This seems so final. 
We've been home for over two months and I continue to learn lessons from the experiences gained in Munich. I have a presentation of my experience which I've shared with a couple dozen people so far. In the presentation, I showcase facts and figures learned from the Housing Office of Munich, from the various guides, and showcase my experience with Caritas social workers - Astrid, Urs, and Barbara. 
Here's a picture of the most recent presentation - at my home church, St. Tim's Lutheran Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

Teaching others is often a valuable way to learn the real takeaways - the good stuff. I think because I've gone through my experience several times in this formal way - it marinates deeper every time - and I continue to find connections and lessons. Today for example, in church the lesson was about God and Moses - how Moses's journey all began because he turns his head toward the burning bush. That's all he has to do. …

The Power of the Scapegoat

In the aftermath of every horrific historical event remarks abound suggesting the people and the world will never forget, that this will never happen again. But, history has a tendency to repeat itself. They say that those who don't learn history are doomed to repeat it, but those who do learn history are doomed to watch others repeat it. Germany has definitely learned its history but does simply being informed have any bearing on future actions? If we look at the results of the recent election we have to ask this question. If we look at the results of the recent U.S. election we have to ask this question. Though times have changed and the world has industrialized, the politics of fear and the power of scapegoating are stronger than ever. We look at the Holocaust and think to ourselves, "How could someone let this happen?" The answer to that is simple, most people didn't realize what they were allowing to go on. The Nazis rose to power because they had the democrati…

Tourist Attraction

Taking the trip to Dachau shouldn't be something one is excited for. Now don't get me wrong, people should be eager to go and they should make a trip. My experience in Dachau though was not an enjoyable one but a necessary one. Now with the advent of social media though, sites like this are now becoming "attractive" in the worst way. I was caught off guard by the amount of picture taking and selfies that went on through all aspects of the tour.
This is of course my outside perspective, but visitors seemed more interested in getting the perfect shot than taking a moment to realize their surroundings. People on the site often walk lens first, and experience the museum through their camera's filter. Has society now become more desensitized to the horrors of humanity? Which has become more important, the experience or the evidence of the experience?

We are Historians

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" - George Santayana
Reflecting on our experiences, I keep coming back to this quote. I look back on our afternoon walking through the  National Socialist Documentation Center and seeing the history behind the movement that created one of the biggest crimes against humanity in our history, and I just keep asking myself if today's society has actually learned from it? The parallels between some recent events and rhetoric seen globally and of back then are evident. Surely some have had similar accounts of deja vu. Surely some have learned from history, and hopefully those will continue to stand up so that history does not repeat itself.  - This is a picture on display at the National Socialist Documentation Center. The caption beside it states: " 'A little man asks for large gifts. His motto: I have millions behind me', Cover of the 'Workers Illustrated Newspaper' by John Heartfield, October…

Raindrops on roses

After being in Germany for a couple of days and working with Muncher Fluchtlingsrat, I have realized that most of issues the NGOs face is paperwork. Policies are constantly changing for asylum seekers, and social workers are simply the messengers that are drowning in the ever-changing bureaucracy. People travel here from all over the world. The refugees spend their last dimes, put all of their faith in people who may not be deserving, only to get to a country where they are constantly wondering if they will be sent back to a place that is no longer a viable option.

- I took this picture on my walk to Muncher Fluchtlingsrat's office. It is located close to the central metro station. -

While observing the inner-office workings of Muncher Fluchtlingsrat, I saw many concerned people come in searching for answers and help, and the workers at Fluchtlingsrat would instantly try and answer their questions or provide them with the resources they need. Not only that, but they would also t…

An Experience I will never forget....


What now?

By Eva Videla

As I continue my travels, I can see different migration situations. The conversations about the topic can be sensitive and hostile in some cases. -The don't want to work or -they pretend to be Syrian to get more help. But at the end we need to respect their opinions as we don't know the full story. Back in Germany, I had the pleasure to meet great individuals whom are working hard to make Germany their home. However, I don't think that is the full story. We cannot over generalize, good or bad. For example, here in Italy I can feel a more negative stance about the issue. However, in other countries like the Netherlands or Belgium had a different opinion about it.