we could use something or into what we could transform simple things. Painting, drawing, constructing. We also used the parachute to do some moving activities, played football. It was a good time. I hope it will serve them or even made them feel happy…

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Would you come back?

I hope so…The true is that I would love to. The problem is the distance. Peru is really far from Poland but close to my heart so I hope it will help. I would also love to spend more time, next time in guarderia. I love little kids and they need a lot of care. We will see.

What is one key message that you are taking back to Poland with you?

The key message which I brought from pacifico and casa Ayllu Situwa, after those three months which I spent working with kids is that you should never judge children but love and give a lot of attention and care. They are so innocent. And the other is that you should smile a lot because then you make others smile.

Communication

Everyone is freaking out!

At this time of the year, everyones worried about grades, graduation, jobs, further studies, etc. At least that is the pattern I am seeing in my life right now. Why am I so at ease? Is it normal to not be “worried”? I feel like I have found this content little place in my heart and mind where nothing freaks me out anymore. I know lots of people are extremely busy with their lives and I know that i’ve heard this quote before, “Life keeps you away from life.” Its simple, sometimes we get so caught up with what is going on in our lives that we forget to step back and take a breath.

I think the reason I am so relaxed, during my busy weekly schedule is because I have found the key to life. YES, I said it. I, Mansi Parasher have found the key to life. (This key might not fit your door but it fits mine.) COMMUNICATION.

Are you confused?

I believe, at the end of the day, it ALL comes down to how you interact with others and what kind of impression/impact you leave on others. Theres a reason why people say “think before you talk”, it’s true! I think I have found a sense of satisfaction in the way i approach situations, talk to others and relate to my fellow friends and acquaintances or even strangers.

I think this is such a huge part of our lives. Think about it! Lack of communication makes us confused, angry, upset or even crazy. Miscommunication causes dilemmas and arguments. A proper connection with someone involved good communication and it literally decides how our day/week will turn out.

This month is all about SIA team trying to communicate with different people and trying to introduce them to this amazing opportunity. Personally i’ve been working on talking to past participants on their experience. I hope the videos I make of these past participants speaks better to people than simple words do.

Check out our page http://www.facebook.com/solidarityinactioninc. for video updates this week!

Our event on sunday is going to all about us communicating with new people who are interested in learning more on how they can get involved!

Be a part of something amazing!

-Mansi Parasher

Beauty

Woke up to a lovely group message from Mayra Bazan (a member of the SIA team since 2009 and a lover of everything Peru).

“Hey something about Peru!

Well as this group is called “Team PerĂș”, i decided to put a little bit of PerĂș in here. I’m not sure if you heard about “El señor de los Milagros”(Lord of Miracles) or “Cristo Moreno” (Black Christ) (.. sounds weird to call him on english). He is very important for peruvians all around the world, people here is very devoted to him. This paint is call “Black Christ”, cause it was painted by an african slave. All the slaves were gather by the spaniols to learn about Jesus, but this image was always someone who wasn’t even close to look like them. So one of the slaves painted an adobe wall, very simply, a black Jesus someone they could be identify with. This wall after very strong earthquakes didn’t fall, and authorities in the past tryed to removed, but they couldn’t, cause every time someone got close, the colors would come alive. The are uncountable miracles this Christ have done for peruvians so the image was moved to Lima down town. This entire month people go on processions walking and praying beside him, he gives us a lot of strength!”

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Also, we peruvians never forget about food, so as part of an African-Peruvian culture, black people create this amazing dessert to represent the wall!… this is a magical kind of hard cake with honey and tons of caramel!! we also get this the entire month… well i do! and wear purple clothing to represent our devotion as well!

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Keep sharing the beauty of your country with us Mayra ! Viva el Peru!

-Mansi Parasher

We Want Peace

“The worst people on earth are not only those who commit evil, but those who stand by and turn a blind eye.” – Emmanuel Jal.

Friday night, I got to listen to Emmanuel Jal speak at the Laurier Waterloo campus. His message was simple; let there be peace. He spoke about his experience as a war child. He shared his stories from the lowest times of his life. “I looked at my friend thinking….I am going to eat you tomorrow.” Imagine being in a state where hunger takes over any moral thoughts in your mind? When he got rescued from his life, someone offered to give him the gift of education. Till this day, he shows great love for that person. After being educated, he sought a life in music. As a musician he spreads his word of love and peace, also directing many campaigns and causes that allow children in Africa to have opportunities like he was able to have.

I couldn’t recap his story even if I wanted to, I believe his book “War child” explains it all. But there were great thoughts going around that day. It was really inspiring to see his positivity. Sometimes we like hearing horrible stories from others just to appreciate our own story. Weird how that works, right?

He asked the audience one simple question. “What is our biggest struggle in life?

After a few answers, which he mentioned were all right, but were not 110%…..someone said EDUCATION. The purpose of his being right now is so try and educate as many people as possible. As Alex carson interpreted it, “He basically meant, go get educated first, so that you can do whatever you do, that much better.” There is a reason people say, education is power. He said it is a struggle because a LOT of people don’t get the same opportunities. Everyone SHOULD have a right to learn….

A lot of people go through hardships, some worse than others. But at the moment, sadness or negativity takes over our lives. It is important to see the tomorrow, and plan on how you can make it better. Emmanuel never gave up. You can easily stick to a certain mood and feel sorry for yourself. But you really have to think about benefits…will that benefit you? No.

Life is too short to behave like a person you wouldn’t want to be remembered as.

Thank you Emmanuel Jal, for emphasizing positivity in this world. His music may also speak to some of you. 

(Left to right), Me, Emmanuel, Steve, Alex and Dammee
(Left to right), Me, Emmanuel, Steve, Alex and Dammee

Check this out: http://youtu.be/nF_dHdNOgSA

-Mansi Parasher