April 25, 2015
BLOG: Kids on Parade for Peace and Justice
Since I found a parking place to actually stop the van for more than 24 hours, I have been cleaning up and drying it all out. With that in mind, I had Brad here at the hostel take down the spare tire and loosen the hitch out of its place and open the back doors.
Not a pretty site.
Everything was wet and moldy and so for the next three days it has been necessary to take everything that is wet out of the back and get it dry and clean once again with nearly endless laundry!
I have been ‘at home’ on the parking lot in front of the hostel.
Friday afternoon, I was astonished to witness what looked like an entire school of kids marching en masse along the main street here carrying their own hand made art work placards proclaiming their stand for peace and justice in the world.
Here I was sitting in the front seat facing the street with a damp cloth in my hand working on some of the few dishes that I brought with me, when I hear them first and then see these Panamanian children looking to me of age about 11 to about 14, maybe 15 in the 9th grade in a line of small clusters of kids making their way up the street.
First, it was possible for me to really look at them, at their faces and body language, how their culture imprints them as young people. The first thing I noticed is that they are very handsome people of mostly Red Lodge, Indian, heritage. The groups were obviously friend groups and there were young girls and young men together.
What seemed to me to be amazing is that it appeared to me that they were more about the marching up the highway, the time not in school than they were for the issues proclaimed on their banners. Even though there were maybe 150 kids, in their blue pants or skirts with white shirts and blue caps, they were mainly impassive and unanimated about their march. It seems to me that it was something to do on Friday afternoon.
I had questions: why the march? Whose idea was it? There were no teachers with them so I assumed that it was not the school.
I was no doubt reading them from my own cultural experience and not from good knowledge of theirs. And I enjoyed that they were out there. Whatever it was that was going on, they were out on the side of the highway marching and they had made banners and signs.
While they were moving past my position next to the highway, I found myself singing one of our older days protest songs popularized by Mary Travis of Peter, Paul and Mary:
“If I had a hammer, I’d hammer in the morning,
I’d hammer in the evening, all over this land.
I’d hammer out danger, I’d hammer out a warning,
I’d hammer out love between the Mothers and the Sisters,
all, all over this land.”
Seems these ideas cannot be contained across the generations, not across the continents. No matter what my point of view, these kids were out there on the street in their town letting the rest of their neighbors know that they were engaged in Peace and Justice.
I was cheering because it seems that the stand that I made in my own life for Peace and Freedom is alive and well.
Do you remember yourself from another time? If you do, please participate with me in this now to continue the work and continue the Journey of the Lotus all the way to Ecuador where more of this work will be done.
Remember, this is not just about you and me, our work is seasoned, but there are many others coming on behind us that deserve the work we do now. Participation is our gift.
Thanks very much, Love, Amraah