Our Step into the Gap volunteer Isabel Marsh, who is based at St Cassian retreat centre Kintbury is off to El Salvador to visit a CAFOD partner and see our work in action. She has written about her thoughts and feelings before she leaves, and we look forward to hearing about her trip when she returns.
“This term I will be travelling to Central America to see CAFOD’s work first hand. Well, it is now less than two weeks before I go and my goodness am I excited!The group of us who are travelling together, had a group skype call for our security briefing just last week and it has definitely made the whole trip feel very real – how exciting! As it’s not that long before I go, I thought I’d try and capture some of my feelings towards the trip before I leave.
So, I know that this trip will be completely and utterly different to any experience I have ever had before – especially as I’ve never been outside of Europe before (apart from once to Disney world when I was 2 but I don’t count that as I don’t remember it) so that’s exciting itself! I’m excited mostly, to learn: to learn about the people I meet; their stories; their language; their culture.
Knowing that I will get to physically meet the people CAFOD help, through their partners is almost indescribable. The fact that these people get to use their talents to help make a living for themselves and their families is just wonderful and I cannot wait to meet so many different people and listen to their thoughts and stories around their lives and experiences.
I feel like it will be an eye-opening trip, but hopefully in a good way. I am curious to see how these people could overcome such difficult circumstances and start bettering their lives. Such as the artist Lazaro, who is the artist of the Romero cross that is seen around the world – each member at my team got their own small version at the start of our year here at St Cassian’s.
On that note, I’m interested in learning more about Blessed Oscar Romero and the work he did alongside CAFOD to try and help improve peoples’ lives – so hearing from the Romero Trust will be brilliant. I have my pen and notepad at the ready!
Most importantly though, I am looking forward to meeting the people – to remind myself that they are not just stories on a page, but real, breathing human beings like you and me.”
If you are interested in to our Step into the Gap programme for September 2018 more information here.