Day 1

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Hello, I´m Emma and I´m from Philadelphia. I do not know what my reasons were exactly for coming on catalyst but the war on drugs is a serious problem affecting an entire continent and I am fairly uneducated about the causes and effects of it.

I first arrived at the airport and then we made our way to Cuernavaca, only half the group was there at this point. Once we arrived we ate dinner and then I unpacked and went to bed. 

In the morning, everyone had arrived and we all had breakfast together. We went around many circles saying our names and where we were from. Eventually, we all got it. We introduced ourselves by sharing pictures of a moment in our lives and creating envelopes in which people can place messages which we can read when we return home. I really liked this idea as a way to stay in touch  with the people we meet here. 

I, come from a background of long conversations surrounding most group decisions so our rule making discussion was quite familiar. We sat in a circle, with Camilla translating our discussion, talking about what would help us to feel comfortable living together for 18 days.

We also talked about how the War on Drugs has personally affected each of us. This conversation was hard for me to have because the stories that were shared were really intense and sad. For me the War on Drugs has not affected me in that way so it was extremely disheartening to hear those stories. At the same time, Catalyst provides a place where those stories can be shared which to me is a good thing. 

The first day was a little hard for me, because of the language barriers between us but everyone is very nice and patient. The Catalyst team does a really good job of translating what is going on.

On the bright side... 

I meditated for the first time which was pretty cool. Our house is very beautiful and the food is delicious. There is always fruit and amazing bread to eat.