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Casa de la Mateada

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Encuentro . It is a word and an idea rich with meaning here in Argentina. To ‘meet’ another, to feel his or her presence, is a beautiful, mysterious thing in any place, any culture. But something all of us have noticed since our arrival here is how seriously (though also playfully) Argentines take their encuentros . Especially the first moments. Whether it is a chance greeting of a friend o n the street, or arriving at someone’s home, or meeting someone for the first time,  you feel the extraordinary care and attention that is given to such moments. And not only to the first moment, but to the entire encounter (we often marvel as we walk or drive down the street how much time Argentines seem to spend in cafes, sitting and talking with their friends). 

You feel it first on your cheek, as you kiss and are kissed by the…

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Casa de la Mateada

Little SchoolThis week, we read The Little School: Tales of Disappearance and Survival with our students in the Casa program (as part of our ‘contemplatives in action’ course). It is Alicia Partnoy’s beautiful, heartbreaking memoir of her time in La Escuelita–one of the infamous detention centers used by the Argentine dictatorship to hold and torture those deemed to be ‘subversives’ or ‘enemies of the state.’ Alicia is a colleague of ours at Loyola Marymount University, a native Argentinian and a strong supporter of our new Casa program in Córdoba. She is also one of the ‘disappeared,’ one of those who survived. And she has written what has become recognized as one of earliest and most important accounts of that experience to emerge. Jennifer Abe, one of our faculty co-directors in the program, has been using The Little School in her  LMU classes during the past several years, often inviting Alicia to speak…

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The adventure begins!

Casa de la Mateada

Here we are. In Córdoba, Argentina. But who are we? And what are we doing here? These are questions that arise often here at Casa de la Mateada–for students, community coordinators and directors. We have been here only a short time, so it is perhaps understandable that are still discovering the meaning and purpose of our life here. Also coming to sense already that some of the meaning of this experience may not become clear until after we have departed for home. For now, we are making an effort to live into each day with our eyes and hearts open, learning–poco a poco–what it might mean to become part of this place, to enter into the work of accompaniment that has brought us here.  So, we continue asking ourselves these questions, recognizing that the asking and responding are taking on a different character with each passing day.

On…

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