The Experience from MPJ training 2011
This reflection of mine is intentionally devoted to RST, the leading responsible team of the MPJ 11-28 July 2011. Excited about the diary idea, applied during the journey, I decide to make it a diary, a collection of my words about RST members, different from the one I got a collection of others’ thought and feelings about one person.
Becoming a late comer of the journey, I found myself so lagged behind, as I missed the most important, interesting and attractive part of the in house training: trust building/self-awareness/identities. I have got many appreciative reflections about Auyporn’s session, which created a great regret to me for not joining the journey earlier.
Due to the missing knowledge, skills and experiences that were brought by Auyporn and other resource persons from 12th to 16th July, my reflections on RST can not be comprehensive. However, I believe you all accept that nothing can be perfect as the same as no one is perfect!
This photo does not keep all figures of RST in this journey. Muny, Sotheavy and Rany joint later in the venue in Cambodia. The photo amazes me so much because whenever looking at it, I feel totally calm and reassured no matter my mood at that time. All RST members are so comfortable standing and seating side by side, showing the most peaceful look: gorgeous smiling, thoughtful expression, serious face or wondering eyes.
Let me start the diary from the one standing next to me, making a right to left order for the standing row and a left to right for the seating one.
Kratae, leading image of RST, she has shown how energetic and passionate one can be while going on the journey of peace. As being impressed by her since the first time we met in 1999, I immediately recognised her when we met again the second time in 2010. Being with Kratae in the testing journey and this journey helps me inquire myself whether I am responsible, honest and liberate enough to contribute to the peace journey, sharing and giving others all the support needed. She was so beautiful in my eye while giving feedback to Fang’s performance about the hardship and struggle of getting on track of life. Her going-to-set-tear eyes and heart-deepened words broke the ignorance covering my sense.
Naree, resource person but at my own will she is considered a peace image of RST. She has adorable way of making people around calm. I am always imaged by her peaceful smile, which makes me believe that she really lives with the value of peace at the level that no one of us (RST) has reached yet. Observing her facilitating, sharing the knowledge, giving guidance or jumping into the discussion to help with more vivid clarification and example, many can understand how lucky the MPJ was while having her accompany. Naree assists me to confirm about the great value of peace by the way she dealt with her difficulty in not speaking English, which somehow generated some uncertain and uncomfortable feelings of some participants. Vibration of peace coming from her is so powerful.
Ben, warmness image of RST, Her warm and bright smile comforts people around so easily. Seeing her gathering with others, creating laughs, giggles everywhere she was, I cannot help admiring her youthfulness and freshness. In the testing journey, Ben enjoyed it as a participant, while in this journey I found her enjoyed taking responsibility of an RST member. Taking care of financial matter and logistics usually shallows lots of one’s energy and results in one’s tired some look. It seemed not happen to Ben that way. She suffered lots of physical exhaustion, but her smile all the time kept the sunshine. Very clearly I recognise where her beauty comes from while learning that she spent most of the spare time to encourage the quiet and shy participants with her sense of humour. This is really a beauty coming from the warm heart and kindness!
Hoya, generousity image of RST, being responsible as RST member it seemed so simple task for him. He just took it for granted, getting along with all participants, actively facilitating and co-facilitating with great readiness and happiness. I often found him the first coming to lend hands, being alert to the need of the others. Hoya also gave an impression to others that he was so deep into the discussing topics. Calm and gentle Hoya became so strong and decisive in the eyes of the participants. Sometimes he burst into serious discussion, which at first made me a bit surprised. I could feel a mild tension and little anger in his voice raised louder and with stress. It was a challenge for everyone while using power within to introduce an opinion and idea. In his effort of building inner peace Hoya has experienced opening his private self known for others. I do believe his wonderful sense of generousity will surely help him to deal with all challenges he might continue encountering.
Linh, creativity image of RST, I have a great expectation on her as a competent member of peace building team in Vietnam. A great confusion had came to me as I found her not paying much attention to the issue of peace as the others keep enthusiastically discussing. Moreover, her way of having someone to accompany and take care of her all the time made my confusion grow bigger. What happened then was just like a wonder: every time I guessed she might stop going on the journey, she made me astonished by her active participation, taking responsibility, sharing bright ideas and contributing her creative gifts to inspire the others. She really flies me up to the better consciousness of how one should really learn about the others. I have learned that Linh has eagerly sought advices and moral supports to confirm her way of life and she has got tremendous those from others, except me. This creative young RST member has taught me a lesson: creative thinking is also the genuine way to see self from unusual angle not as good as known publicly and/or privately.
Khamsa, calm image of RST, Some friends shared with me about one typical characteristic of Lao people: taking everything easy, doing things in very slow speed. I found him the first time of MPJ exactly matching with this judgment since he took the task easily then asked another to finish it. I accepted this with an adaptive thinking that “It’s his own characteristic supported by culture”. In this MPJ I have seen a big improvement in Khamsa’s active participation as being responsible RST member. He was stick with his task as photographer, at the same time looking after the need of support from Lao participants group. I also recognised him actively helping other RST members or asked what he could do. I did asked him to share with Linh making an day-by-day recap on power point before reflection part of the whole journey. While Linh was a bit frustrated as time’s up, his great calm (the cultural quality) amazed me. As they finally did it well, I have learnt that Khamsa might have to struggle a lot to be more effective, but his calm is really a gift to be kept for peace.
Soviet, balance image of RST, He was always stable at a certain place, consciously taking notes of the in-house training and all reflection sessions. It seemed he was appointed in the RST to do this job. Many could recognise that his serious look matches so well with his serious working style! However, it is so wonderful that two opposite things come together! Soviet has attracted others with his warm and gentle smile, with his deep participation in talking, laughing and joking with other youngsters. He is really an example of getting a balance of “work” and “love”, of “discipline” and “freedom” and of “responsibility” and “right”, which is a comfortable environment for peace to be built.
Porn, simplicity image of RST. My feeling about her as the same as about Naree. Both of them live fully with value of peace, but known by public in different ways. I deeply admire Porn’s simplicity and modesty. She made herself available for every one in need of her assistance and was fully in charge of logistics, taking care of the team, and leading some group activities. She has done all those with high and quiet responsibility. I do believe that everyone sooner or later would recognise her inner peace and power shown in her calm and beautiful smile, in her sense of responsibility to every little thing or work she is involved. She teaches me that simplicity shows the most authentic beauty of a personality.
Phon, courage image of RST. I had no real conversation with Phon since I could not speak Thai or Lao language and she could not speak English or Vietnamese. The common language we used the most was the friendly smiles and trustful eye contact. She made a first impression for me as a caring person, who generously provided massage to those who appeared in need. In my own observation she carries a traditional model of Lao’s girl to me with gentle gestures, soft voice and sensitive behavious. Hearing her stories from other RST members, I have found her a modern one with strong will and decisive action to contribute to building a peaceful life of others in her community. I have learnt to adore the way she quietly gave hands for the logistic tasks, the way she simply enjoy being with the group and the way she happily accompany her special one. She actually lives the value of courage.
Jim, inspiration image of RST. Being famous and most wanted to MPJ participants was not only caused by her free-and-easy laugh or her special interest in leaving her words of encouragement in all diaries, but also and most impressively by her time given to talk with the youngsters. Her moral support as well as her honest advices to young adults were invaluable as I saw a boy hold her so dearly and cried that he did not want to be apart. I heard Jim’s happy laugh and caring voice everywhere she were getting with others. Her serious behaviour in fulfilling translation task, her readiness and willingness to listen to others’ sharing, and her joyful way of communicating with people has inspired me to follow.
Sai, charm image of RST. I learned many new things about him during this journey. His wonderful experience and skills in supporting the team work of young people has shown obvious. His knowledge and facilitation experience was amazing. Sai did make an extraordinary effort to be actively supportive to his unique team, at the same time, to share the assigned task of the RST member and to take care of many other buddies in the big group. I became fond of him once learning about his simple but charming way of moral support to a mother-tong sick participant. Care about little concern of others would bring a magical impact, his inner charm has told me that.
Bo Pao, aliveness image of RST. He just like the one I met in previous journey, warm-hearted as ever, despite his sickness. His sense of leadership lead up the young adults joining with him in many special collective photos, including flowering and jumping ones. Shooting every moment of the journey with his camera surely could help him well absorbing the important lessons to think deeply and then resulted in his thoughtful look. Pao did not talk much to the whole group, but he brought the aliveness to connect all hearts together. Many youngsters happily called him father or “grand father”. He took up the essential task of RST, using his power from his tremendous heart.
Sotheavy, confidence image of RST. This time I had chance to observe her charm and firmness integrated. Keeping clarification request at RST meetings, giving clear information and instruction to the participants shown her great responsibility to this learning process. Suffering the serious headache and tiredness due to her illness, Sotheavey still could share her gentle and charming smiles, especially her song that were kept singing a long the way by the participants. Her confidence of working with small and big group leads my visualization of a lotus, which looks gentle but stands strongly in the pond and gives out the smell of peace and happiness.
Rany, youthfulness image of RST. I was amazed by her joyful participation in the testing journey. She still kept it in more controllable mood as shouldering the task of the host RST member. Becoming more serious this time, Rany shown a persuasive example of how much we would trust and rely on the youngsters who would be taking so well the RST task of the future journeys. Her sickness might reduce her energy a bit, but she still managed to have lots of fun with participants and other RST members. I really felt in love with her cute expression of joy, fun and youthfulness which told us about her open and peaceful heart.
Muny, commitment image of RST. Not talking much with him in previous journey and even less talking with him in this MPJ, however, I found a natural closeness of him to me and to others. He had a younger look in his face, and I guessed, in his heart, too. He took on and off participation in both Surin and Odor Meanchey venues, which to some extent proved his commitment to the whole journey. While observing him facilitating the last day of the journey one thought was stick in my mind that “how significant and amazing the committed people would transfer the meaning of precious values, including value of peace to young generation”!
As you all might recognise that the last RST member not yet mentioned is Ngoc. You surely find that I talked lots about myself between the lines while sharing my frank thought and feelings about other members of RST. These are about how I was improving myself by learning from other RST members. There are still, of course, weakness and limitation of myself at all windows of Johari to be explored.
There are more RST members who did not join this journey, who I will share with thoughts and feelings in another time. I am so grateful for knowing and being in a team with all of RST members. Each of us just complements each other with our specific strength to make RST so powerful and peaceful.
I name this reflection “The Magic of MPJ”, because it makes my mind so clear about what and who brings the positive impact of the learning process on everyone whoever participate it. There was no single resource person, no single RST member, who could bring it. It is a magic of MPJ itself bringing about change while MPJ was realized by all those who were going along since very first day of the initiative.
By Ngoc – Vietnam team