We flew from Quito to Lima on Thursday to meet with 30 young YMCA leaders engaged in the Resource Group for Environment. It was a fantastic group of engaged, informed and dedicated young leaders, I enjoyed the fellowship very much. We were sitting in a big circle and sharing experiences and visions and dreams. We were talking a lot about the World YMCA and how we can facilitate effective advocacy work in the field of Environment. This Resource Group for Environment (RGE) is the first of four groups we plan to establish, one for Young People and Jobs, one for Health and one for Civic Engagement. So the experiences from the RGE is very valuable when we are planning for the procedures to consult and decide on statements and position taking in the different issues we will be faced with.The OUR WAY Strategy was presented and discussed and I think all of us felt quite encouraged and inspired by the visions and the potential in the near future.
We met with young people from Lima YMCA and that was an energetic and enthusiastic encounter. All of a sudden the Resource Group for Environment grew to a big number, and there were plans made for a joint march through Lima to campaign for a good outcome for COP20.
For one of the breakfasts an old and very close friend of us, Gerardo Medina, previous President of Peru YMCA, took us outside of Lima for a traditional breakfast, very popular on Saturday mornings. Outside the restaurant the lady of the kitchen was preparing grilled pork meat, and inside this delicious meat was mixed with onion and cheese and put inside a roll, more like a gigantic hamburger, Peruvian style. With a cup of strong coffee and Hugo Naturales (Fruit Juice) the breakfast was incredibly delicious and the calories were minimal and very light, they more or less flew away during the good conversation.
Tempting food and service minded people on Saturday morning for breakfast. And soon some very interesting archeological surprises were coming our way.
Gerardo had planned to take us to the biggest excavation outside Lima of very early pre-Inca cultures mixed with incoming pressure from Inca influence in the shape and form of a gigantic temple to the sun.
Here the walls of the Inca temple.
Gerardo, who is very interested in history, explains how this whole business with the temple was a typical Empire way of saying to the existing tribes and the existing culture: “We are the bosses!” Not the first time in history, and not the last!
Lachlan from Melbourne, Australia, presenting on one of the four workshops during the COP20 preparatory meeting in Lima. Excellent presentation, and the happiness in the group was big when we all of a sudden heard from Australia that Lachlan had been given a National Prize during the National Meeting of Australia YMCA, happening at the same time. Congratulations, Lachlan!
Raoul, the National General Secretary in Peru, Daniel Vives Rivero, the previous member of the World YMCA Executive Committee and his sister, also a volunteer in Lima YMCA, sharing a moment of coffee and good conversation with me. Peru YMCA took excellently care of us all – what a fabulous hospitality! There was no limit to their hospitality!
And as we were moving more directly in to preparations for the participation at the COP20 meeting, we see Norway, Germany, Germany and Australia in keen concentration, slightly disturbed by the photographer! The preparation was technically advanced, went into politics of different kinds as well as negotiating strategies and tactics. Very impressive, and I can promise you that the six badges we had, giving access to the real COP20, were carried by very well prepared young leaders.
These two guys were incredible! First they took us to the Museum of Gold in Lima, and then for a delicious ice cream and we had a great time with the brilliant youth worker of Lima YMCA, Rnesto Carranza Casas and Daniel Vives Rivero. Thank you guys, your friendship is very appreciated!