Tacloban, Philippines - Day 8

Today Michelle joined members of Kusog at a soup kitchen (and other awesome stuff that I hope Michelle will add to herein) while Jonah went to an education and psychosocial services cluster meeting facilitated by Lisa Deters, the Education Director for Save the Children.

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Jonah: at this meeting, I shared with the group about the work Second Response does and invited them to share a PLAYshop with me that afternoon. It was frustrating to note that I would be leaving the very next day, especially when I got such an enthusiastic response. There was a significant interest in having Second Response come and train their staff. After the meeting, Dr. Luisa Baurista-Yu and Corazon Abella, the Director of the Department of Education for the region and the Chief of training and development approached me and asked if we could run a PLAYshop and followup training that very same afternoon for the entire staff of 100 people. I reached Michelle through our friend Rikki, at Kusog, and we were able to assemble just a few hours later.

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After Michelle and I met up at the hotel for a quick lunch and debrief, we hopped in a motor-tricycle past miles and miles of destruction and rubble to the Department of Education where we found the entire staff sitting and waiting for us.

Michelle took command of the space immediately and invited them to open their minds to a new experience, to move their chairs aside, and make a big circle. They readily and happily agreed and, within a minute, were standing in a circle, virtually shaking with anticipation.

We took to the middle, both of us because it was such a large group, and began our process. We felt an immediate connection with the group, we shook out a little tension before we began the rhythm, and then it really took off.

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As is often the case, anger and yelling was a very popular part of the PLAYshop and while each group has a different personality, this one was special particularly because of their participation near the end of the exercises. At that time, as we brought them back to themselves with some focused breathing and checking in with their bodies, Michelle asked if there was anything anyone might like a little more of.

A woman raised her hand, walked to the middle of the circle and proclaimed, “I want to cry some more!” So we did. We all joined her and wailed intensely until it began, again, to subside. Then, a man stepped forth and yelled, “I want to laugh some more!” And we all laughed our way back to a calm closing place.

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