Laurel and Associates, Ltd. – Madison, WI

Deb in Amman 2013 – 8

Deb in Amman 2013 – 8

On February 14, 2013, Posted by , In Travelogue, By , With Comments Off on Deb in Amman 2013 – 8


Today was a great day! Twelve mentors attended the session, and all but 3 of them have been in one of my classes the past two weeks. Six of them were in yesterday’s class. They represented four different groups who mentor community-based organizations.

I had them identify their mentoring issues and challenges when they introduced themselves. We placed the issues into three categories: commitment, organizational structure, and communication. Each table group (comprised of a representative from each of the groups) took one category. Their task was to identify specific practical steps and strategies to avoid, minimize or eliminate their issues.

Then, once their recommendations had been posted on flip charts, the groups moved to look at the other groups’ lists, adding or revising items. Everything was in English, which was a welcome change and made the session much easier.

I was very pleased with their recommendations, and so was Eman, who heads this mentoring program.

After reviewing their lists, I told them that it looks like they need to discuss the mentoring process with their mentees- as well as the mentoring goals, deliverables, and deadlines. In short, discuss the how along with the what. I suggested that they should create a checklist of questions that, if asked at the beginning of the mentoring process, should minimize the possibility of many of the issues the group had listed.

Eman liked this idea. Since we only had about 40 minutes left in our 3 hour session, I proposed that each table take one category of questions: roles and responsibilities, capabilities and resources. The groups came up with good questions- and realized that capabilities and resources belong together. Eman is going to add a logistics category and compile the checklist.

A good half day’s work. I’m glad to leave on a high note…

I had an interesting talk with Rama, who flies to Dubai on Friday to participate in a weeklong women’s bike for peace. They’ll bicycle in a different emirate each day. As a result, she has a real problem deciding what to pack. It is the desert, so it will be very hot. She can wear shorts and a no-sleeve top in some of the emirates, in others she’ll need to wear short-sleeved shirts and pants, and in others she’ll need to wear long-sleeved shirts. She’ll also need to bring something to wear at night, because the desert gets very cold.

Good grief! I have trouble simply deciding what to pack for training. I can’t imagine having to consider all of these different cultural and religious dress requirements!

I asked her if she’ll be able to wash out clothing in the evening and she said that there would be little time. She is also bringing linen- sheets, pillow case and towels, because she’s been warned that the hotels where they’ll be staying are pretty filthy.

Frances, who is the Chief of Party, has invited me to go to dinner and possibly some shopping this evening. She’s been working day and night on the proposal to get funding to continue the program, so I met her briefly the first day I was here and haven’t seen her since until today.

I told her it would have to be an early night, because my flight is at 5 a.m.
I’ve already settled my hotel bill (for meals) so I don’t have to worry about that tomorrow. And, as of now, I am as packed as I can be.

During the mentoring session, while the groups were working, I was busy drafting my final reports on the three training sessions and the mentoring session. So, hopefully, I’ll be able to finish them and send them off (after I get home and get some sleep)- so that I get paid. 

I can’t end this message without thanking Jenny, Janis and Mom for their encouraging and supportive responses to my woe-is-me message from yesterday. They lifted my spirits immeasurably and I really appreciate it!

Thank you for coming along on this trip. I may send one more message if my travel back, through Rome and Atlanta, offers something interesting to write about.

One last note. Every day I’ve been here in Amman, I’ve been able to open my hotel windows. I just looked at the weather forecast for Madison, which is frigid, frigid, bone-chattering frigid temperatures. Sigh…



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