Tip #413: Training in Lagos, Sunday After Training Week

“One of the nice things about problems is that a good many of them do not exist except in our imaginations.”  Steve Allen

I know that my unusual requests will make me a living legend here at Ikoyi Hotel! I first called maintenance on Monday because my bathroom light was broken. It turned out that what looked like a light to me was actually a round vent. On Thursday, I called maintenance because the large floor lamp was broken. It turned out that there was a switch on the floor that needed to be pressed. Last night, I called maintenance because I wanted to wash my underwear in the bathroom sink and the stopper wouldn’t stay down. As the perplexed maintenance man continually counseled me, the drain is not supposed to be stoppered because we want the water to go out…They must think I’m blinking crazy!

Then an hour ago, all of my lights went out. I couldn’t even see the phone to know what number to dial, so I just pushed a button. They told me the correct number to call and I had to explain that I couldn’t see the numbers. Maintenance came up and, yes, some fuse was blown. So he fixed that, and then discovered that the bulb in the large floor lamp was dead- and got me a replacement. They must live in fear and trembling about my calls- either that or they’re in stitches about the crazy American woman!

For those of you too polite to wonder if I am destined to wear dirty underwear- I piled the clothing into the sink and ran the water over them. They served to keep the drain stoppered to a certain extent, so I was able to wash everything. I hung items all over the bathroom and, with two minor exceptions, everything was dry by morning. Hurray!

I realize that I’ve waxed eloquently regarding the lighting in the room. Now let me tell you about the lights on the dining room tables. Tricia showed me yesterday that there is a tiny button on the bottom of the light so that you can increase the wattage from low romantic light to enough light to read by. Isn’t that cool?

Last night, Tricia and I went to the Chinese restaurant around the corner. We were the only patrons (although Nigerians tend to eat at 8 or later in the evening) so that was not a surprise. We were both so tired of chicken that we ordered the spare ribs and rice. We could have shared our entrees, except that Tricia likes her food very hot and I don’t handle spice at all. It was a nice break from chicken.

I then came back to the room to upload all of the photos of flipcharts from the training and mail them to Kazeem to send to the participants (I don’t have their email addresses) and upload the 5 hours of videotapes into iMovie. One of the participants had requested in an email that everyone be sent all of the videotapes rather than just their own, because of the comments and additional teaching moments they captured.

So I checked out http://www.yousendit.com to see if I could upload a humungously huge file- yes, they claim the upload limit is unlimited (I suppose I could have phrased that better). Then I went to create a movie of the5 hours- and learned that it would take 21 hours for the computer to complete the process.

I tried to find an easy way to create individual movies by selecting clips, but found that didn’t work. I had taken a video of each facilitated session, turned off the camera, and then turned it back on to record the comments. Given that process, one would expect that two long clips would cover each person. However, when I selected two long clips, I would find that more than one person was on them. So I gave up and went to bed.

When I spoke with Piotr on Skype, he told me to simply bring my video camera into the office on Monday and have someone on staff handle creating the DVDs-, which, with 120 minutes per DVD, will involve 4 DVDs per person if all receive everyone’s video. 4 DVDs times 16 people (including Ayo and Megan, who heads the program in the US for Banyan Global)- whoever gets this task had better have lunch, dinner and breakfast catered in…

Today, I had a relatively late breakfast and then worked, emailed, Skyped, scheduled a day room at the Yotel at the Schipol Airport in Amsterdam for my layover on March 15th from 6:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.- and didn’t go down to have my dunch (yes, dinner and lunch) until 6:30. I had a hamburger. I may never look at chicken again!

Today I also prepared for the three day Business Counseling training and realized, to my chagrin that: (1) I had not packed dominoes, which I need for an activity on Day One; (2) I had not annotated the tables of contents with the activities and time frames, to serve as my cheat sheets; and (3) the lesson plan that I originally created was not completely in sync with the actual materials, because I combined modules that had initially been separate. So- I (1) created “dominoes” by cutting index cards into thirds;(2) annotated the tables of contents; and (3) revised the lesson plan and sent it to Kazeem to print out for the training.

Right now, I have training materials on my bed, on the floor, and in two open suitcases. I have to decide what I need for this training, what should go with me to Jordan, and what should go back with Tricia (who returns to the US on March 15th) that I won’t need in Jordan. I’m worried that I’ll need to take all four suitcases to Jordan if I can’t fit what I need into the three suitcases. Please keep your fingers crossed.

Particularly since, as Jenny reminded me (thank goodness she pays attention to the details!) my ticket to Amsterdam goes through to Madison- and if I want my luggage to get off with me in Amsterdam, I’m going to have to do some fancy talking with KLM Dutch Airlines. If Jenny hadn’t said anything, it is very possible I would have arrived in Amsterdam and suddenly realized that my luggage was on its way to Madison. That would have been a very sad moment.

I spent two hours assessing the fourteen trainers in terms of their ability to design learning objectives, select a variety of participatory learning activities, communicate their understanding of the train the trainer content, and facilitate a participatory learning activity of their design in a creative and successful fashion. I also assessed the degree to which they support the concept of participatory learning and whether or not I think they will be good participatory trainers. Happily, there are only four of the fourteen about whom I have some question.

Well, if I ever want to get to bed without a floor booby trapped by open suitcases and training items, I’d better get a move on.

Stay tuned for the report on my meeting with Ayo to discuss work for her and a possible return to Lagos to conduct more training, the first day of the Business Counseling session, and the success of having a staff person create the DVDs of their facilitation practice session for the participants.

May your learning be sweet.



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