In 2008, I decided it was time to go back to school. I was determined to pursue my degree in sociology, hone my skills in statistics and prove to myself that GK is sustainable, based on empirical data (and not just feel-good anecdotes that we all know are true also).
I got sidetracked (or perhaps put on the right path), when one of my favorite people in the world, got me on board to work with GK Ateneo and the Builder’s Institute. Working with a group that recognized how GK was led by the Spirit but had Science and System to it as well, was even better than an MA or PhD. He eventually gave me away to TM, but that’s okay. Hi, Loleng. That’s you.
Years passed and my role in GK continued to shift. I never got to finish my study in Bagong Silang. And I am still AWOL from UP. But, the impact assessment has finally been completed and last weeks activity reminded me of my academic dream.
Around 40 kapitbahayan, youth and those who were younger once upon a time, joined a training session by several fulltime workers from GK HQ. They were taught how to be facilitators, how to listen and how to find out whether the outcome of the impact assessment was relevant to the communities they came from.
I did not participate as much as I wanted to. I had I in one hand (and a cheese roll in the other. Hehe. Thank you, Tito Jun for feeding all of us). J was busy being noisy. He was running around (also with a cheese roll in his hands) with Tom chasing him off the platform. But in the moments of peace (but never quiet), we were able to catch a few nuggets of wisdom from both the fulltime workers and the kapitbahayan.
How amazing it is to hear from them their own thoughts of the growth map. How important it is for us to hear again and again that if we really want to make a difference we have to listen (like, really listen).
That afternoon we made plans to join the team and go to GK Triangulo. The kids were tired though and we knew bringing them along might be too much (for Tatay who will be chasing J up and down the riles).
My heart truly wants to go out into the field. Most especially now that the growth map is being rolled out. Most especially now that the impact assessment has come out.
But I also know that roles really do change. I cannot go all out and drag the whole kaboodle each and everytime (just sometimes) I feel the world needs me (because really, aren’t we over our messianic complex?). We do what we can. We will visit the communities when we can. I’ll go back to school when I can.
Right now, it is time to listen to my little ones and pray that they too will have hearts that listen. And we will have our time to hit the ground running – all together.