Coming Together

Ananda Day - Senegal


September 28, 2009

He say “I know you, you know me”
One thing I can tell you is you got to be free
Come together right now over me

-The Beatles

Last Saturday, around 4pm Pacific Standard Time, the Founding Fellows of Global Citizen Year came together. Drawn from opposite sides of America, we were all a motley crew: some of us in rain jackets or blazers and others in dresses and t-shirts.  We may have looked like a separate entity, but this in fact was the physical beginning of our cohesiveness as a group.

During our excursion to the GCY staff’s favorite Mexican restaurant Matt was given the challenge of eating two massive burritos, which he accomplished with flying colors while the rest of the group rolled in laughter. The first night as we all stood in the hallway of our dorms at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, we were assigned roommates. Gaya & Victoria, Michael & Alec, Matt & Ian, Laura & Victoria, Hilary & I, and then Marguerite was given the single. Unpacking and integration then truly began. Quickly the evening hangout became Michael & Alec’s room because they contained two computers. Interestingly enough, it is possible for 11 people to fit within a 5×9 ft.room without causing a major fire hazard…just kidding.

During this time we went through the classic beginnings of getting to know each other. Discussing music, boys & girls, clothes, personalities, first impressions, fears: you name it, we discussed it.  Jump forward to today, when we had the task of introducing each other to a facilitator- complete with names, hometowns, and a true fact about the other person. Amazingly enough every single person found a way to perfectly describe the others.

Much of the US Training Institute has been focused on bringing us together to make a cohesive unit and whole within ourselves. From an observer’s perspective one might think that we have come together at different times during our training: the ropes course, when we inquisitively questioned the founder of Kiva, or maybe even after going through the Oxfam Hunger Banquet simulation last night.

To me, though, the group has not come together in one of these complicated action packed moments. Instead, we formed at the most inconspicuous times: as we slept on each other’s shoulders during the van ride back from our fifteen hour day in Paulo Alto, laughing till we couldn’t breathe at pictures of each other, creating goodnight rituals, sharing pictures of our lives, and pondering the questions of our lives together. All of these experiences and countless others have come together as the thread to our group, sewing us together into a seamless quilt of consciousness. Of course  we still retain the individuality of each square of our lives. Thanks to these things though – the small things, the little moments, bad jokes, awkward phrases, and silliest things the past week has really made it possible to say “I  know you, and you know me.”

Ananda Day