What Is CAC?
May 11th 2016. CAC’s long serving volunteer CJ Fritz wrote about his full experience with the organization on 4 continents!
Full disclosure, what you are reading is my sixth draft of this blog. After seven incredible months of working with CAC, when our program in Diadema ended, so did my volunteer trip with this incredible organization.
I asked a few weeks ago to reserve the chance to write this blog because it would be my last. I thought it would be a breeze, a little heartfelt note to CAC that would take no less than an hour to write.
Now after trying 6 times and spending far too long staring at a blank document, I realize how difficult describing CAC is. CAC is ever shifting and adapting, so getting a line on it and pinning it down would be near impossible.
Seven months ago, I was nervous — terrified, really — about what I had gotten myself into. I arrived in Indonesia in late August for my first program not knowing what was coming and seriously doubting every decision I had made in choosing to take such a crazy journey.
Now, in early April, I’m nervous –terrified, really — that nothing can possibly live up to working with CAC.
So what is this organization that had such an enormous impact on me? What is CAC? There is no one answer:
CAC is sleeping on plastic mattresses on the floor of a building with no running water and more power outages than chickens in the yard.
CAC is having one of only two women in a program give you hope for change when she speaks up in front of 60 men about respecting women.
CAC is having to leave a country before you realized that you had really arrived, on to the next program. It is rickety buses, fantastic stories, questionable bedspreads, big breakthroughs, optimism and definitely some disagreements.
CAC is coming to a community and asking what problems the participants want to solve instead of telling them what to solve.
CAC is the process of giving useful tools and then getting out of the way: letting a community use all or none of what we present and trying not to impose.
It is confronting huge issues head-on, long travel days (understatement), celebrating the little wins and bonding with inspiring people around the world.
Without CAC, I never would have experienced the pure energy Haitian Initiative coaches could introduce to a training session, or the complexity into which the Inder coaches in Medellin would delve into the issue of child abuse, or the bright smiles and positivity we would see from coaches in Iringa, Tanzania.
Most importantly to me, CAC is a chance, an opportunity. It is an opportunity to work toward something great with like minded people. It is the chance to challenge your own beliefs and to question everything.