Thursday, 13 September 2012

"The grass is greener where you water it" -Neil Barringham

I appreciate this quote…In fact I don’t have words to add to it other than the following to express how true and important it is…

It ought to be the quote of our Island team as we work to invest in the training and lives of those working in fishing camps to bring about transformation and change in their lives, homes, and communities as one teaches one and truth spreads on…that’s how we’re “watering” so to speak…And we do see patches of green immerging!


Monkey Hear: Imagine…I’m the Monkey.
August 13-16—BuruBuru, Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa…
My Colleague and I flew from Uganda to Kenya to HEAR and participate in our first of several trainings in the current model and strategy being used in our work in health care development in the Ssese Islands. Community Health Evangelism (CHE) Training of Trainers Part 1 (TOT1). Brief History is that in the past, our CBVs (community based volunteers) were trained in this model and have been using it as the strategy and method for teaching and developing their communities ever since although of late little training has been invested in them and performance has diminished. CHE is a model used to disciple and multiply disciples, to identify and empower leaders in communities, and to encourage communities to look within for solutions to problems. Neither my colleague nor myself were trained before now, so we joined this training. We were the only non-Kenyans in the group and it was extremely helpful! We spent the week interactively and practically learning the tools and methods for this model in a repeatable manner that we can take forward and teach to others in a way they too can teach others. We spent the week in a large circle and smaller circles working on projects together and in essence being facilitated to teach ourselves what we already known as adult learners and explore ways to help our communities identify and solve problems themselves and with their own resources! Brilliant. I never knew that it could be so easy to teach before! Haha. Anyway, one of the highlights and benefits of doing this course at this time and place was the experience of learning along with our colleagues in various work throughout East Africa and from the people themselves.

Monkey See:
            August 19-23—Ikuza Island, Tanzania, East Africa…
A week of review and continued training of the CHEs. I was blessed with the opportunity to travel to Ikuza to observe the review training that my unit leader conducted with the Tanzanian CHE team. Here I was able to spend time interacting with these lovely people, hearing there stories, watching them work together to solve problems and teach, and intentionally focus on learning more Kiswahili all day every day! I was thankful for the opportunity to not only learn from hearing these models, but this week I was able to SEE it in action in a fishing camp, a similar context to the communities we work in and are teaching people within!

Monkey Do:
            September 03-08—Boyovu Island, Ssese/Kalangala District, Uganda
It’s not enough to hear and see…learning takes one more step…DOING! This is the week that came into play. This week my colleagues and I worked together to conduct a review CHE training with our CBVs in the camps we work with in the Ssese Islands. Only six of our 15 camps were represented, but it was a great group. We laughed, we taught, we learned, we shared, we ate, we sang, we danced, we acted, we planned, we read, we prayed…all in all we applied and those who have spent some time now (2+ years) without reviewing the training, found themselves encouraged and in turn motivated us to continue “Watering” the few so they can multiply and grow others to grow others to grow others! It is toward these ends we work and pray now…
2 Timothy 2:2 (a verse used over the past few weeks sums it all up…)
“and what you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well.”

Here’s a few snaps…a peak through the window into the last two weeks mentioned in Tz and Ug…
Ikuza, Tanzania CHE

On our way to Boyovu with our cook and the teenage son of
our colleagues so excited about getting their photo taken,
what's up with that one? ;)
Boyovu, Uganda CHE

One of my lessons...A creative method for Problem
Identification and Prioritization in Communities
Group Project times...
Requirement for Phone ringing during teaching...singing
or dancing...Pastor here choose his traditional dance :)

Our skit to demonstrate my lesson on using methods to
develop and carry out plans to begin to address the
huge problem of people not taking full doses of
medication...little did they know I have an actress side ;)
haha, didn't finish my full dose as a sick patient with
malaria, now worse and "aggressively vomiting" ...they
enjoyed that drama and all in Luganda!
Now very sick at the clinic with a huge bill and a friend who
doesn't know how he'll pay it and get me to the mainland
for proper treatment before I die! true stories put into
skit form...this is life here! 

Minus one who had to leave early, this was our group this
week...these are the ones to pray for and encourage and train!
The youngest two members of the group...maama and baby!
This is our lake...this is its weather...this is us on the way home
and one of the 4 storms on every side of us...somehow
we didn't get wet or struck by lightening...God.
Home to Najjanankumbi in Kampala to my precious friend
welcoming me home...a familiar face to you if you follow
my life here at all...Love Him!

A short note: I am preparing to go on my “Home Assignment”… this is a time we working with AIM are allotted to revisit our 'homes' where we come from, rest a bit, reconnect with all of those who are supporting us through prayer, encouragement, and finance.  A time to give a face and stories and bridge the gap between "the two worlds", recognize just how much a part of the work this side each of you are and appreciate you for it! It's also an opportunity for us to receive more training if we need and maintain certifications, etc... So I’ll be in the US from October 06 to January 09! Perhaps I will see you there J But, just as a heads up, I may not be blogging much until I return at which point I hope to do a better job of it! I appreciate insight and comments as to improvements!!

Thanks again for tuning in! Stay Well...Until Next Time! - Melanie Joy