Spring 2008 Video Diary
From Reproductive Health Leaders Network
From February 27 through March 13, 2008, Eugene Eric Kim traveled with Cheryl Francisconi to India and Ethiopia to visit with the leaders in both areas and to explore strategies for strengthening the network. Along the way, Eugene managed to take some video.
Eugene, Cheryl, and Sanjay Pandey spent March 1-2 in Patna at the regional meeting there (Patna Workshop (March 2008). Eugene thought the drivers were crazy in Delhi, until he experienced driving in Patna. On the drive from the hotel to the workshop on the second day, he decided to take some video (4 minutes, 39 seconds).
Sadly, this doesn't even close to capturing the craziness that was driving in Patna, since it was taken on a Sunday, and traffic was considerably lighter. However, it does give you a taste of the city and the roads, and there's a very brief shot of Narendra Gupta, our traveling companion in Patna and Ranchi. As crazy as the driving was in Patna, it wasn't nearly as crazy as the drive through Bihar from Ranchi to Bodh Gaya. I really wish I had taken some video of that.
There was a meeting of the core team of India leaders on March 4 in [Bodh Gaya], where Buddha first reached enlightenment (Bodh Gaya Workshop (March 2008)). The morning before the workshop, Pankaj took Cheryl, Sanjay, Eugene, Jayonto, and Urmi on a tour of the temple. There we got to see Pankaj partake in one of his favorite activities, "feeding the catfish" (1 minute, 14 seconds) in the pond where Buddha spent his sixth week of meditation contemplating his enlightenment.
Pankaj also showed Cheryl how to gain "good luck" (2 minutes, 21 seconds), as the rest of us watched in amusement.
The morning after Bodh Gaya, Pankaj took Cheryl, Sanjay, and Eugene to Itma for a site visit. Itma is only about 25km outside of Gaya, but it took nearly two hours to get there. We were very moved by our reception there as well as the stories we heard. Afterwards, the women "sang a song" (4 minutes, 17 seconds) about their experiences.
Cheryl then "thanked the women" (5 minutes, 55 seconds).
On the drive back to Gaya, Pankaj "shared his thoughts (26 minutes, 17 seconds) on his experiences in his field and as part of this network and his thoughts on next steps. In addition to some very good thoughts from Pankaj, Cheryl, and Sanjay, this video also depicts how rough the road was between Itma and Gaya as well as some of the scenery.
After a week in India, Cheryl and Eugene flew to Ethiopia. After a few hours of rest, they met up with Haddis Mulugeta, who drove them to Ambo, which is about 100km outside of Addis Ababa. On March 9, the Oromia network had their regional meeting there. Cheryl facilitated their "opening exercise" (12 minutes, 22 seconds). It was a "sociometric" exercise where individuals were asked to stand relative to where they were geographically located, then group themselves into regions, introduce themselves, and tell the group a bit about the region.
The sociometric exercise was followed by a short debrief, and then a session on "inspiring stories" (27 minutes, 29 seconds), where leaders were asked to tell inspiring stories about the work performed by other leaders in the room. This clip is in Amharic.
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The intention behind this exercise was two-fold. We didn't think a traditional "update" was necessary, as it would have been a recitation of who met where and when. We were also concerned about the modesty of the participants, which might have led to a reluctance to share their stories. Instead of having people share their own stories, we decided to have people share _other_ people's stories, which we felt people would be more excited to do. Finally, we wanted to get a sense of how often people talked to each other, even if only casually. The exercise seemed to work well. There were many stories told, some about other people's work, some about their own (which was fine -- any storytelling is good storytelling). Several people also mentioned about Dr. Tefera's (one of the regional leaders) work.
Towards the end of the day, we were shocked to find that we were actually ahead of schedule. So Dr. Tefera organized a series of "group celebrations" (11 minutes, 45 seconds) consisting of a dance, a joke, and a game. This clip is in Amharic, but everyone will be able to appreciate it.
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On Eugene's last evening in Ethiopia, Cheryl, Haddis, and the entire IIE staff took him to Yod Abyssinia for dinner and traditional Ethiopian music and dancing. Here's a particularly impressive clip of "dancing from the Oromia region" (1 minute, 15 seconds).
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And here we see the "IIE staff enjoying itself"<http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=894479750675439842&hl=en> (52 seconds).
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On March 12, Eugene spent the day at Cheryl's house debriefing the trip. They began the day with breakfast and a traditional Ethiopian "coffee ceremony" (24 minutes, 8 seconds), most of which is captured here.
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