As David described, I found the training weekend a wonderful experience and was very glad to bring the team together to focus on what we are doing and why. Sam’s knowledge of the area and history of the region were really helpful in getting us focused on what we wanted to achieve. And the weekend felt hugely affirming as the group came together as a team. I appreciated the opportunity to get to know everyone better, think about how we can support one another before, during and after the delegation, and how to deal with some of the challenges we may face - from keeping ourselves healthy during the delegation to going through check points.
I have been amazed by the huge number of useful resources we have been able to find – of many different types: histories, political analysis, films, Christian Aid reports, fiction and accounts of life on the ground. Many of these have been really excellent and it’s been great to receive personal recommendations as well as those from internet searches. I am currently reading ‘Daughter of the Olive Trees’ by Sumaya Farhat-Naser, a Palestinian woman who has worked in many different ways and with many different people for peace. It is a really interesting book and not at all hard to read – thank you Orla for sending it to me!
This morning I took some time to look over the materials we covered during the training weekend and it was really good to revisit Quick Decision Making, what is violence/ nonviolence and the other activities. I most of all appreciated the opportunity to think about my personal motivations for going and revisit the group agreement for the delegation. Reading through the notes from the weekend, my excitement about going grows and how much I’m looking forward to being part of the team.