Sunday, January 20, 2013

We've Been Workin' on the Planning

Something a little different to start this blog entry! 

Please sing this next part to the tune of 
“I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”

We’ve been workin’ on the planning                                                  Here are some of the reasons we work and plan!
All the live-long day.We've been workin' on the planning,
Just to help us find a way.
Can’t you hear the brains a turning?
Rise up so early in the morn.
Don't you hear the leaders shouting
"People, know your way?"

People, won't you help,
People, won't you help,
People, won't you help us plan?
People, won't you help,
People, won't you help,
People, won't you help us plan?

Someone's got the best ideas.
Someone's got the way, I know.
Someone's got the best ideas
Talkin’ up a storm, they’ll flow.

Fee, fie, fiddle-e-i-o.
Fee, fie, fiddle-e-i-o-o-o-o.
Fee, fie, fiddle-e-i-o.
Talkin’ up a storm, they’ll flow.

I am happy to be back at the work for which I was called!  Now that I am in Garoua Boulai (the Cameroonian town on the border with CAR), the leadership teams of the Village School Program and Christian Education have been willing to come the 50 km. from Baboua to meet with me here.  We have had two very productive planning days with more scheduled this next week.

The church leaders (ELCA as a supporting partner and EEL-RCA as a developing organization) have been training pastors and program leaders to analyze the internal and external factors affecting programs and to use that knowledge to plan.  Planning – taking more time and effort to create detailed steps that can be put into effect and evaluated according to criteria selected in advance.

Those working in Christian Education have been headed in the direction of thorough planning, so it has been a pleasure to provide some tools and suggestions to move the work along. 

The Village School Program has a new Director and Curriculum Coach as of the first of 2013.  What better way to get to know the program as it has been and to develop what we want it to be?  Of course, much more time and effort is needed.  Although the Community Developer has been in his position for several years, there are two brand-new team members and me – who has only really be on the job for about six weeks!  Nevertheless, we all seem to have a common vision of what the program can be, so we are all pulling in the same direction.

Because there is so much to examine and plan for, the Village School Program leadership team has agreed to come to Garoua Boulai for a retreat Monday (tomorrow) through Wednesday.  This way, we can spend our time working without having to worry about their getting back to Baboua while it is still light.  Also we save time and gas money by staying in the same town.  Eva, who helps me out at the house in Baboua (and who has been working in an empty house since Dec. 24!) is coming along to help prepare meals.  (I could do it, but not if I am to participate in discussions...)  We should be able to have an in-depth plan ready for 2013 by the end of our time together this week.  And, we hope that a shared understanding of what has happened in the past and the next steps we propose will get us to future that will help more young Central Africans learn.

Note:  The situation in CAR is definitely better.  President Bozizé has named Nicolas Tiangaye as the new Prime Minister; he is from the opposition.  These two will now form a new coalition government.  A fragile peace reigns.  Let us pray that it will soon become permanent and that displaced Central Africans can return home safely.  Then it will be time for me to go back to Baboua, too!  Soon and very soon…

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