A Pilgrimage of Our Own

I have never been on a pilgrimage.

I’ve always imagined what it would look like. Long travel days. Poor hygiene. An air of excitement. I can happily say that I was almost right. Our group’s hygiene is on fleek.

Over the last two days we have traveled over 1,400 miles in a total of 24 hours of driving. There has been sleeping, singing, sight-seeing and more sleeping. Our already fun group grew even closer; I guess two vans full of antsy students is to blame.

Even though we were driving to the border, we didn’t discuss it or our mission much. The vibe of the van changed when we approached the outskirts of the city. The beautiful desert scenery was obstructed with border control and a giant drone searching for immigrants in the mountains. It was surreal. I felt like I was in a movie rather than my own country. We played inspirational music and remained silent until we approached our home for the next two weeks. Those final moments in the car set the mood for our mission.

Here is a quote that I have kept with me in travels throughout Europe a that I see fit for this journey:

“A pilgrimage is not a vacation; it is a transformational journey during which significant change takes place. New insights are given. Deeper understanding is attained. New and old places in the heart are visited. Blessings are received and healing takes place. On return from the pilgrimage, life is seen with different eyes. Nothing will ever be quite the same again,” Macrina Wiederkehr.

 

 

Here is our group after we arrived in AZ.

Tomorrow we are entering Mexico, filming B roll and interviewing an employee of the Kino Border Initiative.

For now, I’m exhausted.

More to come,
Natalie

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