The german legacy

We met for the first time as a complete team, responsible for the facilitation of this second of three workshops that we conduct in collabroation with ICRC staff from six francophone African countries.

Our new and revised team is comprised of one Senegalese, one American of German ancestry, one of Caribbean ancestry, one Dutch/American (me), a Quebecois, and one Francaise. We told stories about how we got to be here, some of us complete strangers to each other, thrown together in Lome on this adventure. The stories illustrated an interesting mix of talent, passion, expertise, but also of opportunity that came knocking, sometimes in disguise.

We worked throughout the morning to make sure we were all on the same page, clarified roles, reviewed and fine-tuned the program and looked at the homework the teams had completed since we last met in April in Addis.

The afternoon was more play than work and much greetings of familiar and unfamiliar faces. Participants started to trickle in from Tanzania, Chad, Madagascar, Geneva and Niger.

I had not brought a bathing suit this time – I usually do and don’t use it. Luckily one of the team members brought two suits and I was able to swim and exercise my repaired shoulder in the enormous swimming pool. It felt good. I swam slowly and without much effort until my shoulder protested.

For dinner we walked a little ways from the hotel to a German restaurant (Alt Munchen) where I tasted Togo’s german past. On the recommendation of an ICRC chief who had just flown in from Geneva, I ordered sauerkraut, steamed potatoes and a porc leg (jarret de porc).  It was delicious but also rather heavy, as one might expect from a German winter meal. I was thinking again about those 5 pounds.

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