Peacebuilders Camp at Koinonia Farm

A taste of global peacemaking

Campers atop the India house at Habitat's Global Village
Campers atop the India house at Habitat’s Global Village

Today our 12- and 13-year old campers got a taste of the world as we focused on international peacemaking. A visit to Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village this morning introduced them to the work Habitat does in many countries around the world. Campers were particularly struck by the replica of a  slum community that they walked through at the entrance to the village. It’s not hard to imagine the challenges of growing up in such an environment; campers commented on how difficult it would be to focus on getting an education or building a future there. Campers enjoyed exploring the homes that make up the rest of the village, life-size examples of the houses Habitat volunteers build in a number of different countries.

Meh Sod's group prepared breaded and fried squash from Burma
Meh Sod’s group prepared breaded and fried squash from Burma

Returning to the farm, six different groups of campers helped prepare foods from six different countries for tonight’s international dinner. Besides cooking unfamiliar dishes, campers researched the countries that their dishes were from, noting in particular the literacy rate and the percentage of children that attend school. They made a flag for their countries and displayed the flags and statistics next to each dish. Koinonia community members pitched in with their own international dishes, and the result was a feast like none other in the world.

Campers and Koinonians alike tested their knowledge with a quiz made up of facts from the campers’ research. Here’s a sample: how many of these questions can you answer? (answers at bottom)

Falafel, empanadas, Congolese spinach, and alfajores were only some of the new foods we tried!
Falafel, empanadas, Congolese spinach, and alfajores were only some of the new foods we tried!

1. Which country has the highest percentage of people with a university degree?

2. The Bengal tiger is the national symbol of what country?

3. Which country’s languages include Lingala, Kituba, and French?

4. Where are three different currencies used, including the Egyptian pound and the Jordanian dinar?

5. Which country is now called Myanmar?

After dinner, a hay ride, and free time, we were challenged to think about issues from two other parts of the world where intelligent peacebuilding is desperately needed. First, we watched a video of Malala Yousafzai’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, a most inspiring speech by a most remarkable young woman, only a few years older than the campers themselves. She spoke of the need for the world to unite in its commitment to provide adequate education for children in her country of Pakistan, and in every other nation.  Next, Peacebuilders’ co-director Jonah McDonald shared stories from his recent visit to Israel/Palestine and explained the roots of the ongoing and deadly conflict there. Campers ended the day with full stomachs and full minds, inspired to find ways to build peace in their ever-expanding world.

Can't wait to eat!
Can’t wait to eat!

Answers to above questions: 1. Israel; 2. India; 3. Congo; 4. Palestine; 5. Burma


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