December 2018 Newsletter

Coming to the end of the year it’s important to reflect and discern on personal growth and progress. 2018 has been a year of significant growth for The Cardoner Project, we are excited and determined to continue our mission driven by our shared faith. Enjoy reading our stories and can get involved!

 

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To learn more about our social impact, have a look at our 2018 Impact Report!



Rhys Hope (12 Months)

Thailand – Huay Tong

(Saint Ignatius’ College, Sydney 2017)

What is one significant relationship you have developed with a member of your host community?

In Karen culture, it is tradition and practice to call your elders 'uncle' and 'auntie'. Whilst for the most part this is a formality, I have developed certain relationships in which calling them this way feels incredibly genuine and true. There is one man who works in his fields every day, and after helping and 'living' with him, I feel a strong bond and mutual care for the man. Sometimes he calls me his son which is a fulfilling way to know that you're helping out.

Has this experience been what you thought it would be? If not, why?

As the seasons change, the experience continuously changes in refreshing and unique ways. After a few weeks here in the Karen village, you learn not to expect/predict how the experience will be. Right now, during the rice harvest, I am loving the new experience and challenge of farming everyday.

What is one significant moment or event that has had an impact on you?

On my last night in a different village, the warmth of the Karen community and culture really hit me in a significant and beautiful way. After only helping there for 3 weeks, various members of the community were very generous and gave me Karen bags, dresses and shirts as thank-you gifts. About 80% of all gifts were not actually for me, but for my mother in Australia. I found this very funny, but upon reflection, realised how important and valued mothers are in the development and life of a child, especially in Karen culture. It refreshed my own relationship with my mother, but also made me take a greater appreciation for all mothers in the community I have been living in, and appreciate that sense of love and life.


Ruby Kohler (6 Months)

Zambia – Kasisi Children’s Home

(kincoppal Rose bay, sydney 2017)

What is one significant relationship you have developed with a member of your host community?

During my time at Kasisi Children’s Home, I’ve made strong ties with the kids who live here. Every time I walk out my door there is a swarm of arms for hugs and games. They have become really enthusiastic about coming to the classroom with me when they’re not at school, to learn better English and do fun activities I make for them. Each time I walk past the toddlers they run up, giggling, to shake my hand and hug themselves at the same time because they know I’ll always tickle them.

What is one significant moment or event that has had an impact on you?

A beautiful moment for me, recently, was looking through my records of the kids I’ve been tutoring for the last few weeks. It was fantastic when I saw that 5 of 12 kids have jumped up a reading level in my time here. Even my youngest, Blessing (7), has made progress with learning the alphabet! It’s amazing to see the change happening in the kids’ education and knowing that they really enjoy coming to learn with me.

How will this experience impact your life when you return to Australia?

I’ve had a lot of time to recognise and think about prejudice while I’ve been here. Predominantly, it’s my personal struggle to be seen as useful and correct as an unmarried, white young woman who wears pants, is reasonably intelligent and works. I’ve never faced people who really had problems with my gender, sexuality, skin pigment and how I embrace my education. So, it’s been eye opening to come to a culture that is often unaligned with my own beliefs of independence, liberty and individual expression.


two spaces available, for your corporate or social function
enquire at; events@thetwowolves.com.au


Patrick Coleman (6 Months)

ZAmbia – Chipata

(saint aloysius’ college, sydney 2017)

How has your experience impacted your faith and relationship with God?

It has been refreshing in many respects arriving in a country that has such a large focus on God in their everyday lives. I arrived with a pretty strong connection with God and being immersed in this community has maintained that connection and helped me to be grateful for what I have. The people here revolve their lives around the Church and it has been incredible to see their gratefulness despite their lack of material wealth.

How will this experience impact your life when you return to Australia?

I think that I will have a newfound sense of gratitude for how much I have and the wealth of opportunities that are available to me in Australia. I think another aspect that I will take back with me is being able to be resourceful and think on my feet. Teaching in Chipata schools, there is a very apparent lack of material resources for teaching, so you quickly learn to use and recycle parts for use in lessons.

What is one significant relationship you have developed with a member of your host community?

During our time here in Chipata we have become quite good friends with our cook Yvonne. She has become somewhat of a mother figure to us taking time to teach Zambian cuisine to us and checking up on us when we're sick. Yvonne's a single mum of five and it's amazing seeing her every day with a massive smile on her face and always ready to laugh no matter what is going on in her life. She's a massive source of energy and regardless of how I'm feeling seeing her and talking to her always gives me a massive boost being able to joke with her.


Simone Fernandes (3 Months)

Guatemala – Esperanza Juvenil

Has this experience been what you thought it would be? If not, why?

I had an idea of what life would be like here in Guatemala, but my experience has surpassed all my prior expectations. I’ve absolutely loved getting to know all the children, teachers and staff at Esperanza Juvenil. I’ve had the opportunity to teach each grade and really spend time with them. It has been so rewarding. I’ve also gotten to travel around Guatemala with different people from this community which has really enriched my experience and expanded my knowledge of Guatemalan culture.

How has your experience impacted your faith and relationship with God?

This experience has really strengthened my faith and relationship with God. In amongst the joy of living here, I have experienced a few difficulties for example, feeling homesick and missing my family and the strong faith community I am a part of in Sydney. I’ve really had to cling to God in these times and rely on Him to provide for me. There were times when I was worried about something and prayed about it and the next day it was sorted out for me. God is so good! God has also shown me what I’m capable of doing with Him. I was a little worried beforehand about how much I would need to be out of my comfort zone while living here in Guatemala. Through prayer and the support and prayers of my friends and family at home, I’ve been able to challenge myself and achieve more than I thought I was capable of achieving. I’ve really experienced the abundance of God’s blessings over here through His providence, His people and through the beauty of His creation.

How will this experience impact your life when you return to Australia?

I’m not sure what life will look like once I return to Australia, but I hope and pray that I will be able to hold onto this experience and let it inform and mould how I live my life. I am so blessed to live in a country like Australia and I hope that I will remember not to take anything for granted. I also pray that when I am feeling unmotivated or discouraged that I will let myself be inspired by the hard work and dedication of the children, teachers and staff at Esperanza Juvenil. I’m so grateful to have had this opportunity to live in Guatemala for three months and undertake such life-giving and rewarding volunteer work.


2019 Parents’ and friends immersions

Lead by fr david braithwaite sj our CEO


Aidan Farmer (12 Months)

Sri Lanka – Trincomalee

(Saint Ignatius’ College, Sydney 2017)

Has this experience been what you thought it would be? If not, why?

Nepal and Sri Lanka have been very different, no less enjoyable and fulfilling, experiences. I was able to teach primary school students in Nepal, whereas here I’ve been given the opportunity to teach older students. But so far, the experiences I have had have been pretty much what I thought they would be - that’s not to say that’s a negative thing at all. Everything has gone very smoothly this year in every placement and I’m thankful for all of it.

How has your experience impacted your faith and relationship with God?

I’ve definitely realised a certain strengthening, so to speak, in my faith. I’ve started going to mass more. I’ve started reflecting more. I’ve started participating in prayer more. And I’ve started to really enjoy going to mass.

How will this experience impact your life when you return to Australia?

I’ve already made plans to return to my placements in university holidays next year. I’ve also considered going to mass more often even in Sydney. And I want to start some fundraising programmes too for various things.

What is one significant moment or event that has had an impact on you?

A significant moment or two that have really made this year quite special and had an impact on me, is when I was in Nepal. I was just arriving at school when I saw one of the younger students at the school talking to an older female student. She was whispering something in his ear and pointed towards me. That was when he turned to face me, smile and head long sprint towards me. Just made me feel really happy to be honest. Another moment, I was at dinner and Fr Aniston made the comment that the high school behind where I live have been really happy with what I’ve done for the grade 3 and 4 students, so much so that every time I came to class, they were very keen to start learning English again. He said I made them enjoy learning English again, and that was just another impactful moment. Another moment was having lunch with a few of the pre-noviciates at the house. We were talking about a lesson that had just finished, whether fun or boring. One bumped in and said: ‘with Aidan, class is always fun.’

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