So I have just returned home from my second amazing trip with SKATTLE.
This time the SKATTLE program took us to Hanoi, Vietnam.
This was my first time in Vietnam, so the country, culture, and language were new and exciting! I learned a lot from my trip to India, and so this time I arrived in Vietnam with some goals: to challenge myself, to step into different roles, to feel confident in my skills, and to be more present in the moment.
First things first! After settling in, the team got together and practiced the Vespa metaphor…our Vietnamese twist on the SKATTLE therapeutic groups process.
The SKATTLE process makes the program so easy to adapt, and with Vespas being the main mode of transport in Vietnam, the team thought this particular metaphor might resonate with the people we would be working with.
From the get-go, I was bombarded with opportunities to step into different roles, which really challenged me in many ways. One of the most daunting moments was stepping into the role of facilitator, and taking a really active role in delivering the SKATTLE program to the community.
We worked with two different groups over one day: one group of community workers, and another group of young people. I was completely exhausted once we had finished up, but felt confident, accomplished, and eager to run the group the following day!
The next day presented a new challenge – working with the kids. Sometimes I feel like a giant kid, and other times I still feel way too young to be working with them.
We were working with a group of young children in a community, and I recall feeling somewhat out of depth in my role this day, but was unable to put a finger on as to why I felt this way.
But after a train trip to Sapa, an unexplained illness, some self-reflection, and an impromptu supervision session over a baguette and a glass of wine (supervision comes in all forms at SKATTLE), I realised I hadn’t been consciously holding onto my hope to stay present. I needed to avoid skipping too far ahead in the process, and just be all about the moment.
This epiphany helped me understand that I can sometimes focus too much on the outcome, and not enough on the process, and I think this has been a really meaningful development for me.
To wrap it all up, I think each time I go overseas, I learn something new…
- That I don’t pack enough socks;
- That you actually do need to declare things in customs;
- You really can’t always trust the drinking water overseas!
Now that I am combining my work calendar with my passion to travel, I am learning more about myself as a counsellor, and that’s really exciting! I can’t wait for SKATTLE’s next trip, to see what my role will be, what I will learn about myself, and no doubt many other things!
Written by Kelsey Lahey, the person up top in the cool orange helmet 😉