Gifts of 2013 and Goals for 2014 workshop delivered by Inside Out for CISP Somalia

“Gifts of 2013 and Goals for 2014” was theImage


theme of CISP regional office’s end-of-year retreat held at Gracia Gardens. This was chance for us to rejuvenate, to bond, to reflect and to learn.

At the lush Gracia Gardens, we meet Shilpa and Marianne two life coaches who turn out to be very interesting facilitators. They had prepared a rigorous and captivating program for the day. They helped us reflect on the year that is and the year to come; by focusing on our strengths, weaknesses, successes as well as our failures. This was to make us rediscover ourselves as well as our passion for our work. Marco reckons, “this approach was different and very explorative.”

Through a range of indoor and outdoor activities, from simple bonding exercises, to problem solving exercises and intensive discussions; we derived lessons about team work, communication and self-improvement. The group knot game was particularly interesting; we mingled and divided ourselves in two groups of 13 people. We randomly held hands forming a tangled knot, the challenge was to untangle without letting go of either of the hands you are holding. This was a very engaging and interactive game; Francesco deemed it “a great bonding moment.” The game made us think as a team and learn how to communicate well to achieve group goals. “It’s nice to take a break and get refreshed through team bonding,” expressed Brianna.

Marianne stretched our minds when she shared the five principles on communicating well. This generated heated discussions as people’s perceptions were put to the test. The principles encouraged us to be more accommodating to our differences. According to Marianne “communication is not what you say but how you say it.”

The day ended on a high, an endorphin high, as we practiced Laughter yoga. It is usually practiced in groups, with participants maintaining eye contact and being playful and does not involve humor or comedy. The laughter soon turned into real and contagious laughter giving us a “feel good” feeling. It was exciting, “it’s like taking a fish into a pond” remarked Susan. In our extremely good mood we were ready to put our 2014 vision on paper. We creatively expressed our desires for our team and organization by making colorful posters. Triza thought that this was different in a good way. We left Gracia Gardens renewed, and full of positivity.

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