Wednesday, September 23, 2015

YMCA ARMENIA - you changes my life


September 2001
The rest of my life began here …….

Armenians are so very crumbling poor on the surface, 
more-so than Bulgaria which I know much better. 
I consider that, because they don’t know they are poor – 
or feel poor, they are more liberated in lifestyle, 
culture, less comparison with others and have lighter personalities. 

No Baywatch, Dallas 10 years old, 
TV Channels: 2 x Russian, 2 x Armenia, 
no cinema, no McDonalds, strong sense of national identity. 
We can see our own culture when we see, feel experience other cultures. 
Jesus became a 1st century Palestinian Jew. Understand that!

I was tired when I got to Armenia 
due to all needed before departure.  
Time pressure.  
People pressure.
Late nights. 

Flight = missed a nights sleep. 
I came alive in front of 50 Armenians, 
lots of young people, 
the rest ‘professionals’ from 6 Local YMCA’s in Armenia.  
I worked with the teenagers. 
We played Rolling Magazine games, fun and deep games, 
used the Blob Tree and the Blob Family of Materials, 
videos x Greenbelt x Rolling Magazine x Adam and 
danced with them to my 17 CD.’s – no iPod in those days.

 I did what I do best - work
with young humans and I loved it !
They even thought I was cool!
At the same time we lived amongst the snow 
by the side of a beautiful lake – somewhere in Armenia. 

I did ‘Level 5’ with the teenagers and they got it!  
The Triad group work I used was with two people and 
an observer of the body language (NVC).  
They could see and read non-verbal communication on the Blob Tree 
but not when observing real moving talking people!  
One observer didn’t see the handkerchief placed to the eye of someone present - 
and a tear. 
Interesting how we need to see through the front of our eyes but – 
‘eyes wide open’ – 
a youth worler needs to see the fringes of life too.

We ‘group hugged’ and ‘circle massaged’ every time we met - 
2 hour sessions x 8 hours a day x 3 days!  
Beautiful humans.
My tiredness was lifted and replaced with so many positives. 
We worked, laughed, stretched, learned together. 
Then more. 
We just rolled into life and I will never forget the experience.

As I left that beautiful place at 6am (UK time 2am), 
I slipped in the snow and out of the darkness stepped 3 teenagers, 
having been up all night, 
lifting me to my feet.  
I was amidst angels.

We hugged and said farewells. 
The last thing, one of them said
“Don’t forget us”.

They have so little
They have so much - 
they gave me so much.


‘Don’t forget you’ you said – 
you changed my life.
It was that experience that triggered a yearning to do more of what I love to do – 
and what I consider do best – and do it full time!

Two years later, and having given seven months notice, 
I left Romford YMCA and left behind thirty years of ‘Community Leadership’.
I went freelance.
Conducting Group-Work and facilitating training
as is now and 
forever shall be!

They had so little
They gave of themselves
The greatest gift of all.

They gave me so much.

(you are a beautiful human person in Armenian)