July 19, 2007
Chicken Soup Factory Redux
The drive from the IRC office passes through Red Light (named, like many places in Liberia, after landmarks that no longer exist -- destroyed in the war). This bustling market place and transportation hub for the ubiquitous taxis and small vans could certainly use that red light. Honking vehicles seem to be driving in every direction at once, weaving through throngs of people carrying all sorts of bowls, baskets, and packages on their heads, and moving products and lumber in wheelbarrows. Everyone is dodging huge potholes. Because it is rainy season, puddles like small lakes and deep mud are everywhere.
Our morning session focuses on raising awareness about gender dynamics within the staff team, and practicing cross-gender communication skills so they can educators and role models for the women's and men's action groups with whom they work. In separate gender groups they identify appreciations and concerns about how they are interacting. The dialogue that ensues when they come together to share these observations with each other demonstrates how far they have come in listening to and trusting each other. Subtle issues of male control are able to be sensitively addressed, and strategies for sharing food preparation and serving responsibilities are developed (and immediately put into practice).
In the afternoon we reviewed a number of topics from the February MRI training handbook that staff requested to increase their competency in teaching to others. This was followed by generating ideas for the next steps with the men's action groups.
We end the day with several hours of debriefing at the IRC office, and dinner at our hotel celebrating James' birthday.
Posted by Jorge at July 19, 2007 02:11 PM