UWC is an idea, not a movement

I love UWC. I do, believe me.

I love sitting at the river at night with 5 different people from 5 different continents.

I love discussing politics with friends, who are actually concerned.

I love the thrill that I get when I have the feeling, that I’m helping others in my service CAS.

But it’s a feeling, not more. It’s an illusion.

How do you suppose we can change the world, sitting in our nice castles with pools and medical centres, with gyms and big, green, blooming gardens?

Here in Mostar, we have no castle and no pool, no gym and no garden. We live, more or less, the way everyone lives here, on the edge of different ethnicities in a post-conflict zone. Sometimes we have no electricity, and when I look out of my window I see the front of a house, embellished by shells 20 years ago.

It is as close as a UWC can get to what it believes to be.

But it’s an illusion anyways.

How do you suppose we can change the world, if everyone around us sees us as stupid idealists, who have no clue of what is actually going on, disrespecting local taboos and culture.

We think we’re divine agents of peace, of equality, mutual respect, personal freedom and community building.

But we’re nothing, not with this attitude. If you want to call yourself a “leader”, a “peacemaker”, go on, but don’t expect others to worship you for it. Don’t expect “the poor” to thank you for your help, don’t expect the “ignorant” to change after you busted some of your big words, of your magnificent ideas on top of them. We are intruders here, and we have to earn our right to experience this place, not the other way round.

I love UWC. I truly do. The past year has been the best of my life.

I have enjoyed it.

I have had fun.

I liked discussing global politics.

I felt good, working for others.

Because that’s what it is about, in the end.

-originally published on uwclampoon.tumblr.com

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