By Jessica Fresques
Reflecting on the content of the course, I believe that I left Derry transformed. How I will approach situations in the future dealing with conflict resolution, I will look back to what I learned in Derry. The stories, the people and the cultural experience enriched my learning and heavily impacted me. When I signed up for the course I had no idea how in depth the conflict between the communities was/is rooted. And how the Good Friday Peace Agreement was less then two decades ago.
I learned most from the stories that were told. After seeing how effective the healing through storytelling process was in Derry, I wondered if it would work in America. I feel that the whole idea brought our group closer together and we bonded well.
At the closing ceremony I enjoyed listening to the stories we told about the people we interviewed. What resonated with me most was the metaphor Amber's interviewee used to describe where Northern Ireland was in the peace building process. In describing it as a garden that is being tilled says to me that each community is recovering and moving forward. In moving forward they acknowledge there is still work to be done.