2014-2015: Jirafas

Sigrid Elena Hauge,  May Linn Orkelbog,  David Gomez Cañon, Juan David Valencia

From August 2014 to May 2015 Sigrid, May Linn, David and Juanda worked on the topic of Conflict Resolution. During their first stage, based in Bergen, they strengthen the local chapters and already have a great progress on their book. The have chose to call themselves jirafas, which means giraffe in Spanish, because this animal is a good symbol of how we should be when facing conflict: they have large ears to listen, very big hearts, and their long necks let them see the big picture.

They have also created an interesting blog, where they share their thoughts on the topic, useful resources and fun stories of their experience. Take a look!

What May Linn from The Jirafas thinks about the experience

Why would you recommend this experience to someone else?

I would recommend this experience to others because it is a once in a life-time chance to do something like this. It is amazing to be able to shape your own project, and there are no limits to what you can achieve. It gives you the opportunity to contact people you might have heard of, but not had a reason to contact just for them to be a part to the book. You also have the chance to make activities and really shape CISVs content area of that year. It is also very fun, and you get a really good insight in another culture. As Norwegian I have made the Colombians weird dishes, made them addicted to Norwegian Christmas drinks, gone hiking, going out on Quiz nights and prepared them for the cold weather. By participating in this project you don’t just do the things or see places that you hear from the Lonely Planet Guide.

Everyone in CISV is also very welcoming and nice, and they are there to help you. When I started this project I was new to CISV, and I knew nothing. While this can be a little intimidating and CISV for an outsider can seem a little different you will easily get into it and like it.

A last thing I would like to say is that this project is quite intense, and you must be prepared to see the same people almost every day. This is teamwork all the way, and it can at times be very frustrating and annoying. Just so you know. You must be able to adopt and take some things as they come along.

However, if you are able to do that, I am sure you will have a good time and that this project is definitely something you should apply to. You will learn as much as you set your mind to, you will be better at hosting workshops, you get to be creative and you get to experience a whole new country.