Connecting local responses around the world
The human and learning experience
As the Visual Development team's journey in Poste Lafayette comes to a closure, as a SALTy individual I cannot but do my very own after experience reflection (AER). For sure my words will not do justice to this unique experience because certain things cannot be described but are just engraved deep within the heart.
What did I appreciate?
I loved the authenticity of my equation with the Visual Development team. According to me we found the right balance in our collaboration and this was reached because we were open to learn and listen to each other. Jessica and David (Visual Development team) valued me and never made me feel apart from the project. They always sought my views to better their work and their perspective of the Mauritian culture. Good communication was the key in making this collaboration a fruitful one.
I appreciated how easily they acquainted themselves with their new environment and embraced living within the “Cité Perdue” community with simplicity. They showcased tactfulness and they were keen to understand the community from within to get the very essence of the impact of SALT.
What would I change?
Having to drive more than one and a half hour from Souillac where I live to Poste Lafayette was an arduous task and if I could change that I guess I would have enjoyed more late afternoons with the team. I wish I had the resources to do more workshops with the children.
What about the future?
After the workshop with the football team I realised that I had a social responsibility towards the children of Poste Lafayette. With no financial resources but only my drive and intent, I wrote an email to the Prime Minister’s Office entitled “Request from a concerned citizen of Mauritius regarding “Cité Perdue”, Poste Lafayette”. After a few days, with no response, I thought it was the end of it. However, a few days back I got a call from the National Development Unit (NDU) which is under the Prime Minister’s office and a very kind lady informed me that the email was forwarded to her services and she was looking into the matter and that she would be doing her best to find a solution within her scope of work. She informed of an onsite visit very soon to view the needs of the community. I gave her the contacts of Guylène, community leader of “Cité Perdue” so as she might be guided during the visit. I will be following-up and fingers-crossed something positive and beneficial will come out of this endeavor.
Also, I shared my contact details with Guylène and I proposed to come support her for any activities she will be organising for the children. She already informed me about the end of year Christmas activities and I will surely be going over to help her.
Through, “As you open your eyes” I grew as a human because I was given the beautiful task to be the bridge between the inhabitants and the team. I observed the underlying and unspoken issues that would plague a community such as “Cité Perdue” and I learnt a lot by being a witness to all that the people had to say during the interviews. I knew that dreaming together makes a dream more potent than dreaming alone and that dreams are just not only hopes and expectations for the future.
So, I learnt that dreaming is also the way one hold the life within oneself and how one thrive to keep that life going and worthy. I watched the human I am blossom trifold and I discovered my own strengths and dreams. As you explore the life of others you not only learn from them but you also grow along with them. You develop belongingness to them and their shared dreams and when you realise how vulnerable and frangible their dreams can be you want to consolidate their dreams so as they do not let go of them. I had to practice being dispassionate at one point because there was such a thin line between duty of care and attachment. Last but not least, I embraced my identity as a human wholly. I always thought that I was a complete human until “Cité Perdue” came into my life…for me there will always be a before and an after to “As you open your eyes” because I feel that the whole experience made me better in so many ways.
Signing off now. I hope I have been able to transmit to you the energy of my experience. It is not as if a chapter is closing for me, I am opening a whole new book to my life now onwards. Wishing the other beacons, a fruitful “As you open your eyes” experience and I am sure everything will unfold beautifully in its own unique way for all.