My most recent facebook post was:
the transition from the very urgent reality that is “must take care of 150 teenagers in rural Nica making media and art” to the very solitary “must write 4 pages to turn in on Wednesday about those 150 youth” is shockingly difficult.
Except, its true. It is so true. It’s easy to be jolted out of bed at 3 am because someone has intense stomach pains in their lower bellies, enough to wake up host mom who is now hysterical on the phone. It’s easy to stay up till 3 am downloading videos for media youth to watch at 7 am the next morning, because there’s always Battery (a Nicaraguan energy drink. don’t judge). It’s easy to run on no sleep, no food, no personal space; because there’s Maribel’s house to escape to, there’s rocking chairs and hammocks, there’s frozen apple juice and mostly, there’s a hundred and fifty youth depending on you to spin some magic in an old, dusty gathering hall with overgrown grass outside and bats flying behind the stage. And when it doubt, there’s always the best of mentors to call at IO, and you have the number memorized, and you know who to call for what pep talk: KK when you need a calm, steady voice to help you organize and think and get through; Sara when you have a crazy idea you need someone to say yes to or when you need a little bit of vision and to be reminded how you are a part of it; Kate when you need a reality check or when you have a problem real knotted up and tangled. But mostly, when you need a little inspiration, there’s communities to visit, youth to watch lead talleres. When you need some stimulation, there’s tech problems to solve, Plan gossip to be immersed in, and youth encuentros to invent and plan. When you need a laugh and some food and a little TLC, there’s Maribel’s hammock to lay in, her five year old to dance with, and her baby to cuddle with.
So, those things are all gone. I assure you, Maribel is asleep, and I cannot call her. There are no urgent medical calls, no pressing tech issues, and no youth encuentros to be planned. There is, though, all the time in the world to read transcripts, to search articles.
My entire heart and soul is tied up with the AMIGOS project in Boaco. It’s been a few days since I’ve begun writing, and reading transcripts: I have THREE four inch binders full of them, and I’m still receiving them. There’s so many videos its like I am swimming in footage- and its awesome.
I mean, I have great data. I’m fascinated by the videos… I am completely and totally inspired by all the work “my” youth have done. This is an odd transition, from a space where my every action had an immediate effect on lots of people all around me, to one where it feels like I am floating in space, and where nothing- especially reading and writing- is immediate. How to manage this odd, floating time?