We did our first SALT visit as a team on Friday, Nov 3rd 2011 at the SALVATION ARMY, Georgetown Guyana.

Before the meeting Steve, Nadia and I kept in contact, constantly SHARING ideas, about the concepts we learnt in the CLC workshop. It was exciting to LISTEN to each other's views and share our thoughts. 

On the day of the planning meeting, I had black out or no electrical power at home. Steve and Nadia and Myself kept in contact via phone. Later that day, creativity flowed through Steve's veins and as I was talking with him on the telephone, he had the most brilliant idea, he contacted Nadia by skype and me on phone and we SHARED! 

On the day of the SALT visit, Nadia and I arrived a little before the time and we were SHARE - ing. I LEARN - t that day that Nadia was facilitating for many years and was very reassuring to me, as I was beginning to get nervous. She SUPPORT - ed me and my "notes" ...I have a SALT notebook ...lol She was very HUMANE!! she carefully and very gently pointed out that the way I LEARN, was by writing it down , and it's ok. Phew, I was beginning to think I was getting too serious about this...lol....now now

It was also very  funny to discover that both Nadia and I came with everything we needed for the visit...lol, paper, scissors, markers....

 

So what really happened:

Nadia did the introductions and breaking the ice with the community. She set the tone in a very beautiful way by APPRECIATING the community first off. One  member of the community, got up and facilitated  the "ground rules" for the visit. Nadia warmly welcomed his enthusiastic input....by LISTENing and smiling ....as soon as he was finished she continued ...it flowed NATURALrally, liked it was planned smile

We CONNECTED and IDENTIFIED with the community, with a comfortable environment created, demonstrating that nothing was right or wrong.One member of the community , when asked to introduce himself ( we were identifying with a fruit), replied" you people seem to know more about me, you are the expert, you tell me about me" O yes! and there was a hush! a silence...then it was Steve's turn. ..Steve identified himself with this member in his introduction, saying, " like XXX I am not someone who opens up and shares easily...I am a tough nut to crack! I do not buckle easily under pressure Steve was a coconut. I have to say that it was amazing to see this guy do something of what I will call a half upside down smile, that was expertly concealed. I must also mention that this guy shared...and this happened only because of the comfortable safe space created and the expressing of"hey buddy, we not that different"

 

Nadia skilfully got from the community what their ideas were on a community...and very soon we had an agreement that as a group, they were a community. Mind you, one member had a dictionary, and looked up what a community was! For them a community was a group of people coming together, standing strong to build something. 

 

There was full participation. I facilitated Are we HUMAN? I recall hearing someone say, what do you mean are we human? Then came another question, What makes us HUMAN? tick tock tick tock...went their heads...it was amazing to see the community STOP and THINK, Are we HUMAN? with their faces saying...seriously ?? ...

As we moved along, we used no books, no prompts....it was just us, being ourselves and doing alot of listening! and talking when it was the right time. Steve facilitated Hopes and Concerns...this was very interesting , they shared  their hopes ranging from becoming productive members of society, to getting back their family to helping addicts on the streets get off the streets.

We had excellent chemistry as a team and naturally we worked well together, despite it being our very first time. We had a lot of fun together and it was a very enjoyable experience, learning and sharing with the community and from each other. I cannot wait until our next visit.

After the SALT visit, Steve, Nadia and I thanked the administrator for allowing us the privilege of coming to the community...it was a real gift to me!

We then, stood negotiating whether to walk to Nadia's office and endure some drizzles or call a cab...we stepped outside and the rain fell heavier...lol so we called a cab..  huddled under a small umbrella, in the pouring rain  we got into the cab and headed for Nadia's office.Here, it was awesome! we quickly settled in, with our teas and coffee..YES , see how comfi we were ...and we went through the AAR.

All in all I can declare that we had FUN! applying SALT! to each other and to the community crazysmile

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Comment by Zenita Nicholson on November 10, 2011 at 2:38am

Dear Rituu, Hmmmmmmm ....interesting  thought ....."phrase it differently"? It is a very direct question, one that many people  never stop to mull over....it is a powerful question...I have seen and experienced ...a kind of slap, or stunt if you may call it that....  it jerks you, from where ever to the present moment! At this point of wondering about this answers to this question one becomes fully aware and is fully engaged, wondering....am I human? I love this experience ...and love even more ...the opportunity to witness this inward journey with others...this subtle process...this moment......that is so defining! ....that influences the way we think...this simple yet POWERFUL, PROBING question....Are we human? I would like to hear more stories from others about their experiences with this question.....what were the responses......reactions.....any takers?

Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on November 9, 2011 at 11:52pm

Thanks for sharing about the exercise- are you human. you described it beautifully. People are often taken aback when we ask this question. Is it too direct? Can we phrase it differently? I look forward to your thoughts on this dear Zenita. I am enjoying learning from you.

Comment by Zenita Nicholson on November 9, 2011 at 11:05am

Dear Rituu, At first, when I asked the question, Are we Human? Their expression was one of shock!!! Is she real? their faces shouted!!!  So one guy sarcastically said whilst grinning, "we heard we are human" ..then there was a hush, you could see they thought I was out of my head ....lol...after realising that I was waiting for an answer someone assertively said in a BIG voice "We are Human!!" ...I smiled...and continued , " What makes us Human" ...someone said, " we are born human" . I asked does that make you Human? Another responded,"we are unique" .....there were small pockets of silence as the others thought about it, you could see that this very simple question was very provoking...and it had the community deep in thoughts...captivated!!! So again I asked , "Tell me what do you think makes you Human" and the thoughts flowed....."we have a brain, dogs don't think like humans" .."we communicate",I heard someone interject saying, animals communicate too! Then someone added,"we are superior to animals, we have an instinct that animals do not have--CONTROL"...Another person added" we have 5 senses" with another person expanding on this, saying"and the ability to use them" Then came ...hope ... commitment... love....fortune........ .forgiveness... ability to DREAM...to make decisions and to be creative! 

Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on November 8, 2011 at 12:15pm
Hi Zenita,  Thanks for sharing. Would like to hear more about the session- Áre we human How did participants relate to it. Enjoyed the blog as well as  the pictures.
Comment by Tricia Francis on November 8, 2011 at 9:16am

Smiles at the guy with the dictionary  smile.... It's so nice to know that you all had FUN working together on you SALT visit and that chemistry as a team came naturally... this was a wonderful post.

Comment by Gaston on November 7, 2011 at 5:03pm

Zenita, Nadia, Steve, this is wonderful! And so nice you shared this with the rest of the community including pictures. Looking forward to discuss more in depth tomorrow. 

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