Today was the first day we had running water in the shower. We even had the possibility of choosing hot water, a luxury that we are simply not used to here. Furthermore, we have a well-functioning air conditioning and a broadband that seems to work now.
We had set our minds on starting the training 8.00 a.m. sharp today, but we have to admit that the clock became 9:15 a.m. before we started. We made it clear, though, that we expect all of them to be on time in the future. Some had excuses, they had traveled here today from far away. But I am sure that if we had set the time to nine o’clock we would not have got started before ten. Today, the group consisted of twelve participants. Two more are joining us tomorrow. Then, there will be a total of four women and eight men in the course.
After the presentation we went through the first two chapters. The first is about the place they are from and where they will work as educators. We tried to analyze available resources, both natural and human. How is it possible to use the natural resources, refine them, giving them added value that can appeal to the market, and be turned into money. Most of the trainers are from the countryside and they talked a lot about different kinds of cultivations, but also forestry. For those trainers who are from the cities Brazzaville and Point Noire there are other opportunities. They can involve various types of service and trading, such as shops, restaurants, hairdressers, garages and bookkeeping bureaus. In homework they got a form where they should report the possibilities and difficulties in their respective geographical areas.
The second chapter focuses on the educator himself/herself. He/she must be reliable, always stick to the truth, be a role model, a teacher and make things understandable, give people inspiration, courage and self-confidence and use both carrot and stick to motivate. He/she has to be able to recognize the strengths in his/her students, to get students to discover their opportunities, to collaborate and work toward a goal, and much more. The trainers are the key. We went through about 40 different key values. The participants had to choose five of these and to write down what these key values meant to them. Tomorrow they will make an oral presentation of the words they have chosen.
The group was at times very intense and sometimes it was difficult to get them to speak one at a time. They seem to be aware of what they are letting themselves in for. Our interpreter Roy had it tough at times. Mostly, he interpreted his compatriots as they were speaking, it was the easiest because it’s hard to stop a Congolese when he/she gets excited.