But now things are finally on a more even keel. The students are well-ensconced in their service projects and language classes. Their work seems to be going well, and all of them seem to be thriving. Things have found their rhythm, as I knew they would. If this paragraph can bear another metaphor, it is this: after running through the rapids, we are now in calmer waters.
Friday, July 16, 2010
After a difficult few days, things have stabilized in Cochabamba for the Rutgers contingent. The first couple of weeks are always challenging, as students find their way in a new culture, adjust to host families, communicate in new languages, and discover the difficulties of doing anthropology and providing service to others. I have been especially swamped with coordinating the details of 12 people's experiences, and smoothing over the rough edges of cross-cultural contact. This year, things were infinitely complicated by the tragedy in Loma Pampa, which propelled us deeply and unexpectedly into the harsh realities of Bolivian life.