Often at times I am afraid to speak or other times I am afraid to me in the room. Usually it’s the other way around with those that are around me. I wasn’t aware that my transitioning from home to an unknown place would be more difficult than I expected. I thought it would be as easy as eating ice cream or dancing with my people who I love. It wasn’t.

 The racial tensions that were happening back at home before the day I left was hard for me to grapple. Another dead black man not getting justice. His love ones not getting justice. His love ones hurting and full of trauma. The community just stunned. Again. It was hard for me to be excited and to even get my head straight that I was leaving the country. It was hard for me to even leave and not being able to cope with the injustice that happened. In the state I have lived in my whole entire life. How could this happen?

 I am aware that the system has failed us many times but why not give us something? One charge? Instead we got nothing but more trauma, more anger, more sadness, and more hopelessness.

 I believe my emotions carried over to the first week in Lilehammer because I was unable to speak and feel free. Laughter felt wrong.

 As the days went by I suddenly accepted that I was supposed to be here. Where I stand. Learning about the important principles and techniques to do dialogue and facilitate dialogue. Because my community, my peers, and myself need this.

 I appreciated those who gave me empathy rather than sympathy because that lifted my spirits to continue this program.


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