Laura Schildt Njiki

Laura Schildt Njiki

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May 2008: Last summer I concluded my work in Bolivia and returned to the U.S. where Michel Remi Njiki and I were married on September 1 st,2007  We moved to Jerez de la Frontera, Spain soon after our wedding.  I continue to teach distance learning courses with Eastern University in CCGPS (the Campolo College of Graduate and Professional Studies).  I also work part-time with a development and education organization here in Spain called Madre Coraje.  I am in charge of coordinating and implementing workshops on peace, equality and care of the earth in the local public school system.  Aside from this I work part-time teaching English.  In my free time I am writing children’s stories, studying French, singing in the cathedral’s choir and for the first time in my life, I’m in a Bridge club!

Michel is finishing his doctorate in international immigration law.  He also works in the International Relations department of the University of Cadiz and is teaching 80 hours this semester on international humanitarian law.  In December, 2008, we will travel to Cameroon for our second wedding celebration with many of Michel’s family and friends in Yaoundé and in Douala.  In the future if any of you are traveling through Spain please drop in!

February 2007: I am living in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and working with Mennonite Central Committee/MCC.  I work in the peacebuilding program.  We work with church pastors, religious leaders, and other NGO’s working in the peacebuilding field.

Last October I met with  Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales, for a few seconds (smile); time enough to hand him a copy of Lederach’s Building Peace.

This is a time of ferment, not only in Bolivia, but in the region, and that entails some tension.  There’s much reason for hope even as we’re dealing with some difficult issues externally in our environment as well as internally in our organization.  We had our first  STAR seminar this spring with religious leaders, which gave us all a lot of hope and space to look at how to heal.

Another exciting thing from this past year: last summer (2006) I taught two courses with Eastern University in Ecuador and Brazil.  It was a wonderful experience, and I met many new friends through Eastern’s School of Leadership and Development.  I hadn’t ever been to South America before this past year, and I find the diversity among S.A. countries very intriguing.