When you work in community development in Tonga, it is pretty easy to get discouraged. Things take longer in Tonga. Life works differently. Priorities change. Work plans fly out the window. You need patience and flexibility in abundance. These have been great lessons for me to learn, however there was this nagging little thought always at the back of my mind “how much am I really achieving here?”
It was a thought I tried to push aside. It was a thought I would answer with comforting and rationalizing sound bites like “you are still learning so much.” And “you are contributing something, even if you don’t see it.” And “Tonga doesn’t always place value in being results or outcomes focused, maybe you shouldn’t.”
Which are true, very true.
But I still longed for a win. Something that would stand out as having…. I can’t even put this into words… done something? Something that I could say, “this is what I achieved in Tonga.”
Well, it happened. At the last minute, a training workshop that I had expected to not go ahead due to lack of venue and budget and general organisation, ended up being the most fantastic experience.
My expectations were exceeded again and again and again by the 38 participants who committed two weeks (full time) to learning basic counselling skills, concepts and values.
I think I’m still trying to process how well it all went. How wonderful it was. My mind is still blown.
Expect that this week on my blog you will a) see a heck of a lot of pictures and b) hear a lot of me raving about my awesome, awesome students.
“That my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.” Psalm 30:12