Monday night, close to midnight
Sitting here in the hotel lobby with the Education team, going on 4 hours. They have the morning tomorrow, from 8:30 until 12:30. The day will start off by suggesting a different format for evaluating today’s activities. Today the Conflict team facilitated, and they presented us with a case of discrimination against Lebanese women who marry foreigners and are prevented from giving their children or husbands their citizenship. We analyzed the case using a 5-point framework, where our facilitator explained the first three points (identify indicators of discrimination, examine the facts, and determine the sources) and then had us split into 3 groups and discuss the last 2 points (which were moving to action and solving the problem). This was done after we brainstormed what conflict meant in small groups.
The activities went well, although I unfortunately began falling asleep in the morning session because I had an absolutely crappy sleep (often happens 2-3 days after travel). Anyway, I urged the others to help me out the next time it happens and have whoever’s sitting next to me give me a good jab to wake me up.
Well anyway. Tomorrow morning begins with the conflict group taking a half hour to get feedback from participants on the techniques they used. This afternoon the participants gave feedback on the content in a large group. For tomorrow, a technique I’ve only used once or twice. Participants will be asked to write down a comment on a small card and dump the card in an envelope. The comment should be to complete the sentence, “If I were to do anything different in terms of the techniques used, I would…” Or something along those lines, in Arabic. The point is the participants should offer constructive feedback to the Conflict group on what they did and how they could have done it differently. Once all comments have been collected, the Conflict group will read through the comments (maybe not all of them if there is not enough time) and share their thoughts on the comments received, on the spot.
After that, the Education group will talk more about Paulo Freire, adult education and its differences with educating children, making the link to participatory education, human rights, and…yeah, that’s it. After that, the Gender group takes the stage tomorrow afternoon, and will be facilitating for the next day and a half.
As for the title of this entry, it relates to the email exchange with the Education team prior to this TOT. The group exchanged primarily in Arabic. Since my ability to read Arabic is laughable, I would copy and paste the group’s messages into Google translate. I could gather the meaning of their messages most of the time. Once in a while, you can get a rather odd translation, and when one member referred to Paulo Freire in their email, the translation came back as “Ferrari Polo”.
Midnight now. One member of the team just told me that a friend of hers, a human rights activist, has been arrested in Sudan, but no one knows where he is. Now the team is writing up tomorrow’s – sorry, today’s – schedule.
Good night, paul