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March 16, 2023

Day 3 – Browning, MT 2023

by carrollministry

3/15 – Veronika Fomishyna

Throughout this week we have discovered much about community and culture here as well as ourselves. Community can be found within the classroom through interactions between the classmates and their teachers. Students are attuned to what each other needs. They understand that not all problems can be solved using the same type of “band aid” and they know everyone experiences their own struggles.

The teachers are interested in and show much love for their students. At the beginning of each class I noticed the relationship, which they built during previous semesters and how teacher knows which student needs which kind of interaction. And seeing how they treat their students with respect and love is inspiring.

Going home after this day I realized that I am looking forward to share my thoughts with other immersion students. That’s what we all want – to be heard. Every day I see how everyone in the class is trying to share somehow what they have in their minds. Sometimes there is no time or place for that but for this they need immersion students. We are here to be present, to give them our time and attention, to give them opportunity to share. As all human beings we just want to feel worth of attention, to feel that our story is important, to know that we have a right to feel what we do. These kids have their story to tell too.

3/15 – Maddie Vandehey

These students are incredibly resilient and hardworking. During my first interaction with these young people, it was easy to see how dedicated they were to their education. Just as in every classroom, students become excited and frustrated. Yet, when they want to learn, they want to learn. Today I worked with a student who was clearly frequently absent. As this is the last week of the quarter, they had much work to catch up on. I was given the opportunity to work with them in their catchup work. In moments where I found myself struggling to keep working and noticed their tiredness, I would ask if they wanted to take a quick break. Yet, they shook their head. They wanted to keep going, to keep learning.

Coming into this weekend, I believed I wasn’t coming in with any expectations. But I was clearly proved wrong within the first day. I believed that my role as an immersion student was to take on being a tutor. While this is some of the work that we take on, our presence to this community means so much more. Our goal should be to build relationship with these students so that we can learn from each other. Having a relationship with God makes building these relationships so much easier. We are able to see these young people as God’s creation, not just some kid in a community that struggles with poverty. We see each child for who they are: unique individuals created by and in the image of God. As much as we talk about what this means, it was difficult for me to fully understand what this means until my experience here at the De La Salle School. I have learned that my role is not to “help” others but to serve them.

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