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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Trying to understand and communicate what we see, hear, read, and learn

11 September, 2010
Lansing, MI
For the past several weeks, I have been reading El Diario and the El Paso Times, two local papers that report on happenings in Ciudad Juarez. I am fluent in several languages, including those used by both papers. Yet, I know that even within my own native language of English, my fluency varies as I move from domain to domain.

For example, as a college student in the 1960s, I became proficient in the linguistic domains of demonstrations, as well as academics. My pedagogical domains developed over 20 years in classrooms. Living and working with Mexican and Central American migrant families in the Pacific Northwest, I improved my usage of a domain of Spanish pertinent to raising children under ever-changing conditions. Graduate studies in educational policy prepared me to use both languages at both national and international levels. None of these experiences, however, introduced me to the vocabulary of murder, terror, and despair I have been reading about in Juarez.

At the moment, MPT team members Angie and Nina are on the ground in Juarez, living and working with families there. Megan and I remain here in the States, continuing to raise money for the Peace Team and attempting to provide whatever support we can. We research on the internet; we draft grant applications; we continue to offer fair trade goods for sale. Through media in our home communities and this blog, Megan and I share what we learn from our research and what we learn from Angie & Nina during our weekly Skype conversations. Those connections allow us to strive to maintain and continue to develop as a team.

Last night Nina and Angie told us of the work they are beginning this week, making connections with mothers and children caught up in the violence of Juarez. Their words made me cry and also smile, thinking about how well they are serving the MPT mission of
seeking a just world grounded in nonviolence and respect for the sacred interconnectedness of all life.
I offer these word clouds created and edited from my newspaper readings from the first ten days of this month as my contribution in support of that work.

NOTE: If the images are too small for you to read, hold down Control & press + until you can see them clearly.

Created at http://www.wordle.net/

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