Sunday, 27 May 2012

Venezuela: A Prose Poem

By Eric Hanna, S.J.

I have drunk deeply from the cup of life!
Outside my windows, people sing.
At dinner, tiny Sister Wilma cackled like a wicked witch at the jests of young scholastics.

The white walls of the Casa Praetoria were sprayed with neat, red letters spelling "con los trabajados y Chavez!"

The woman who worked at Fe y Alegria explained that there were three hundred thousand students being educated for free or for voluntary donations.

The one who worked at JRS said that they have to bend over backwards with politeness to a mistrusting government in order to change the word 'refugee' to 'person' in the minds of policy makers.

The bottom of the valley is smog-bound and the city reeks of gasoline. The mountain to the north is dotted with streetlights, shimmering in the night-time air. Men share motorcycles in pairs and women dress in bright, tropical colours.

And the tiny silver cross I got ten years back still hangs around my neck. It's weight is familiar. And on Pentecost, we stayed up late and sang Metallica. I miss my long hair. I miss cookies. But the spirit here is the same Spirit of life you can find everywhere in creation. And my cup runneth over.

Jesuit Glossary:
  • Fe y Alegria – "Movement for integral popular education and social development" whose activities are directed to the most impoverished and excluded sectors of the population, in order to empower them in their personal development and their participation in society. 
  • JRS / Jesuit Refugee Service – International Catholic NGO that aids (accompany / serve / advocate) refugees, forcibly displaced people and asylum seekers.

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