This afternoon, CGE staff and students gathered into the van to head off on our mid-semester reconnect retreat. The goal for the retreat was to provide an opportunity for staff and students to come together and prepare for the next few weeks in Windhoek and Cape Town. Since the students just got back from their break, this was a good opportunity for everyone to check in and brainstorm how we, as a community, want the last four weeks of our semester to look.
The afternoon started with a welcome from our program director, Romanus. He outlined the importance of a supportive community and reminded both the staff and students that these next four weeks are an opportunity for us to continue to grow and get to know one another.
Chelsea, our international resident assistant, then led the group in a team building exercise where the group was split into pairs. One partner would have a blind fold on while the other partner had to lead them through an obstacle course using only their voices. The purpose of this activity was to remind staff and students that we need to work together and use open communication in order to form a supportive community.
After a quick safety activity, both staff and students took some time to reflect on where they started the semester and what they still wanted to do in the upcoming months. Students reflected on why they applied for this program, the emotions they felt right before leaving, as well as their expectations. Students were then challenged to explain how they wanted to spend the next four weeks of the program and what they wanted to take away from this experience.
Finally the afternoon wrapped up with a final team building activity where the entire group was blind folded and had to create various shapes using string. The purpose of this activity was that, unlike our first activity where you only had to communicate with one person, you now had to communicate with fifteen other people in order to achieve the task.
The afternoon was a great success and both staff and students are ready to work together to make these last four weeks the best yet!