SermonsNonviolent Communication

Last Day in Bogotá

Good-bye to Camila

Photo of Camila Reyes, smiling.  She has long, wavy brown hair and brown eyes.
Camila Reyes, founder of Resuena

The picture I had of Camila for our final day together, didn’t really express who she was. So I took something from a webpage describing her what she does. Her current work is with Resuena, an organization “set out on a dream to expand the access to Nonviolent Communication in Colombia so that it becomes part of the day-to-day culture.”

Below is the bad picture I took of Camila at a diner for breakfast. She really wasn’t unhappy at the time. One of the aspects of Colombian cuisine that Michael really appreciated is the soups, and the fact that Colombians eat soup at breakfast and lunch. I remember with fondness Colombian pastries on previous trip. I

t struck me that this simple diner had works of original art all over the walls. I said it seemed like I saw art everywhere I went in Bogota. Camila told me its presence was especially prevalent in her bohemian neighborhood.

A love of beauty and plants also helps describe Camila’s character. She has plants in every room of her apartment except the utility room. I documented them here:

We decided to go to the Bogota public market and eat all the fruits we hadn’t eaten yet (and we had eaten a lot of different fruits.) The excursion turned into buying fruit that doesn’t need to be turned into juice. Of the fruits you see here, we liked the mangosteen the best (the little brown ones). Since Colombia is full of microclimates, almost anything can be grown. Camila also took us to visit her friend who organizes community-supported agriculture (and allows artists to use her space, because, well, it’s Bogotá).

What else? By the time I got to Bogotá, the bruise I got from my fall in Medellin had grown considerably worse. As it dissipated over time, I realized it had hematoma at the center, which explains why the muscle in my thigh hurt so much when I moved it. I used one of my hiking sticks as a cane for the rest of the trip.

In a moment alone with Camila shortly before we left for the airport, she was discussing her goals for the next few years. She then asked me about my goals. Without thinking, I said, “I’d like to make compassion cool again.” She asked how I planned on accomplishing that, and I said, “Well, maybe that’s what my next novel will be about. Right before we left, she handed me this pin and told me, “This is to remind you that your job now is to make compassion cool again.”

Meetings in Hebron, Meetings in Bethlehem and Girl stuff

by Markie

Hi kids!

Kathy and I have been going to a LOT of meetings  in the last two weeks.  It’s so hard to sit still for that much time!  Maarten Van der Werf from the Netherlands taught us about Nonviolent Communication for the first week.

Martin's on the right, talking.

Maarten’s on the right, talking.

Then we went to Bethlehem so the team could plan it’s work for the next three years with the help of Gerry O’Sullivan. I like the part where we drew pictures.  Gabriel drew the best one.  Kathy tried to draw one with two CPTers watching children going through Qitoun checkpoint to get to school and it didn’t come out so well.IMG_9374
I also liked going out to lunch with people.  Tarek, the Palestine Project Support coordinator can eat chicken every day!


Tarek is in the white shirt.

But most of the meetings were really confusing. People talked and talked and talked and talked, IMG_9378and broke into small groups and talked some more.  Then we thought we had a plan and realized we didn’t and had to talk some some more.




We had a one day off in the middle of the week.  Mona was sick of her hair and there is a hair stylist in Bethlehem she really likes so she and Kathy decided to go there. Kathy got her hair cut short.



Mona got her nails done (She says she can do a better job herself IMG_9383at home) and then she got her hair cut and styled.





She was thinking about changing the color, but the stylist convinced her not to .

Finally on the very last day, Gerry was able to organize everyone enough so she could put together Christian Peacemaker Team’s 3 Year Strategic Plan 2013-2016.  Hurray!


Well that’s all for now. Next time I’ll write about our trip to the wall in Bethlehem!  More pictures!

P.S. The plan ended up being 40 pages, but this is the news release the team is going to put out about it:


CPT Palestine makes plans for new work

CPT’s Palestine team will continue to remain based in Hebron, a microcosm of the Israeli military occupation of Palestine, and make human rights promotion a focus of their work, but plan to expand their work into new peacebuilding enterprises over the next three years.

Most of the full-time CPTers (Israeli authorities had denied Jonathan Brenneman entry into the country three times on September 17, 24 and October 9) and several reservists gathered for a five day retreat in Bethlehem from 9-15 October 2016.  Under the guidance of professional facilitator Gerry O’Sullivan, they produced a three-year strategic plan, in effect through the year 2016.

New goals will include

  • making plans for Palestinian national delegations, with a long-term objective of increasing the number of Palestinians on the team
  • becoming more deeply connected with Palestinian and Israeli partners and campaigns that are addressing the wider context under which Palestinians live
  • encouraging the creation of a “City of Nonviolence” in the H-2 area of Hebron that will be a model for other Palestinian regions supporting nonviolence
  • Working towards the organization of a civil society based on nonviolent  principles to prepare for a time when nonviolent actions increase in strength and frequency
  • providing a forum for Hebronites to discuss common challenges of the occupation
  • Providing nonviolence trainings for university students and teachers and parents of schoolchildren who pass through the checkpoints CPT monitors
  • Developing an introductory programme geared toward Hebron’s context to transform how people look at conflict and tools for addressing it
  • Providing nonviolence training for trainers.
  • Researching and publicizing Israeli denial of entry for Palestinians and internationals

Tarek Abuata, Palestine Project Support Coordinator notes, “”CPT Hebron continues to be committed to building equal transformative partnerships with our Palestinian partners in Hebron, and we continue to be committed to re-envisioning and giving our work new life through our faith”.




Yummy foods I have been eating in Palestine

by Markie

Hi kids!
I have been at SO MANY MEETINGS with Kathy the last two weeks. The team in Hebron has been learning about Nonviolent Communication and is in Bethlehem this week making plans for its work next year and it’s interesting if you’re human I guess, but I’d rather be out having fun.

So while Kathy’s in meetings I thought I’d talk about some yummy foods I’ve been eating.  IMG_9311

About a week ago, some German Mennonites stopped by and Kathy talked to them about Hebron, then they took us out to lunch at our favorite chicken and salad place!  Konrad, the leader of the group who’s wearing the shirt with the peace sign worked for Mennonite Voluntary Service in Cincinnati, Ohio.  I especially liked the pink salads!


IMG_9313IMG_9315The next night Gabriel, who’s from Santa Catarina in Brazil made some yummy macaroni and cheese for dinner and a special Brazilian dessert called brigadeiro made of cocoa, butter and condensed milk. Then he stuck eight spoons in it and we ate about half of it.  Gabriel finished the rest the next day.  Here’s a picture of Maarten an JoAnn eating some with me.

Cory had some days off and went to Tel Aviv in Israel and found some custard fruitIMG_9366 in a shop there.  It was her favorite fruit when she lived in India.  This one wasn’t really ripe, but it was still VERY yummy.  Cory says when they’re really ripe they taste and feel just like custard in your mouth.  I really, really, really want to eat a very ripe custard fruit.  Patrick, our teammate from Wales says they look like dragon poop.

Well, that’s all for now.  We had a day off from the strategic planning and stuff happened, but Kathy forgot the camera cord for downloading pictures.