IVEP coordinators standing in a line
Photo courtesy of Kathryn Deckert

IVEP coordinators from across the US and Canada gather for a network meeting at Shekhinah's retreat centre in Saskatchewan.

Years ago, I wrote an article on snapshots. At the time I was a Canadian university student living in Rwanda, and while I didn’t know it, I was fascinated with the idea of growing up.

I spent a lot of time journaling, contemplating and wondering what would happen when I returned to Canada. The snapshots idea came out in a blog post on capturing the moment. I went into a long soliloquy of the exact moments I would remember- the sounds, the colors and the smells that would take me back to my time abroad.

Some of the guesses were correct. The sound of rain hitting banana leaves still comes back at the strangest times. The thing I failed to realize is that we can’t know the significance of the moments we live through until more life has happened. Time does not erase, but it does illuminate. It brings a perspective that is sometimes welcome and sometimes painful.

As hosts, partners and participants start to anticipate the end of the IVEP year, none of us yet realize what impact we have had on each other’s lives. The moments together that our cameras and journals and work reports have captured contain some, but the lasting snapshots, like a photo still in the dark room have yet to reveal themselves. The program year may end but the impact of seeing the world together, if only for a brief while, may still change our lives.