Moving to the side

We are halfway the training of trainers of small teams representing ICRC staff and centers that offer rehab services in Myanmar, DRC, Togo, Tanzania and Ethiopia. It has been a nice change from our usual counterparts – people more familiar with orthopedic devices and physical therapy than approaches to improve management and leadership in and of their centers.  Yet this is the role they take on when they get back to their respective countries.

The group is a mixture of nationals and expats, mostly from France and Switzerland, who are supporting the local staff. Since I am the only French speaker among the facilitators, I accompany the Togo and DRC teams and getting to know them better than the others. Some of the people I will meet again in two months, in Addis, when we start preparing for a senior leadership program focused on those people in leadership positions who can open doors or support the efforts of those we are with now.

We have a team of 4 facilitators which makes our duties fairly light when it comes to plenary sessions, but intense when it comes to the practical sessions when we serve as coaches and help the participants get familiar with our methods of teaching. They are starting to do more and more while we slowly move to the side. It’s one of the joys of my job.

At the end of the day we review the day, plan the next, make adjustments and drink our St. George Amber beer. Then we sample the many restaurant offerings (Turkish, Mediterranean, Ethiopian of course). And so the days slide by quickly and I begin to wonder when I will be able to sneak out and buy the coffee that Axel is surely expecting me to bring back.

Since I am working primarily with people from outside Ethiopia, I do not have to deal with the confusing way of counting time here. It is the year 2007 I believe, and the date, when I arrived, according to my driver, was 3.5 or 5.3, which I assume is the day and the month, not sure which one of their 13 months. I also don’t need to worry about appointment times where 3 o’clock means 9 o’clock and 1 o’clock could be either 7 AM or 7 PM.

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