After the end of Phase 2, all of the Group 46 SUPEP volunteers came together at a lodge just outside of the capital city for a week of training and recap sessions called Reconnect. It is a conference that always takes place after volunteers’ Phase 2 in order to share experiences with others, get prepared for when we start teaching, and essentially allowing us to “reconnect” with each other before we start working full time.
We stayed at a beautiful lodge resort just off of the main road going south from Windhoek. There was grass, a beautiful view, peacocks and warthogs running around, hot water, and air con. It was a really nice getaway.
It felt like being back in PST since we had sessions from 8-4:30 every day. But, the sessions were productive. One of the first things we talked about was the successes and challenges at our sites. We really took into consideration celebrating the little victories, since six weeks is not enough time to make some kind of huge stride. Some of these little victories include cooking for oneself, learning to bucket bathe, curating a successful exercise routine, starting to work on a library, and even just learning the names of colleagues and learners.
We also discussed challenges, some of which, even though we are all spread out around the country, are the same. Things like disrespectful learners, housing problems, and challenges within the community like alcoholism and hunger. We talked about these challenges, and while some don’t seem to have any solution in sight, we were able to talk through some of the smaller ones and offer a few ways to alleviate problems.
Some of the other sessions we had included promoting literacy in our communities, applying for small grants in order to fund projects, starting a library, and maintaining resiliency among others. It was a really productive week, and just really good to see everyone again.
One thing I am the most proud of is that all 46 volunteers of Group 46 are still serving, which apparently is a rarity. Our group is made up of amazing individuals with big hearts and a willingness to help out whenever and wherever they can. The next time we will all be together is most likely during our mid-service conference next year, which will mark our one-year anniversary of becoming sworn-in volunteers. I can’t wait to be all together again.