(Ok, so this entire blog is somewhat of an “editorial comment”.)
I’ve often joked with my friends that if my life was a musical right now, I would be Elder Price from “The Book of Mormon”. The connection is pretty tangential, but there is one element that is rings true: door-knocking.
The opening song of this musical is titled, “Hello!”.
My name is Elder Price
And I would like to share with you
The most amazing book.
I’ve never had Mormon missionaries come knock on my door, but if you ever have, this song may sound akin to what would happen. Except without the harmonization and jazz hands.
How does this relate to what I’ve been doing during my first two weeks in Villa El Salvador? Well for at least one hour every day, various combinations of Emily, Hannah, volunteers and I, go door-knocking to various homes around Lomo de Corvina. We try to keep it to no more than two or three of us at at time, or else we look (and are) a gaggle of gringos meandering around.
Door-knocking is one of our main-stays for outreach in the community. For example, today we knocked on doors of kids that are involved in Voices of Youth to see if their parents were home so that we could give them a letter about a parent meeting regarding an upcoming field trip. Tomorrow, Hannah and Emily will probably knock on doors of kids who go to tutoring because tutoring is happening the following day.
I’ve enjoyed door-knocking, as its a nice way to get some exercise and get to know the community and those who live here. But I still feel a bit conspicuous while doing it. I suppose that I’ve become more comfortable because I know the kids better, but I’m definitely not a confrontational person so door-knocking is a little out of my comfort zone. But this is all good. Because with all things considered, I think that this experience is the ultimate test of learning about oneself by doing new and often uncomfortable things, i.e. traveling to a different country with a different language and not really knowing anything.
But back to my “Book of Mormon” parallels. I believe that I am not like Elder Price, in that I am and have not been blinded by hubris. In no way do I believe that I am here to drastically change people’s lives, especially by having them conform to my beliefs. So, I would like to take this moment to dispel any inclination or idea that I am here to “change lives”. I appreciate the sentiment and the vote of confidence, but I feel that it’s a very loaded phrase that isn’t particularly applicable to my current situation. First and foremost, I am here to learn. I am here to observe, engage and ultimately, collaborate.
With all of that said, I would like to thank everyone who reads this. It’s sort of wonky to be able to really see if anyone does, but if you do, you are appreciated. I enjoy being able to share my experiences with you and I look forward to keeping y’all in the loop as my journey continues.