A story of Peace Builder on a Peace Journey

by Sai

I was very tried from my long travel, thus, plan to take a rest without disturbing. Fortunate that, I was able to rest for half day. I can’t rest more though, I have to work on my report on training that, I had just assisted before all good memories that I have in training fading away without my permission. Right at the time, I was sitting in-front of my computer and digesting what to write on, my boss told me that, I have to join in the peace journey. Actually, I was informed before that, I might have to join in if one of my colleagues couldn’t join it. By analyzing my country current situation, it will be hard to apply peace concept as it is risky as well. With little interest, I started to prepare for that journey.

Problems: I couldn’t send my passport copy to apply for the air ticket. I asked my friends in Thailand to do it for me. But they didn’t have my passport extension page. I rushed to internet shop and tried to send the extension page. Lucky that, it was sent. Next step, I just have to wait for air ticket to apply Thai visa.

Tsunami in Japan, followed by bad weather. The internet connection isn’t working well. The date to join in journey become closer and I didn’t have Thai visa on my hand yet. Thursday, I have received the air ticket in the morning, so, just went to the Embassy as the office closed at noon and have to wait for one day. Fortunately, all the process went well.

After all those rushes, I finally made it in Thailand. The program began with deep listening. I started to have interest in it. Because, I can use it in my daily work as I have to communicate with people a lot. For the first time, I am glad that I have joint the training. I participated in the training and apply that deep listening process and it worked. With deep listening I learnt about other more. After that whole day, I reflect myself and found out that, I began to change. I start to listen to people rather than just talking.

Today: I was happy that, I will able to learn peace process. But I never imagine that, to understand peace is to under the conflict and conflict have both positive and negative. I usually accept conflict as a monster and tried to avoid it. And I believe that I was doing peace. But after the training goes on, I become to realize that I truly require to know the conflict before persuading peace. So, that we will have sustainable peace after solving the conflicts and without solving it the peace that we get will only be temporary peace. And I become to realize that, what I did before was just running from the conflict.

The type of power is what I appreciated most. I never thought of different kind of power. It might be that I have been living under military control. Whenever, I saw someone in uniform, I usually looked carefully whether they are from police or arm force. Because I believe that they have power as they carry gun. I have never analysis on the power they are carrying which is; the power just comes from the gun or we just gave them the power (the fear inside). And always felt helpless in facing arm groups because I do not have gun as they are and felt that, I don’t have power at all. But after I listen and discuss in the training, I become to realize that, I do have power and there are different kinds of power that I can use in persuading peace in my communities.

After days passed by I want to persuade other people to participate in building peace. I want them to have peace and want to see peaceful community. But when one of the lecturer mentioned that, we have to build peace in our daily life so that, we will be able to persuade other people to build peace. Additionally, we have to know and experience what peaceful life really mean in order to tell other people about the advantages of peace. Yes, that is, I have to have peace first if not I won’t be able to tell and describe peace, like; if I haven’t eaten apple, I won’t be able to tell the taste of apple.

Our group is packing up things for exposure trip. It is exciting to have a chance to visit the conflict area. I have prepared myself because I thought that, people might angry toward each others due to the conflicts and lost, they have faced. Well, I was surprised by the villagers, they aren’t angry toward each others. And I have learnt that they have a good relationship with each other. What I have watched from the media and reality is totally different. Furthermore, culture exchange has shown the unity among people and their desire toward peace. This is a big lesson learn for me. I have realized what my teacher have taught me before that we have two ears to make sure that we didn’t listen to one side and two eyes to see both sides.

I really felt bad when I heard the stories from women and soldiers because they are participating in and affected by the conflict that they can’t make decision. They have become war’s victims without warning and unwillingly.

How much people have suffered from war that they didn’t want to participate in? How many women were crying when their beloved are in front line? How many children have become orphans and lack their parent’s love? How many children, women and soldiers will be suffering from hunger? After all those questions, I am very glad that I have joint this journey. It has opened my eyes and ears. When I arrived at my country, my heart is cried for peace and my ambiguous goal has become cleared. That is, I will be a peace builder and will persuade peace not for other people only but for myself as well.

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About mekongpeacejourney

We are the Mekong Working for Peace, consisting of young adult peacemakers of the Mekong Region.
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