Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Bhutanese Adaptation

On the third day of our Training of the Trainers (ToT) program, our team taught lessons on service, realizing one’s vision, ethnography, and creative-problem solving. This was perhaps our most challenging day so far because we had to completely rethink the content of that day’s lesson plan. Truly, being here has been a memorable exercise in adapting to the demands of working in a completely different culture. During each morning of our ToT, we walk into the classroom with a lesson that was constructed, edited, and continuously re-edited about 2 months prior. By the end of the day, after 7 hours of teaching and constructive criticism from our Bhutanese trainers and staff, we leave with the intention of revising the curriculum for the youth camp using the cultural insights of our trainers.

This was especially true this Wednesday. Our discussions with the trainers led to us simplifying half of our student workbook and rethinking just about everything else. Half of the day’s lessons even had to be redesigned due to impromptu changes in the format of our leadership camp. But despite these hurdles, our third day ended up being a great success. We were really able to pull together as a team to figure out the best approach in the midst of new circumstances. And the insights that we received will be indispensable in making the approaching leadership camp very meaningful for Bhutan’s youth.

In addition to cultivating our ability to adapt, we are also learning enormous lessons in compassion and sincerity from our trainers. Probably the most striking thing about the brilliant group of young men and women with whom we are working is that they are a community. Even on day one, when many of them were not yet friends, they were destined to be a community. The thing is, each of them is strikingly compassionate, earnest, eager, and receptive in the way that they treat each other. Being in their presence inspires a sense of joy. It drives each person on our team to want to be a better leader and to strive to set a worthy example for them. It is inspiring to see how devoted our trainers are to the improvement of their country and the enrichment of themselves. There must be something embedded in Bhutanese culture that leads these young people to live so harmoniously and be sincerely invested in each other’s wellbeing.

A few photos from the day:

(Some of the trainers practicing a game before the students come)

(Working late into the night; our average day goes from about 6 a.m. - 11 p.m. teaching and planning for the next day)

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you are all having an incredible experience, and making a huge impact. Keep up the awesome work! :) T