Monday, July 03, 2017

Italy Monday

We spent a lot of time on Monday at one of the refugee 'camps' on the north side of the city. In this specific situation, the camp is not a campsite with hundreds of tents like you see in the news. Instead, it typically is an older hostel or similar building with a kitchen, dorms and common areas. Today, our task was to paint at least a few of the rooms, putting a fresh coat in rooms that needed a bit of freshening up.

+ This camp was spotless, meaning that they guys that live here take a lot of pride in where they live.
+ These kinds of projects - painting, building a church, carving a basketball court out of a rock field, etc. - are done a lot in the student missions realm. You could make the case that some or most of these projects are done just to give student teams work to do. There are also a myriad of issues dealing with dependency, ownership and economic models. This was not the case today and I should be more thoughtful about my opinions about this kind of thing, maybe.
+ In our case, once we got started, a ton of the guys that lived here jumped in and wanted to do it themselves. So we actually painted a little and helped the guys do it on their own.
+ If your worldview doesn't include the idea that poor or marginalized people actually want to do things for themselves, either read Toxic Charity or come to Italy to see it for yourself. Be warned though, once you see it, you'll never look at serving people in the same way.
+ Every guy here has a smart phone and a ton of music on it. Both are staples of their culture. Sidebar: There was music playing all day and at one point, a guy from Ivory Coast and I traded choosing what to play - I played some country music. A Chinese man sitting with guy from the Ivory Coast, in Italy, listening to Tim McGraw.

No comments:

Post a Comment