Tuesday, August 30, 2011

IST (In-Service Training) in Lusaka

Sorry that this entry will not be very elegantly written--- it can be somewhat difficult to remember and write out clearly all the details of what happened 3 weeks ago. So, I’ll instead just list some of the key events, and hope that is enough to satisfy everyone 
• So, IST (In Service Training) happens at the end of CE (Community Entry), which is the first 3 months in your village. At IST we met up again with all 27 of us from my original training group (this is the first time we have all seen eachother in 3 months). We stayed in the same college dorms that we’ve stayed in before for PC Lusaka events.
• We had 2 weeks worth of workshops/training sessions on a variety of topics like- IGA’s (Income Generating Activities), PTAs, Grant Proposals, Adult Literacy, NGOs, Permagardening, HIV/AIDS, Safety & Security, Libraries, GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) Camps, etc.
• Also included was a 2 day workshop w/ a counterpart from each of our villages, that focused on Project Design and Management, where we learned how to work together to identify and prioritize the community’s needs and then plan solutions/get projects started within the community.
• We also had a 2 day Behavior Change workshop that focused on how to choose a target behavior and how to move a target population towards that behavior
• Outside of session times, we had free time to hang out at the dorms or to travel into town for dinner, shopping, drinking, dancing, etc. After 3 months alone in the village, I have to admit there was A LOT of drinking and going out (some went out every single night for the 2 weeks!). I found it a little bit overwhelming to be in such a large group of people and to be in such a big town, so I only went out 3 or 4 times.
• At the end of the 2 weeks, everyone split into their different groups heading different directions for vacation- some to Malawi, Luapula Province, Livingstone, and some back to their villages.

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