Friday, January 7, 2011

Ferrum Students in Salzburg: Dachau Visit and More

Where do you think? Where do you remove yourself to slow down and remember? I am writing this from the WC (yes the water closest) the other fellows and myself were just dismissed from the Dachau debrief. We traveled today to the Dachau memorial site in Germany. The experience was as you might assume personal, somber and thought provoking.
During the debrief my colleagues were so captivating with enthusiasm and words of passionate meaning it warmed my heart. Individuals spoke about change, the power of leaders, words that change people, the importance of revisiting memories, the journey of knowledge and knowing what to do with that knowledge.
An important point was made that I hope those who read this will help hold me accountable for; “always leave room for others to have a voice.” Think about that. Take this to your bathroom. Read it and remember it. Always leave room for others to talk. This is a challenge I feel we all struggle with in our daily lives whether in the work place, marriages, friendships, discussions, personal battles or confrontations with people we love. You never know why a person says or does what they do but you hear what they say, that is your perception.
Reinhold said, “Tolerance is still better than no tolerance at all.” But can we do more? Is there more to this act of tolerance? Should we “do” more?
Walter made the statement, “not just for the other but with the other.” Powerful huh! Seeing the sufferings of people, humans no different than you or me that is mind boggling. But what is more boggling or troubling is knowing that we need change and we need as humans to be for the other and that certain people oppose this. I leave you with this last question What IS love… an experience?


(To find the meaning of Ashe Google “Ashe African”)

Okay. Now I finally have time to type and the internet isn’t working in our rooms, so once again this blog will be read long after the events have taken place. I finally had the chance to get some much needed rest last night as well.

Walter Fluker is the man. I was a part of the lecture of a lifetime yesterday. We were singing, moving, holding hands, crying, and laughing. I feel that I made so many connections with so many different folks. We learned a song and got to hold a “talking stick” with which we all spoke the words “From the center of all things I call myself …” and inserted a name or group of people that we would wish to speak for that do not have a voice. We all said something profound (or profoundly funny to lighten the mood).

Today was the visit to the Dachau Concentration Camp. We were all given audio tour guides and got to walk around the camp, learn, mourn, and reflect on our own experiences at our own pace. As a first time visitor to such an atrocious place of cruelty and extinction, I was taken out of my comfort zone and challenged to sort my own feelings. It was a mixture of melancholy, somberness, personal revelations, and joy to be able to experience and learn from a site of history. Tonight is a debrief so that we may ask questions and share our own thoughts about the day.

I plan to type and write a ton on the plane ride home, so I hope that is okay. Honestly, our schedule has been so jammed and I have just wanted to experience this beautiful place and absorb the sites and the information. I will be in touch!


Meagan Hodges

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