It has been almost two weeks since the Peace Caravan ended, and I’ve been asked to write the final days blog. I guess I’ve been putting it off, as it is really difficult to put into words the feeling, when an experience so amazing and filled with emotion comes to an end.
Our final day, was always going to be a busy day, evaluation, party prep, Daily Views on Peace Photo Exhibition, Peace Jam and of course the final party : 0 The guys at SCI Cat have worked unbelievably hard and the final day showed just how much team work and effort went into their preparations. We had a lovely relaxing evaluation on the university grounds, looking at our journey, it was a really nice way to reflect on just how much was achieved during Route 4. We took time to acknowledge the difference we can make, and repeating aloud, to another person, the phrase ” If you and me just ……………… we can change things” . Writing a letter to ourselves gave us a chance to look at our own contribution and ideas and plans for the future. Finally personal envelopes let us send messages to all of the volunteers and PC participants.
Everyone worked really hard to get things ready for the final party, with many SCI volunteers from the Peace training in Scotland and previous Peace Caravan routes, arriving in Barcelona to help us celebrate the success of a really wonderful project. The Peace Jam kicked off the night, with music, singing and, as always, dancing, dancing, dancing, we even had a little dance lesson from Jordi! We paused from the party briefly as Deniz read aloud a very sweet message from the No More War team:
“IT HAS BEEN AN AMAZING PROJECT, 13 BRANCHES AND 27 PEACE CARAVAN TRAVELLRS. OVER 100 PEOPLE THOUGHT AND HELP STRUCTURE THIS PROJECT, AS NMW TEAM WE WORK AS HARD AS ANY OF OUR PREVIOUS SCI EXPERIENCE. WE NEVER IMAGINE WE COULD ALL ACHIEVE SO MUCH TOGETHER. THERE IS NO SINGLE LEADER AMONG ALL THE PEOPLE WHOM TOOK PART IN THIS PROJECT THAT’S WHY, ALTHOUGH I UNDERSTAND YOU DISAPPOINTMENT I AM HAPPY THERE IS NO MEMBER OF NMW TEAM IN BARCELLONA. IT’S NOT “OUR TEAM” ACHIEVEMENT AND SUCCESS AND NONE OF US CAN CLAIM OWNERSHIP… IN AFRICA THERE IS A SAYING THAT GOES… “IF YOU GO ALONE YOU GO FAST IF YOU GO TOGETHER YOU GO LONG”…. WELL THANKS TO ALL OF YOU FROM EVERY PARTICIPANT TO EVERY LOCAL VOLS AND STAFF THAT PUT THEIR BEST EFFORT, THE PEACE CARAVAN WILL BE A PROJECT THAT WILL BE TALKED ABOUT FOR A LONG TIME… YOU ALL MADE POSSIBLE AND REAL A CRAZY IDEA… AND THIS SHOULD SERVE AS A CONCRETE REMINDER THAT OUR EVEN “CRAZIER DREAM” NO MORE WAR IS POSSIBLE… WE ALL JUST TOOK A STEP TOWARD THE RIGHT DIRECTION… PLEASE KEEP WALKING WHEN THIS WILL BE OVER… LET’S GO LONG TOGETHER INTO PEACE”
ON BEHALF OF THE NMW AND PEACE CARAVAN TEAM
The participants of route 4 were inspired by these words and made the most of our final night together as a group. The spirit of the Peace Caravan was captured in the magical atmosphere amongst everyone who shared the night with us. It carried on into the early hours of the morning, just long enough to say a sad farewell to the first PC4 departures : ( the tears carried on throughout the next day and night until the Caravan was no more.
It has been almost two weeks since the Peace Caravan ended, and only now am I beginning to see the learning and impact of its journey. One of my fellow participants told me, during an emotional farewell, that you never know when people will meet again. I’m sure we will not meet everyone we have had the pleasure of crossing paths with, however, sometimes one meeting with a person is enough to leave a mark forever.
On behalf of Route 4, we would like to thank SCI Germany, Italy and Catalunya, the No More War Team, the people of the many workcamps we visited and everyone else along the way! Thank you for a life changing experience : ) . I hope another Peace Caravan is in the future, and many more people have this same amazing opportunity. We leave you with the following quote
“The end of a melody is not its goal: but nonetheless, had the melody not reached its end, it would not have reached its goal.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
All our love, Goodbye for now, Alex, Amanda, Anna, Aylin, Femi, Katya, Mina and Oksana xxx