Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Little Pot to Big Pot

On our third day of the Radha Krishna Camp in Brazil, I asked the group of 19 teenage girls, "So what quality do you all want to develop as a group today?"

We broke up into two smaller groups to discuss. In the group I was in, one girl mentioned how everyone seems to be in their own little groups. She formed her hands into a circle, "A panelinha," she said.


"It means 'clique,'" said the girl who was translating.

"Oh really?" I lifted my brows.

"Yes, it means 'little pot,'"

I laughed. Then all the girls laughed to see that I got it. Oh yes, I thought to myself, there were many little pots simmering on the stove of this Camp. 

"Let's be more open," the first girl explained in Portuguese, and other girls nodded in assent. Ultimately, all of the girls agreed to explore being open today.

The analogy became a running joke - any time there were little groups of girls, some would yell out, "panelinha, panelinha!!" and either break it up or say, "Hey, wanna join my panelinha?"

With each day, the fire became hotter and hotter in this camp. What can one expect when you get 19 girls all living in the same house day after day? We were serving each other prasad every day, getting up early for morning programs, we rode horses, hiked, offered a performance at a senior home, we had a dance party... Let's just say that many tears were shed - from pain in the body, pain in the heart, from gratitude, and from joy.

The final morning of the camp, we each offered appreciation for one other person. When the meeting concluded, spontaneously everyone moved throughout the room, embracing each other, tears flowing and flowing. From my years of saying goodbye on Bus Tours, I knew that never again would we all be in the same room again.

I didn't say anything, only looked each girl in the eyes and felt my heart overflow. What an insane adventure.

We had transformed from a bunch of panelinhas to one panelón - little pot to big pot. 

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