Bad Honnef: Week One

group game for a better understanding of our influence in a new community

mapping of expectations (we love colorful post-its!!)

roles of consultants

lunch time :-)

burn-out spiral

What a week! I feel like having lived in Bad Honnef for more than a year already. Oslo seems far far away, although I think about it quite often and use a lot of knowledge (or wisdom?) I gathered during my first months at KHiO. The first week was basically an orientation week and is called “Inhouse-Training”.

During this course, we got an overview of the structure of GIZ which is quite confusing since the GIZ was just founded this january – as a fusion of the former “Deutscher Entwicklungsdienst” (DED), “Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit” (GTZ) and “Internationale Weiterbildung und Entwicklung GmbH” (INWENT). Right now, the whole organization seems to be in a phase of re-orientation – which gives us (the new employees) lots of opportunities for co-creation but also a feeling of uncertainness since there is not yet a clear vision guiding us. I had good discussions about the fusion – with both people from the former GTZ and DED. We will see where everything leads in the end, but I’m positive that the fusion was overdue and will lead to a reasonable cooperation.

We also had several small workshops on different subjects. For these workshops, we mostly worked in small groups with around 10 people – some with experience in developing work and others (like me) without. I really enjoyed the workshops since (at least in my group) we had lots of interesting discussions. We talked about our expectations and the expectations of GIZ, our role as consultants, about our fears and possible conflicts and how to deal with them. There is a great and honest exchange between all of us and it was good to get the opportunity to talk with people who just returned from the scholarship-program. Even though in the end, everyone says: “Well, I can’t tell you too much because it depends a big deal on where you go and with whom you will work.”

I had a good talk with some of my colleagues about integrity and values. I think it might become difficult to walk on the borderline between adapting to a foreign country, respecting a foreign culture and loosing our own values and beliefs. In how far can we understand, respect and even adapt to a different culture and when shall we insist on our “roots”? Even though I was already confronted with this in Italy and Norway, I think Laos will be an even bigger challenge… I’m looking forward to a course in “Intercultural Communication” which will follow within the next two weeks!

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