On my second day, someone invited me to go with their group to La Churreca, the dump outside Managua where current Chaucocente residents used to live. I’ve heard a lot about it; it’s a polluted and terrible place, and at least a hundred people still live there, forced to carve out a life amidst the danger and the smoke.
I didn’t go.
Part of it is because, it was my second day, and it felt like too much. But there was another, more significant reason, and I could have gone later if I wanted to. But I didn’t go.
I think it’s because of this: these days I’m feeling pretty in tune with the suffering of the world. Especially with CPE coming up this summer, I don’t feel like I’m going to need my eyes farther opened to the inhumanities of our world and our economic, political, and social systems. Is this legitimate: to feel like I don’t need to see more of the suffering? I think it’s important for lots of folks to see that suffering; I wonder if I’m just being self-righteous. Something like, “I’ve already reached this higher moral plane; I’ve already learned that lesson.”
But I think for me it’s more about, I don’t know, compassion fatigue. So instead of being in a place right now that demands I hear more of the suffering of the world, I think I’m in a place that is most appropriately served by signs of hopefulness. So instead of going to the dump, I hung out at Project Chaucocente, with kids who used to live in the dump. And now they don’t.
And I went to visit some Mennonites.