Sunday, May 22, 2011

I feel a little like Alice...

Did I drop through the looking glass? Am I back in Dr. B's program eval class? No, it isn't deja vu all over again, as Yogi Berra would say. It is the reality of working with a multi-national, multi-cultural,  far-flung organization like World Scouting. Our meetings here in Kandersteg International Scout Center have included people from  the Asia region based in Manila, the African region based in Nairobi, the Arab region
based in Cairo, the InterAmerica region from 
Panama City as well as Eastern and Western Europe. And true to what Dr. B kept saying, they are all discussing evaluation, process monitoring, and assessing impact. It is vital that they demonstrate those processes to funders as well as be able to strengthen weak programs and replicate strong ones in other regions. OK, I guess I'll be the first to say all that work on logic models and Gantt charts was important, but I bet I won't be the last.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Time to get to work...

 Enough of this playing around Genève, now I have to get to work. Well, sort of. I am making my way by train to Kandersteg International Scout Center in the very heart of the Alps for a 10 day meeting with my working partners. The train whisks me around the Lake toward Bern and on to Kandersteg, which is where the road ends. Literally. To go on from here, you load your car on the train which takes it through the mountain tunnel to the other valley.

Kandersteg has been a Scout Center since 1923 and it is easy to see why it is a crown jewel in the world of Scout camps. It is literally within touching distance of some of the most amazing peaks in the world. It welcomes thousands of youth and adults year round and is staffed by young adults from 50 countries. It is truly an international center.
I'm spending time in this beautiful place with 60 Scout staff from the six regions of World Scouting that represent 161 different countries. And  I am going to get to work with almost every one of them sometime throughout the summer.
Talk about an international experience!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Well, you just never know...

Yes, you just never know what you'll run into exploring a new city. Genève is pretty much like any other city. It has about 190,000 people but another 50,000 drive or take the train in every day to work. It has a beautiful lake...Lake Genève.

 They have flags flying...swans on the lake... and chess and checkers in the park... 

But once in a long, long while you will round the corner and find something not in the guide books...a little surprise. You will glance at the outside wall of a cafe in Old Town and see a familiar signature...a name you know pretty well. 
Yep, it's true...

                                                         Bill ate here!

This can't be Arkansas...they eat chocolate for breakfast.

Aww...breakfast in Geneva. Let's see, there are pâtisseries on every corner. Why didn't this practice make it to the colonies? Hmmmm...perhaps a fruit tart. Fruit is breakfast food, right? 

Croissants, that is just fancy toast. Ok, ok.  Maybe an orange, an apple.
No, there it is...a real Swiss delicacy no matter what the time of day.                                                                                                        

Oh, the taste, oh the creaminess, oh the calories, but "when in Geneva," as they say. Now that is a breakfast of champions. 
Surely I'll walk it off.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Starting out behind...typical!

So, I was the first to leave town...last Thursday, May 12...I guess maybe Shenan and I tied. I was definitely the first to arrive considering she was headed all the way to Fiji. But here I am, low on the totem pole of posts. 
As a neophyte blogger, this should not be the way to start out...nevertheless, here we go! I left Little Rock for Montreal. It was sort of a test run on how much French I remembered from high school. In case you are wondering...not that much. But I was surprised that I could read quite a bit. It just didn't sound like it should if I read it. 
Geneva is the real thing...everyone speaks French...all the time. It is unfair that the toddlers on my tram were chattering baby talk in French and I can only manage "merci", "bonjour", bonsoir", and "Quelle heure est-il ?" Should have bought that Rick Steves' Essential French Phrases. Hmmm...