The first week offers various lectures, of various highly intelligent lectures (politicians, activists, professors, movie directors, Alternative Nobel prize winner). The idea is to have many different opinions and personalities, in order to open the minds (ears) of the students. A great idea and as it turns out necessary, especially when you work with hot blooded Chilean students.
I knew that my poor Spanish skills, would lead to some communication problems and probably to a headache at the end of the day. I did not imagine that already the first day will push me to my limits.
Eventually after listening to lectures, caring for water and light, I also had to talk with people. So far the good old mimic and gestures have been sufficient enough, but when it comes to asking questions, I was totally screwed. Therefore it wasn´t surprising that a simple question for a permanent marker or a scissor, led to total confusion on my side and to the questioned side as well. Cultural frustration big time was my experience, but I kept my head up and stepped from one mistake to the other.
Finally Rivaldo (my partner worker) showed pity and talked with me in really simple, slow Spanish. By then half the day was over and my next task was to pick up Sofia Zapata from the airport. Sofia will be part of the International Group and will introduce herself in a short Interview (will follow)
Impressive and breathtaking
The Program of the International Summer University offered during the first week a lot of impressive lectures. My three favorites were Rodrigo Mundaca, Gregory Cohen and Juan Pablo Orrego. I can´t say that I understood everything they said, but they were impressive nevertheless.
Rodrigo Mundaca is working for MODATIMA, a movement that fights against privatization of water, for the land and for the environment of the communities in La Ligua.
During his lecture Sen. Mundaca showed so much passion and so much heart blood, that the whole room was in total silence.
I have to admit: I had Goosebumbs when he talked about the injustice in La Ligua and especially when he showed us the picture of the waste land.
You can find a short article in Spanish about his fight for water, here.
The next lecturer, I would like to present, is Gregory Cohen. A famous actor in TV, movies and Theaters and also the artistic director for our Workshop: Comedy spot
He is definitely special not only because of his St.Pauli trikot he was wearing, but also because laughter and fun was the main part of his lecture.
The last but not least is the alternative Nobel prize winner Juan Pablo Orrego.
He is one of the founder of the Grupo de Acción por el Biobío. His example was the start for a environmental and human rights movement in Chile.
He was awarded with the alternativ Nobel prize for his commitment for alternative and sustainable developments.
I want to end my Blog with these three astonishing persons, but also with a thank to all the other lectures, who were also extraordinary great.