There was a buzzing excitement with a tinge of unbelievably and muted sadness among both sets of volunteers, as we made our way from Masaya to Managua for our mid-term review. On the one hand, we got to exchange the intense heat of the sun while constructing, but as well as critically evaluating our performance as volunteers so far, and working towards our next few weeks here. But it was still understood at the same time by all the volunteers that our incredible journey was soon coming to an end. “Where had the past five weeks gone?!”, was the usual conversation starter, with the odd optimist weighing in with “…but we still have five weeks left”.
Our mid-term review took the form of all volunteers gathered in a cool climate controlled conference suite, and we heard talks and presentations on what the different groups, roles and teams had been doing. The Monitoring and Evaluation group took center stage at this point, as it was their role to show what we had done and, more importantly, how well it was completed. Credit to the group, as what could have been a very long and dull session, turned into an engaging presentation, with lots of ways of improving constructing for the weeks ahead.
Each role took their turn in telling the group, in a less informal way, of how they felt their team as a whole had achieved their targets. It was interesting to hear the volunteers express themselves in evaluating not only their personal involvement, but that of the team as a whole.
Each session was broken up, either by small refreshment breaks, the media video or through team dynamics, the team leaders who organised and planed the mid-term review made a great call in taking this decision, as they averted death by presentation. The team dynamics offered the chance for the volunteers to stretch their legs, let off a bit of steam and re-focus for the next session.
Yours truly, along with Alexander, composed the media video of the group, whereby we selected photographs the visual media teams had taken, accompanied by carefully chosen music and a few videos. We edited, and I use the word edited lightly, as the only editing tool available to us was Windows Movie Maker. This made it very difficult for us to create a very unique visual experience, as the tool was unable to read most of the videos we had shot. However, gaging by the reaction of the audience it became clear, that what we had composed had went down a treat.
The mid- term review covered almost every aspect of that we volunteers had achieved and what targets and improvements can be implemented for the remainder of our time here. The two days at the hotel was a welcomed break and every aspect of the agenda went down well. However, with the UK volunteers and the Nicaraguan volunteers heading back to Masaya, there was the investable notion burning in the back of all our minds, how has half way come so fast, but to quote the optimist “…but we still have five weeks left”.
Written by ICS volunteer Ryan Coney