July 16, 2008 Kigali (Cafe Zawdi)


From the internet cafe Zawdi. Zawadi is gift in Swahili. The owner is a Kenyan lady. She and her little ones run the business. They are all multi lingual. I finished the teaching phase of my second course in Kigali. The students are all experienced mediators with Quaker, Peace House connections. Tomorrow I'll go with one of those mediators, Eugene Twizerimana to a town about two hours north called Kiyumba. Joyce Akayesu, my English to Kinyarwanda translator will go along as well as her four month old baby. Last year I helped Eugene do an Alternatives to Violence course in Gisenyi. We'll observe an ongoing case between two pastors that Eugene has been working on. Friday I may do the same elsewhere. I've been teaching steadily for the last five days, so it is time for a small break. Saturday I'll go to Goma in the DRC. Sunday I'll take a break. This has been very pleasurable to see how these adults are doing in mediation. They have lots of training in reconcilliation, so they are quite ready to continue with mediation. In fact , some of them I trained last year and this work is adding Transformative Mediation to their skills. Emily Higgs, a recent graduate from Haverford College in Philadelphia also took the course and seems very able to do this. Her only concern is that she may be too young to mediate older people, but I think she has the ability to mediate a wide variety of cases already. The Transformative model puts a lot of power into the hands of the parties, so intrinsic knowledge of the subject matter about which the mediation is being held is not as important as if the mediator were leading a directive, problem solving type of mediation. Emily and I are both at the cafe, and she is helping me with some my ignorance in electronic commo.

Got to sign off now as my hour is almost gone.



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