Monday, January 7, 2013

The first few days of training...

My goal was to leave the house by 8 AM, so I could get to Chicago by about noon Chicago time.  When my alarm went off at 7:00, I knew it was going to be a rough day.  When I woke up that morning, my body ached, the kind of ache where even brushing my hair would hurt.  My throat hurt and a cough had started to lodge itself into my chest.  I had a fever.

After conversations with several people, I decided to sleep all morning, see how I felt after doing so, and hopefully leave in the afternoon, making me just a few hours late for Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) training.  That is the plan I followed last Friday.  I arrived in Chicago around 6 PM.  

Saturday and Sunday, my body felt much the same as it did Friday, so the first few days of training were pretty rough.  Today, I was happy to wake up without a fever.  This evening I can gleefully say that I feel better than I did in the morning and I haven't taken any medicine since the morning.  Things are looking up.

This is Day #4 of CPT training, and we're starting to get into the rhythm of things.  Seven of us are in the training: five women, two men, representing four countries, and entering training with diverse cultural, religious, and life experiences.  During our month-long training, we will live together, eat together, pray together, work together, play together, and do just about everything else together.  All of this is to prepare us for when we're working in the field (in Canada doing aboriginal justice work, Palestine, Iraq, or Colombia) under strenuous conditions.  The skills we're learning now will hopefully prepare us for those rigors. 

We are expected to be at the CPT training center by 8 AM.  Most evenings, we won't leave there until 9 PM or even later.  Those who walk the 2 1/2 miles from our house will leave the house around 7 AM, making for an even longer day.  Once I stop coughing, I'm looking forward to being a walker.  Until then, I am grateful to have a car.  

We've already discovered that training is intense. We have a 3-hour session in the morning.  We have a 3-hour session in the afternoon.  We have a 1 to 2 hour session in the evening.  There are break times, but those may be filled with other tasks we need to accomplish.  We take turns preparing meals and cleaning up after them.  We take turns leading daily worship, taking photos and video, convening, leading short break activities, and several other daily tasks.  We also each have a job we're in charge of for the month.  We have three days off all month. 

Those are the nuts and bolts of training.  I'm sure I'll be writing about the content of the training later.  No doubt this will be a month of great learning.

Please pray for all of us in training and for all CPTers.  Thank you.   

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