Although there are so many reasons why I am enjoying my time at the YWCA, here is a list of 5 things that I think are great about my current work environment, things I haven’t experienced in any work place before!
1) Tea breaks
In general, I love a culture that will take time out of the day to specifically sit down and have tea/coffee. Zambia is no exception. Every day I am in the office I get to have a break where I sit with coworkers and we drink tea, chat, and I try to learn Bemba. I think it’s great!
2) Listening to social issues in the Drop In Centre
Most of my time spent at work has been in the DIC where clients come in to seek counselling on a variety of issues. It has been so interesting to hear issues and see how they are resolved. The most interesting aspect to see is that the issues faced by Zambians are the same social issues you would find anywhere in the world. Aside from a polygamy case, the majority of the clients who visit the centre have the same problems you would see in Canada. The most common cases are for child support or dealing with marital issues so it just shows that no matter what the culture or economic background, people deal with the same problems.
3) Laughing at any situation
So far, my experience in Zambia shows me that people tend to be laid back and don’t take things too seriously. This means a lot of joking around and laughing! I once saw a driver almost hit another car, when they got out of the car I expected a shouting match between the drivers but instead they were laughing about it. This would definitely have not been the case in Calgary. The same happens at work, I can be sitting in a counselling session and one minute people are arguing in Bemba and the next thing everyone is laughing and I just sit there confused. Even in my confusion though, I can appreciate the humour that people have in Zambia.
4) Refreshments are given out at meetings
The majority of meetings I have gone to so far include not only a drink but a snack as well, this has included biscuits and even pies. Like some of the other reasons on this list, I think it shows how hospitable people are and how they care about your well being.
5) The phrase “I will communicate”
I have heard this several times and I love it. I plan to use it in my future work and personal life. As somewhat of a procrastinator I don’t always do the things I should have. This phrase is a great response to use when you don’t have anything to share at that moment or when you don’t want to admit that nothing has been done.
Example; Boss: How is that report coming along? Response: I will communicate