Loughborough or lofboro: the peace project 13-23 September 2017, Loughborough, UK
Pronunciation of Loughborough is quite a challenge in the beginning. This was the common feeling of all participants came in to this training from about ten countries outside of UK. I used to pronounce it as [Logborog] but the correct pronunciation supposed to be [lofboro].
I arrived to the hotel at Loughborough, around two hours far from London at 2 am. I found two other participants at the room already. Room was for three. When I was trying to sleep, night horror started at around 3 am. One of our room mates, approximately age 70, wake up and started to eat crisps so loud that it still plays sound in my ears when I remember it after so long time. This was a beginning, then he lies back to sleep and it appeared to me that he is going to die to night from being unable to breath properly and snoring horrible! Two of us, relatedly younger participants woke up and looked to each others eye for a solution. After some minutes of talking and thinking, my room mate waked him up. That was the solution. When ever he started to horrible snoring, we waked him up to normalize it. The reason he was eating at nigh appeared that he was diabetics and were using injections everyday. We learned to cope with it.
So, more about the training, we were about thirty people of different background and age. In an organizational aspect, I was so happy to see that our cook in downstairs who cooked lunch and dinner for us everyday, was prepared to vegetarian, halal, gluten free, salt free menus that we have required. And all travels around, guest lectures from practitioners, and Charnwood mayor granting us our certificates were all brilliant. If to go more on the content, there are a lot of thinks to note. But I will note few of them to cut it short.
-School experience, where we had to visit two different school in Loughborough, and train school pupils for 45 minutes, spent time with the in class to engage them in dialogue and introduce them our countries of origin to increase their geographic and cultural knowledge. I had around 7 minutes to engage them it went awesome. I started asking them to guess where I am from and obviously nobody was able to guess but I was happy to consider myself Japanese, Indian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Philippines, or many other guesses that were so exciting.
– Intercultural awareness games, trip to Leicester based mosque, church, Buddhist temple, Jainism temple, Sikh temple and some other temples that I hardly remember now was a rich experience to have apart from breakfasts and amber room, after training parties, shopping’s, and during training coping and friendship atmosphere. This experience again proved that we actually able to understand each other and agree to live in peaceful coexistence celebrating our diversity in this beautiful world. This training added to my professional career as well to see always the hidden parts of the communication and the values behind them.