Tuesday, January 5, 2010

How inspiring!

Here is an absolutely inspiring letter sent to Jim Yates from Roberta, a Nuts and Bolts Team Leader at Bellus Academy of Beauty and Spa in Southern California. Take a moment to look at the photos and read about how she has helped to spread positivity as well the Nuts and Bolts lessons in "Embracing Change" around the world.

Hi Jim,
I'm writing you to let you and Robert know how far around the world the Nuts & Bolts training has gone!

I'm Roberta Archer who you met several times at Bay Vista in National City. I'm now working at Bellus Academy of Beauty and Spa and continue to teach Nuts & Bolts ENTHUSIASTICALLY!

I recently took an extended vacation period, going as a volunteer to help bring creativity into the schools in Tanzania, Africa. It was a dream come true for me and a very exciting adventure.

My first week was just listening and learning and taking pages and pages of notes in many meetings with my friend Audra Dimambro of Winds of Africa. After listening for many hours, I hoped I would have a chance to speak to the teachers and share with them some of the life lessons I have learned.

One quote that I often repeat is, "It's better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one, than to have an opportunity and not be prepared." (Whitney Young, Jr.) So even though I had no idea exactly what awaited me, I wrote down several things that I have learned along the way that I thought would be relevant. Then the opportunity came the next week as I was dropped off in the bush to live without running water and electricity, near the Masai Village at Engikaret School, a government school with about 600 children. This is what they call "the bush." I stayed with a beautiful lady who gave up her bed for me. She cooked our meals on a tiny coal burner and I ate stiff porridge and goat and what ever they gave me. It was very good and I learned to eat with my fingers. Each morning two young girls would bring us huge buckets of water on their heads! for our baths and cooking, etc..

I met and shared with all the teachers each afternoon for about 2 hours. I began my workshop with some of the principles from Embracing Change that have stuck in my head, using the Wheel of Change as a tool and an outline for the Team Building theme I was tracking. Also, the lesson on the 6 common FEARS was so appropriate for their situation at this time of change in Africa. I used several of the quotes that have meant so much to me and my students. The teachers were so receptive and vulnerable.

I later had the opportunity to visit another school, a Vocational School where there are about 30 young people, 75% of whom are orphans. I had the privilege of living and eating and sleeping with them in their tiny dorms.They are learning tailoring and computer skills. So once again, since it seemed word had traveled and my coming was anticipated, I got to share with the teachers in this venue in a small village called Bomang'Ombe.

In both places, these hungry people took notes like mad and shared both in English and Swahili how my lessons were so helpful and something they had never heard before. Before I left, they told me they hoped I would come back next year and see that they had put these principles into action!

Needless to say, I fell in love with these precious people and of course, it's all about the children.... I have attached a few pictures just to let you see a bit of what I experienced. I had a lovely young man who is an awesome teacher himself, translate for me and made it a wonderful team teaching experience.

So, I just want to say how thankful I am to you for the years of experience and training you have given. It has gone much farther than you probably anticipated and in quite a circuitous way to the opposite side of the earth. Isn't that wonderful?!
I just thought you should know! Blessings to you and yours!... and have a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year! Roberta