Conviventia Bogota Colombia Mission: Thursday

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Thursday was the last day of workshops for Darin and me before joining the rest of the team for medical outreach. We facilitated a half-day leadership intensive for CDA staff in the morning. With more material than time, we were not able to get through it all, but it was obvious that the attendees loved the instruction and discussion. With only 10 minutes left, we asked what remaining topics would be of most value. The answer was how to lead an effective meeting. I think we spent 15 minutes on that topic just hitting the main points of before-meeting preparation, in-meeting behaviors, and post-meeting strategies. Bad meetings in business must be a global phenomenon. You would think that with the amount of time people spend in poorly run meetings, there would be an outcry for change.

We re-joined the rest of the team at CDA’s Family Strengthening Center which was a short walk from the PTI [CDA’s vocational training center]. After lunch, Darin and I headed out with a few team members to experience a family strengthening session. We had been on a few home visits during our May 2017 vision trip; however, CDA had changed the format, and we were going to see the new curriculum in action. Instead of providing encouragement and prayers, CDA had targeted activities to take the family through.

We observed how the CDA team worked through communication with the mother and her two children, and surprisingly, we were asked to participate. The goal was to understand how each member of the family was communicating [silence, outbursts, etc.] and to have them start identifying and expressing the positive qualities they saw in each other. As observers, we were asked to share our positive observations of each family member during the conversation. Although the process was very rudimentary, I thought it was effective because it empowered change with skills and tools.

We had some free time before dinner, so the team headed out to the government district in Bogota—the heart of the city. With Jimmy as our body guard, we were able to get a sense of the city. Despite the graffiti, I enjoy Bogota and plan to explore other parts of Colombia—especially the coffee region.  Instead of wine tasting, I’ll sip coffee. An undoubtedly Colombia has the best coffee I’ve ever tasted.

IMG_0699_brToday there were many things left unsaid. I haven’t shared many of the small events that tell a bigger story but are part of the key messages:

  • The best offense is sometimes a good defense; know when to play and know when to stand
  • Humans have more in common with each other than they don’t; yet focusing on the differences builds a wall or digs a canyon between them
  • Happy people make great friends; what’s your happiness quotient

Looking forward to Friday where we will walk the streets and greet the people!

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