Thursday, October 30, 2008

Carolina Tour: Some Final Thoughts from SEEC (Allyn)

For my part, the drive to the Charlotte airport is melancholy.  It is a rare thing to have guests come in from out of town; it's rarer still to have organizers stay with me and share their struggles, their laughter, and their words of encouragement. So the demons in me want for the Charlotte airport to disappear; for the terminal to be an endless distance away, or at least confusing enough to create more time to talk, to laugh; or for the weather to be so formidable that it prohibits safe travel--for days and days.

Of course, that's sick. I recognize that the importance of the exchanges we share lies in the fact that the departure is in many ways the point at which the muscle tears--only to rebuild itself to where it's stronger than before. We are continuing to build something here that is small but significant, and everybody who rolls through helps. Students, educators, and community members who gathered in the name of P'Nok's visit are buzzing with excitement about her time here and what we all learned. P'Nok, I hope, has taken away a better understanding of a region that not too long ago experienced similar impacts of industrialization and the threats to agrarian communities. More importantly, I hope she has begun to learn what she wants to get out of this tour.

And so now I sit here in the school where I teach, tired from the week but strengthened by the spirit P'Nok and Amanda brought to our work here. The fight rolls on.

My thanks go out to the Food Justice Tour 2008 crew for supporting SEEC's efforts to develop its regional network and in helping empower its student constituents to create positive change. Once again, I have felt the true meaning of ENGAGE; but for the first time, I have begun to understand the power of a Tour. 

My love goes out to all within (and even without) ENGAGE. I hope to see you in Glendale soon.

Cheers and solidarity,

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