I had the Conductores Culturales training this last weekend and it went great!
My friends and fellow Peace Corps volunteers Amy and Steph really have been a major help on this project– sitting through a full day of interviews and then a whole weekend training.
Lots of lovely people helped make it happen, though: My boss Elisa helped truck stuff around and then gave the opening words on leadership; one of the professors at the train station drove all of the meals and snacks to the location of the training a few kilometers outside of the city; the team from Costanera Viva, a public spaces initiative, came to present; an AIESECer I know from Asuncion supported the activities; a parent of one of the new Conductors, and train commission member, and my Paraguayan uncle gave people rides home; the outdoor adventure location EcoReserva Mbatovi donated site visits for all of the Conductors; the training location, a space maintained by the army base, was donated; my friend Veronica, and former PC volunteer, sent me her old computer which allowed me to plan all of the training sessions; and many of the dollars that you beautiful readers donated also went to the training and will continue to support the work of the Cultural Conductors!
It truly was a collaboration and I will be forever grateful that so many moving parts managed to fit together gracefully.
At the beginning of the training all of the Conductors did a self-assessment of their metaphorical behavior in the pool of life– were they testers, waders, or plungers?
Many in the group self-identified as waders with a few testers in the mix (the ones who stick their toe in to test things out, but mainly just observe the behavior of other people before making moves).
I told them that lastimosamente we didn’t have time for any of the three and I had to just throw them all into the deepest end of the pool knowing that they couldn’t swim– But, that I was jumping in after them and we’d all learn how to swim together.
We all agreed that no one looks cute while they’re flailing around the deep end so our best bet was to take a deep breath and just relax…and I think it worked out well.
More than a few admitted that they didn’t know what to expect when they got to the training on Friday, but were thinking something along the lines of, “Who are these people and what did I get myself into?”
They said by Sunday they felt like family and were extremely excited to move forward on planning their first event– Estacion Abierta (Open Station), which will conveniently be held on my birthday in April!
Stay tuned for more stories about the Conductors. Follow this link to see more photos from the training event: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10102034710830067.1073741825.8644178&type=1&l=5a21e2af81