Plenary Session # 4
July 16, 2015
7:30 – 8:30 pm
Friends gathered for 15 minutes of singing led by Junior Friends Waylon Costello and Solange Marcotte. This was followed by waiting worship.
2015-4-1 Junior Friends Presentation – Service Trip to Guatemala 2014
In addition to showing photographs from their service trip to Guatemala, Junior Friends spoke about their experiences with each one taking a turn for each topic. The most frequent adjective they used was “amazing.” The program through which they made the trip is Progressa, a Quaker organization.
They began by describing the most memorable individuals they met. These people ranged from the Guatemalan adult mentors to the young people with whom they worked on English language skills to members of host families.
They also spoke of their service activities: cleaning the school rooms at one place where they volunteered, working with the children on their English skills, hiking, singing together, sharing meals, planting trees, and participating in a Mayan ceremony. They helped plant more than 2000 trees in 2 days, primarily on a steep hill that was in danger of eroding and also at sites useful or special to their host families. They described their experiences in teaching English and picking up trash on town and city streets as well as in the countryside. They spoke about forming deep connections with members of their host families in spite of the fact they were together for such as short time.
Among what they found memorable were the following:
vibrant art visible everywhere, compassion that was generally apparent
the need to know each other’s languages
awakening to what needs to be done and commitment to doing it
comparison between what Guatemalans do to be frugal and how much we over-spend and waste
the open friendliness and generosity of the Guatemalans (even though they have few resources
loving relationships within Guatemalan families.
They were especially impressed with the happiness expressed by the people they met.
One of their adult leaders, Joe Snyder, reported that our young people were graceful and respectful ambassadors.
As we moved into worship, the Junior Friends asked us to consider two queries:
How does an absence of communication between various age groups inhibit us from progressing as a community and promoting positive change in the world?
How can we enable respect and involvement throughout generations?