I always try to prepare well, but I have to admit for this training I wasn’t very well prepared. It started with the fact of a visa letter that I couldn’t print out, not enough dollars left to actually pay for a visa, and oh, I didn’t know where I was staying. These kind of practical things always have a way of working themselves out though, sometimes with help of others, or even friendly bank exchange employees at airports…and lots of patience.
I even don’t really get nervous about these things anymore, because they just happen. Even the fact that this morning after coming back from breakfast my hotel door got stuck and I couldn’t enter my room, where all of my training materials were of course, could not really make me go crazy (they opened the door after half an hour and I had to move to another room as they weren’t sure I wouldn’t lock myself in by accident – as I always plan for calamities like these, I still managed to be on time for my training).
What I do get nervous about is when I haven’t made a proper arrangement with a partner organisation for the preparation of a training. There wasn’t really an excuse, but for some reason I just hadn’t asked them in advance for a time to meet the day before the training as I usually do. So when I called in the morning my counterpart wasn’t exactly pleased. To speak on my behalf she hadn’t been the most communicative person in advance (the reason I couldn’t print the visa letter, was because she send it the day before I left Zambia to Mozambique, and she hadn’t informed me on any hotel reservation), but I was probably quite blunt when she said she could only meet me in the afternoon.
I went to their office anyway, because I also found out that the manuals that were translated into Portuguese were not yet delivered from South Africa where they were printed. They could not be printed in Mozambique as that was so incredibly expensive that we had to go to the neighboring country, which was only arranged last week. So my next stop was actually the DHL office with another member of staff. Unfortunately no manuals…they have hopefully been delivered today, but I still don’t know for sure. After asking three times for it, I thought the staff might inform me on it, but they didn’t. Let’s see tomorrow.
In the mean time I am sure these kinds of things will happen again, but I’ve learnt not to freak out over them anymore. More importantly the examples of things happening to people in terms of human rights remain an excellent reality check on what really is important. I’m just suffering (or sometimes causing) a number of inconveniences, which will pass again. I just need to make sure that there are a limited number of casualties to my actions and that for the most part I actually offer the partner organisations a well prepared program that can contribute to their work and not my personal-how-will-I-be-most-comfortable-and-secure-during-this-training-agenda.
Looking forward to trying this again tomorrow!