FROM CUSCO COMMUNITY MARIA ANTONIENTA SHARES WITH US:
Dear sisters, every time that we share our experiences by sitting around a table, in our house, in a hall, in a road or walking on the street, we weave friendship and we grow in listening attitudes.
In this pandemic time shared by the whole world, we miss all the spaces for free that means of communication used to provide us. I do not know if these spaces have been reduced or have been broadened to phone calls, messages, zoom or google meet meetings…we have live tremendous technological leaps and we are everyday learning to reinvent ourselves how to be closer among us and to break the barriers of physical distances. In my experience from Cusco community, I have been facing difficulties while reintegrating educational work, but I have also faced important aspects of working virtually.
I consider that being part of an educative institution (Santa Rosa) in the city center, most students have access to internet and seldom there are internet connection problems. However, I want to say that in our community we insist on challenging ourselves in terms of teamwork, sharing our concerns, materials, and to recognize that we need one another (there are always moments in which others are more creative for example). We try to keep a constant contact with parents for committing themselves in accompanying their daughters. In this reality, LISTENING AND ACCOMPANYING services are fundamental, because parents, teenagers, and workmates are living their own lives. There are bonds that can help in terms of psychological health or in a spiritual way, especially when dealing with so much loss such as economic, social and death provoked by the pandemic.
I have not been able to meet personally any of my 209 students whom I share learning experiences through my subjects: Religion, Quechua, Personal development and citizenship. I make the effort for keeping the rhythm where “everything is connected.” This pandemic, with its respective protocols, has made that every form for creating bonds is by using technology in all types of relationships. Personality, emotions and affectivity have been recreated.
This educational virtual service has also exposed, especially in our country Peru, that access to internet should be considered as a Human Right. Nevertheless, this virtual situation has opened more gaps between those who have and those who don´t. We are not only a diverse country in terms of geography, but also in impoverishment conditions that have been increased by the pandemic. Students from the countryside and poor zones in cities do not have access to education and this presents us, as Dominican Missionary Sisters of the Rosary, new challenges and invites us to engage in a coherent and demanding commitment for helping poor people everywhere we can. We are challenged by new forms of evangelizing and making us to think how to radicalize the mission to reach each student, parents, workmates, new relationship forms, things, new forms of living in community, new relationships with God, with others and mother earth and with ourselves, all this reaffirmed in our being. There are so many things for sharing that for sure we will keep them until it will be possible. Thank you.
Maria Antonieta Segovia Torres