Tip #451: Translation Issues and Wadi Rum

“It’s easy to make good decisions when there are no bad options.” Robert Half

M came to lunch to discuss the issues with the group (to try to minimize them with the next class). When I told her that the need for translation was eating up lots of training time, she became somewhat aggressive (haven’t you ever training in another country before?) My immediate response was that yes, I had, and we had had a translator in the room. The difference with this program is that the non-English speakers were unexpected and therefore, not accommodated. To which she replied that this always happens here in Jordan. And my response: then there should have been a translator scheduled and available.

We reached détente and ate lunch together. The warm person emerged and she talked about her concern for my health- and being able to relax on the weekend. I told her my health was fine, I was just completely exhausted. I also told her I was interested in going to Petra this weekend- and that O, the taxi driver who took me to the Dead Sea, had suggested sleeping in Wadi Rum on the way.

M got a strange look on her face. She then explained that I would have choices for sleeping arrangements. I could have my own tent (keeping in mind that it gets below freezing at night in the desert) and then share a bathroom with both men and women. If I didn’t wake up real early to get in the shower, I was likely to have only a trickle of water when it came my turn. She told me that this was the deluxe option!!!

The other option was to sleep in a huge tent with lots of men, women and children.

I think I’ll pass and just go straight to Petra…

One plan M had was to translate as much of the training as possible into Arabic for next Sunday. She asked me for the Power Point and sent some kind of USB device along with Mo. for me to upload the program for him to take back to the office. M D and I discussed the fact that there were templates and documents that the participants really needed (since there is very little narrative on the slides). I ended up using my own thumb drive (since hers wouldn’t accept any transferred files) to give her about ten documents for translation.

I know that L will call me tomorrow to find out what to do with these documents.

There was a (black humor) funny moment today when R told me that she has to give three training programs in a row out in a distant village next week. She wanted to know how to keep her energy up. (The black humor part of this is that I was barely able to stand while we spoke!!!) So I told her the tricks I know: avoid caffeine and sugar (because then you crash and feel worse afterwards), drink water continually to stay hydrated, try to find some quiet time (at breaks or at lunch, eating by yourself if at all possible) as well as an acting trick of swinging your arms as you bend over several times in a row.

I promised her that we would discuss this tomorrow, including how to manage nervousness in front of a group.

May your learning be sweet.


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