Our new team gathered for breakfast at the TrypOriente Hotel in Lisbon after safely traveling from many points in the U.S. Lynn, John, Judy, Ann, Barbara, Noreen, Karen, Ruth and David and our valiant leader, Joe Testa, set out for Beja to begin one or two weeks of teaching English. I think we were all pleased by the hotel accommodations and were excited to discover this lovely town.
On Sunday afternoon, Joe covered a number of important issues in our orientation related to health and safely, as well as being cautious about taking photographs of students and teachers.
Our teaching day will consist of 3-4 hours in the classroom and an equal number of hours preparing for class each day.
We then spent two hours discussing group goals: primarily attempting to make decisions by consensus; and to build relationships and learn about the culture. After going through an exercise to establish group goals, we arrived at four primary goals for the group: learning the culture, serving, friendship and personal growth. We also identified a number of team characteristics that will help us through the normal “ups and downs” of living together.
This writer’s perception is that our group is demonstrating many of these characteristics, such as humor, respect and punctuality. The last activity was to review work assignments for each pair of volunteers. I think most of us are excited about this new experience.
Thought for the day: When the Dali Lama was asked about his religion, he said, “My religion is very simple; my religion is kindness.”