Sunday, August 3, 2008

African all the way...

One of the great joys of the Amahoro Institute in South Africa is that all the teachers were African!  It was a great delight to be taught by friends and scholars from the African continent, with no need to bring in outside teaching assistance.  So we were really given a teaching experience that mirrored the cultural background of the group gathered - no translation or explanations necessary!  Marius Brand coordinated the event from start to finish, and he was the one who recruited  the teaching team from this event.  Many thanks to Marius for all his hard work in pulling together such a great group of both instructors and participants!

Marius, South African, who began the conversation and offered instruction on the nature of thought and how we approach learning and self-understanding.
Rob, South African, taught on theology, how we approach and understand the Story of God and what that means for us as followers in the South African context.  He was very generous, sharing what he understood of the Gospel but also allowing ample time for others in insert questions and offer commentary.
Rob and Rene, sharing some humor amid the instruction session. 
Sam, a Kenyan, taught on context and focused on the issue of poverty in South Africa.  He had everyone working on case studies and sharing their own thoughts on the apt response to poverty in their neighborhood.  His area of expertise is community development and poverty, so we were quite blessed to have him leading our conversation.
Rene, a South African, (pictured to the right) led the group through some exercises that would move us toward thoughtful praxis.  She has an intuitive sense of the room, knowing how to move us from one place to the next in terms of learning.  She did a wonderful job bringing closure to our learning time together.

This is one of the highlights from this Institute - one fully operated by our African friends.  For Claude and I, this is the ultimate dream for all the Amahoro Institutes in the future, that Africans are the primary instructors and leaders of these learning sessions.  We know that there is a depth of knowledge, wisdom and contextual understanding among our African friends that can be a great blessing to their fellow Africans.  So we are eager to create space for Africans to teach and learn together, and try our best to not get in the way!  We are already gleaning lessons learned from these African instructors (as well as those from Burundi and Uganda) and plan to shape the Amahoro Institute accordingly next season.  But I will always remember South African with a particular fondness, as they are the first to have an all African teaching team, demonstrating that they can instruct within their context with great depth, dexterity and wit!

1 comment:

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