Monday, February 02, 2009
World Social Forum Update
I just wanted to give everyone back home an update about our time at the World Social Forum in Belem, Brazil. The Forum Social Mundial concluded yesterday and Greg and I will be leaving for Manaus today where we will be until Wednesday due to complications with our airline itinerary. Anyhow, we had a productive time at the forum and have a lot to process about the things that we've experienced over the last six days. Though painfully disorganized at points and hard in many respects to access, the forum has (ultimately) proved to be a great opportunity to learn more about what is happening in Latin America and the wider world. And, most importantly, it has been a good opportunity to meet new people and network with other groups. I must confess that it has been disheartening to see how the media's attention has been riveted upon the World Economic Forum in Davos with very little popular attention paid to the WSF (more on that later). It is clear that no one group at the moment has any clear cut answers to the current global crisis. Our time here at the forum, and our concomitant following of events at Davos, has provided further confirmation of that fact. However, there are droves of people with great passion and vision, in all the various centers of global society, who have much to contribute, much to share. This is why constructive dialogue is so necessary, so desperately needed at this time. This is a problem of global proportions and it is going to take a response of global proportions to begin to address it. In that vein our time here has given us a lot of hope for the potential of the global Christian movement (the largest single community in the world) to play its part in this process. This invovlement is what we're eager to continue pursuing with other Christians and people of faith and conscience around the world. I will end this brief update by saying that the greatest revelation for me has been the relationship that Greg and I have been building with our interpreter/guide Diego. We have spent an intensive amount of time with him over the last week and in that time have grown to really love each other and share a lot of hopes, questions, and laughs. It will be very difficult to leave him today. Diego has shared with us that he thinks this week has been one of the most significant weeks of his life; and I would say that our time with him has been a similar experience for me. So, I would end by saying that, as always, the last, greatest and only hope for this world and for the work of God is people sharing with each other, learning how to love and embrace the common identity and purpose that is our birthright as human beings made in the image of the community that is God. Look forward to seeing all of you soon......oum otro mundo es possivil....another world is possible!