16 July 2012

COS Pon Us

It's funny how PC training is one of those things that one finds repellent at the beginning, when it is forced upon us for weeks at a time, but then looks forward to by the end of service.  Now, instead of being a month-long ordeal of flipcharts, security briefings, cultural awareness sessions, and more flipcharts, it's all about reconnecting with our fellow volunteers who have been serving on Antigua and St. Vincent for the last two years, and a dose of inspiration and retraining at the same time.  (Nothing like a little sugar to help the medicine go down.)  So it is in Antigua for Close Of Service Training where I will find myself from Wednesday to Sunday this week.  I will, as always, attempt to keep readers abreast of goings on at training with a brief post of the day's events each evening.  But until then, the news from the week past:

Imagine if the Dream Team came to town one day to play an Olympic qualifying match against, say, Spain, in a best-of-three format set to last all day.  Everybody who could would, most likely, get off work in the interest of seeing this nationally heralded confluence of talent.  In fact, if the town is small enough, businesses and government offices that were savvy to this might not even bother to try and operate on that day, conceding priority to this once-in-a-lifetime spectacle.  That scenario is a little like what we saw happen in St. Kitts on Wednesday: earlier in the week, in anticipation of the West Indies Test Cricket team hosting New Zealand to a 50 Overs one-day match at Warner Park, the government called for a work holiday that day in support of the Cricket match.  And rather than stroupes, shake my head, and wonder aloud what could be so important about a Cricket match as to shut down businesses that day, I chose instead to embrace the deviation from regular life and go attend the match.  I certainly learned a lot, most notably all about limited-overs Cricket, and enjoyed having an excuse to sit out in the sun for six hours (10AM to 4PM).  Unfortunately, the Windies underperformed that day, and dropped a match 249-168.  In fact, the pummeling was so harsh and our home team's showing so dismal, that one PCV friend of mine tried to cast it in a positive light by saying, "Well, at least we came within a hundred!"

I had a very heartening meeting on Thursday regarding the board games summer camp, now entitled Smart Moves Summer Board Games Camp.  I will be primarily responsible for two things: first, beginning next week, a day-long training session for the volunteers, and secondly of course the actual Chess instruction during the camp.  I have overarching outline already prepared –
  • MONDAY • 60 min. • Individual Piece Movements, Rules of Chess
  • TUESDAY • 30 min. • Starting and Ending a Match, Check & Checkmate • 30 min. • Freeplay
  • WEDNESDAY • 30 min. • Openings, Piece Development • 30 min. • Freeplay
  • THURSDAY • 30 min. • Common Mates, Endgame • 30 min. • Freeplay
  • FRIDAY • 60 min. • Freeplay
Possibly, if I think the students are mentally ready for this step, I may institute a short 1-hour tournament, maybe 4 15-minute matches, for Friday's session.  I have lots of prizes left over from working at the school, so I'll happily use those then.  I'm already getting excited about this endeavor, and about the prospect of sharing my knowledge of something very important to me with the young people of St. Kitts.

I hope you enjoyed the last couple of videos added; if you didn't get to see them yet, check the Videos page.  Otherwise, if you're like me and anxiously anticipating the following months' contributions (February through June), know that they are on their way and should offer further glimpses into my work here in SKN as well as the beauty in nature that can be found here.  Additionally, (and I keep forgetting to mention this) please pray for assistance in my finding a job, specifically that I might hear back quickly from the two organizations I currently have outstanding applications with.  Finding the motivation and the focus to continue to job search is getting increasingly difficult, and I'm rapidly wearying from the process.  Thanks, and don't forget to give me a shout on Skype if you're not busy.

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