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Finding My Way

My Lìsek experience

I cannot believe that it’s almost over. Our time in Lísek was filled up with so many different things. At first I was hesitant to come to this TC but decided to go anyway, after filling up some forms and writing some essays about my desire to attend this course.

At first, I needed to contact the other German participants, but since I wasn’t a full blooded German, I thought I’d better leave them to do their preparation. So I did my own little preparation intended for the intercultural evening how I see fit. I was born and raised in the Philippines, I haven’t found my real attachment to my newfound residence yet. Germany is a culture apart from what I have learned in my life. I did my learning only when I lived here. It was in 1996 when I first immersed myself to the German culture and society as well as the European ones.

Going back to the course, I decided to travel a day earlier to be able to see more and enjoy the sights and sounds of Prague, the capital of Czech Republic. It was fascinating as it was in my recollections when I was there the first time 10 years ago. I had to find the stations where they have this tube going down very deep inside the belly of the underground transportations system. I felt scared back then upon riding those escalators. It did not take me long to find Malostranská station since Prague has only three underground metro lines, the red, yellow and green.

I went around without any real plan and just to get lost on my way to be able to discover unknown spots. I use to do that in a new city to get the feeling of discovering things. I then found myself in the old town square and saw the groups who are offering a “free” guided tour. But of course “free” does not necessarily mean absolutely free. You do give a fair amount of donation to the guides (basically a local). I decided to take a guided tour on foot around town. That way, it brought me back old familiar feelings while wandering around town. The day ended in a little pub next to the river overlooking the castle while enjoying a nice supper and a cold beer.

I started the day again by just walking around town a bit and finding some lunch then walk around the town square again before going back to the hostel where I left my luggage and then left for the station to meet the rest of the group at the Hlavní nádraží, the central station. I admit, the language is really a big challenge but really exciting one to learn this tongue twister.

Nathalie from the German group was the first to greet me asking if I was also trying to find my way. Yes I replied and left her with my luggage shortly to go to the travel center and get a reservation for my trip back to Berlin. Now, I’m really glad I did, because on my way back to Berlin, the train was really full. But well, that’s a different story.

Then one after another come near Helena who’s holding a piece of paper with “Find Your Way” written on it. Everybody followed suit as she instructed us to come with her to the waiting bus that will take us further to the venue which is way out of Prague. I’ve noticed the funny Portuguese group already and thought I could get along with them quite alright.

It seems to be that everyone was perceptive and willing to just enjoy getting to know new faces and each other’s company. Boris from the Bulgarian group sat next to me on the bus and Nathalie on the other side. We started to relax a bit and began chatting and just trying to get to know each other. Nathalie was a happy person I found out and just right for my liking. I’ve enjoyed just chatting with her. Boris was quite the little boy that he is innertly. I found it quite fascinating.

The room assignment was a challenge as expected. Of course there could be some little misunderstandings that could arise and need some immediate resolution for the good of everyone concerned. But still, some troubles still persisted which can’t be helped either. It is simply the nature of the beast. I guess the reflection part should have come earlier on and could have come real handy.

I am my own mirror but do I really know what I did reflect to the outside. Getting to know one another is also about baring oneself out and even to a point of feeling uncertain and vulnerable. I believe no one really likes this feeling but I also believe that it is necessary to be able to recognize your own self. We do wear mask in our everyday lives. We sometimes take for granted some subtle signs. We go by with our daily lives like robots and hardly finding a way some time for our self. We do complain about the mechanics of everyday living. Something that we don’t have a real control even if we wanted to.

We started with the “Star Power”, a money game. There we have learned to be stars on our own right. We communicated, bartered, even given empty promises just to reach the stardom. I found my allies and also my foe in the game. For the other it was really lifelike, a matter of life and death while for the others, they did really think what would this star power would give them. Would it give them friends? Would they be contented? The answers only lies on each one, depending on how they perceive things. But the bottomline is, money is just money. Whatever value we give to it is all just relative.

Discovering the rainbow world was definitely an experience. That is about self-reflection, meditation and just looking deeper inside yourself. It is also about letting go of whatever blockage hinders one in finding his own way. It’s about creating ones own rainbow colored world and not just red, yellow or blue. We do have the tendency to cling to all these familiarities.

It’s also about coaching, guiding [the] other to find oneself and just by listening. By committing to oneself to change the course of way and looking at another perspective. So many things are in store for us. We do learn from our own mistakes. We do learn from dealing with others and sometimes we indeed should have the courage to face the challenges and to confront our fears. We walk alone sometimes and with the other at some points. We meet at the crossroads and we do walk together in two, bound by a thin invisible thread. We identify ourselves with so much mundane things that we don’t really have a hold. We do walk in the night through the dense forest guided by the light and halfway to it with just the light that was given to us.

Indeed we have to walk this path alone and sometimes we walk blindly and along the way, we do find ourselves surrounded by the uncertainty and unwanted figures lurking in the dark. We do fall in the mud but we had to get up again to continue on our way, but we do take care of the light that we hold so that we have it till the end.

Our way is the journey, the process and not the end. It is what we make of it. It is doing what we feel right and knowing that there is hope. It is the courage to go on whenever we feel uncertain. It is the strength to get up whenever we fall. It is the inspiration we get with a knowledge that all the things will pass and it’s just a matter of time until we see the end of the road, the light, the smiling faces of those who walked the road before us. It is the knowledge that we are not alone in this universe. It is the love that we have in all of us!

Saying goodbye was always difficult. We have learned to love each other in a short a time provided us. We did cry some rivers and we head on our way wondering what have become of us. We asked ourselves what experiences in life brought us closer together in mind and at heart even though we are divided by this real distance. I still feel closer to the new found friends even though they’re just memories. One day, I hope our paths will cross again and we could say, we are still connected by this gossamer thread. Our hearts are one.

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