Thursday, April 12, 2012

PDM (Project and Design Management) Workshop

March 19th-21st, 2012

We have reached our mid-service training.  While we still have a few months until we hit our actual mid-service, its still feels like a major accomplishment.  Most of our “Mighty-Fine Group-Nine” converged at Thokoza Conference Center in Mbabane once again with visions of showers and catered meals in our heads.  However we weren’t alone this time. 

For the first three days of the training we had our PDM workshop with our counterparts from the community.  Addy, Ryan, and I brought two counterparts with us.  We had Bashin, our Kagogo Center Manager, whom we all work with and is our link to the inner council of the local community government.  We also had Amnesty, our counterpart from the refugee camp.  I am giving Amnesty a major shout-out here.  He agreed to come to this workshop where not only was he be surrounded by Americans speaking English, but also Swazis speaking siSwati, neither of which are his first language.  And he did fabulous!

We spent two days working with our counterparts on the step-by-step processes of identifying, developing, implementing, and evaluating a project.  It was really nice to be able to work with our counterparts with PC right there to answer any questions we had.  I think it gave everyone a boost of energy to get projects going.

It was also really fun to bond with our counterparts out of the community.  We could hang out in a neutral environment; get to know each other outside of just working with each other.  We taught Amnesty how to play some American card games, and he taught us and Bashin how to write our names in Arabic and is educating us on Islam.  The great divide between cultures is melting away slowly and the laughter and smiles that replaced it is infectious.

Me, Amnesty, Addy, Ryan, Bashin

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