One year into service, every training group comes back to Mantasoa and the training center and spends a week in a conference together getting updated on administrative and technical practices. So we get to see everyone in our stage, some of whom we haven’t seen since August. The cool thing about this conference is our staff decided we would try something called “open space,” where we decide what sessions we want and run them ourselves. This meant we learn exactly what we want to learn, and if there is nothing we want to attend, we can work on our own things. We get to here what other volunteers in our stage are doing, and get really valuable advice from them.
Also, we get to have parties together! The weekend before the conference began, I went to a second hand clothing market with some friends and found an awesome sweatshirt that zips over the head into a bear costume. This gave birth to “bear crunk.” You put the bear on, and no one can see you anymore, so you just dance around like a crazy person. It was a lot of fun.
So it was very nice to have a reunion with everyone, and to hear about all the wonderful work they were doing. Next time we will all be together will be in January at our close of service conference, which is crazy!!