Yesterday I flew to London, as the first leg of this journey. I am again so pleased to meet here a dear friend; and am absolutely thrilled that in less than two weeks, we will get together in Cochabamba with people we got to know during studies in Wageningen. This trip planning started probably two years ago though quite informal in nature at first, and it is amazing we actually were able to pull it together and make happen so that a few of us at least will end up in Bolivia now, as it seems.. with those two sweethearts, soon-to-be married, and their families..!
Departure feelings are rather deep.. thinking a lot of things that have happened in the past few days. Nelson Mandela’s passing on stopped a whole lot of people in the world to think of that one man and the things that his being and actions set forth. In London there were numeral places where hundreds of people paid their condolences to this father and leader, his family, with candles, flowers and messages.. He, whether willed so or not, influenced so many people during his life, and will continue doing so in to the future. He was one rather remarkable person I also remember being talked of when I was a child. And one person of whom I have felt it is rightful and quite natural to look up to, and be inspired from. A death of a person means change of states, and the perceptions and feelings of those who know to remember the person.. But they live in those memories of others, and all little things they started by doing or influencing something. These days it truly is quite necessary really to value and remember the life and actions of persons like Nelson Mandela; his love and tolerance, determination for freedom and positive aura; the impact that so many felt, even from a distance.
Finland’s independence day was two days ago. Soon it has been one hundred years since this country became independent from Russia.. People remember and honor those who fought for this to happen, and it is right so; to value those actions that were done in the name of love, for families, and peaceful life. There are so many fights to be fought it seems. But the fights of today should be and hopefully would be such that their reasons and means could be pure.. and not hurt others. To celebrate the independence day there was a traditional president’s reception to which certain people, somehow influential or publicly acknowledged, always are invited. At the same time there was a protest in the city, in which participated hundreds of people. The reason for this protest was to criticize and cause discussion about the value system in Finland – and in general when it comes to that – and the differences in societal classes that occur everywhere, and what it leads to.. The protest ended in small riots where people were hurt and properties damaged. So something that had a reason and could have been rightful, peaceful and enhanced discussion – maybe that way induce some change to take place – turned into misfortunate happenings.. of which only the riots now are talked about and remembered. It’s quite often how humans tend to work.. someone always goes to extreme and causes problems to more than themselves; and then the reaction often is judging.
From both angles.. consideration, patience, persistence and love maybe are lacking. It seems to be for people more difficult to cultivate these values in everything we do. And that would just be so important. Remembering and being inspired by people like Madiba, or by simple acts that bring little moments of happiness to people’s days.. and intend not to get lost in the negative.
For sure it’s not easy, at least not always. When traveling, somehow the meaning of it becomes many-fold, maybe because different values, people, systems and places force one to take a positive attitude to things, or one could feel easily quite uncomfortable. Or might so easily hurt others. It is so true what I heard from my brother now again and intend to remember and live by; it is good to take a deep breath, in any situation, observe; and from there one can act with clear mind and also take in with love what there is around.
So now, after a thought-provoking weekend spent with family and friends (thank you so much for accommodating and spending a few rich and lovely moments together!), and having had the chance to hear some truly great Finnish punk music – I’ll take a breath and continue.. I will write some more updates when reaching Peru.