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This trip was a challenge for me because my mini-project was to speak more in front of people I don’t know very well. And that even if it’s the small or a large group. During this trip I had several circumstances to overtake my fear: in a sharing circle or in my family group. Two groups of people who gave me different states of stress and so different outcome. For me speak to say what I feel or think it’s difficult because I’m always afraid of the other will think about what I would say; it’s a moment of stress before to talk and even after. Give an opinion about a subject make me stress because I don’t know how the people in front me will react and it’s can be more difficult in English because I’m not sure of what I want to say is well translate with words I know. Express myself about my feelings is the same, because I share something that maybe I’m the only one to feel.
A sharing circle, it’s a place where all the group (around 30 people) was reunited and each or just few people must talk (it’s depends of the context and the result of the circle). There is the sharing circle where everyone must talk, one by one, give how his feel; everyone listens or see, because it’s not an obligation to talk but there is an obligation to express ourselves of the manners we want. There is the circle of discussion where all the group decide to talk about a specific subject, and then not everybody have the obligation to talk even if it’s expected. For the first one, it was a sharing circle for the mid-term evaluation, how everyone feel after the half of the trip was passed. So, we are all reunited in the place in circle, each one of us had 2 minutes to express themselves. Some of us use an instrument, or their body or just talk. Now we prepare in our head what we want to say and how to say it, and after to tell it we remember that we wanted to tell more. The stressful moment is passed but we can feel, and I felt some frustration. This frustration is bigger because it is not our mother tongue, I spent so much time to prepare in my head what I wanted to say, I feel free again that my turn was passed but after I realized that I miss some stuff maybe more negative to say. Because during this sharing circle, everybody says something nice to hear, or maybe sometimes it’s good to say something who is not good to create a movement in the group. For the second one, talk is not an obligation and because is not an obligation, it’s can be difficult for the leader to push people to start a conversation. The leader must find a way, a method for the group feels enough fine and speak. During this trip, few methods was used. There is the fish ball, this method it’s 3 people volunteer who go in the centre of the group and talk about a subject (define before to start) and each time someone want to say about this subject he/she takes the place of the person who are talking in the centre. The people outside of the mini-circle in the centre don’t have the right to talk just to listen; if they want to talk, they stand up, take place of one who are in the centre and the conversation can continue like that. This method is good, we only focus on the smaller group and we forget a bit the others but take stand up and take place in the fish ball, it’s this one step who make me stress because that’s mean I would give my opinion. For this method I couldn’t make the step even I wanted to say something, it was frustrating but after say exactly what I wanted to say so I felt fine. Fine because I thought it was important to say but sad too because it wasn’t me, and mad that I could not make that one step. The other method, it’s to talk of the subject by smaller group and after sharing with all the group with a reporter or write it. This method is useful to reduce the stress but not make it disappear, because even if I express myself in the smaller group, I still must give my opinion in English in front of people I know since 3 or 10 days, so it’s easier but still difficult. I pass this method easier that the fish ball, this time I wanted to give my opinion, so I knew if I gave it, nothing could have arrived because the subject was not hazardous. Two other method was used at the end of the trip, it was not to express but to write on the paper, on the scale of satisfaction our position. The other one, it was to end on a happy note the trip: stand up and speak, stay stand up until all the group join you. This one was easier that others sharing circle and knew everyone, but it was difficult for me to say, maybe too emotional for me, and one moment I had preparing something to say but someone say it before, so I was the feeling I have nothing to say, so when it was my turn I just say « no ». This different method is the way to push everyone feel at easy and talk, because the principle in a sharing circle it no one is here to judge you or judge what you have to say but only to engage a conversation and after to build something useful for the group, a good dynamic or a schedule chart.
Why speaking in front of people (30 people) make me feel so much stress? I stress in advance. My heart beat a lot in my chest, that make feel sick and uncomfortable; my voice tremble; I feel hot and that my face turns to red (already happen in high school); the feeling that everyone notices that and make fun of me. I stress in advance. What I will say is correct, will be well taken. I even stress after. I look around me how people react, my heart start to calm down and I try to relax me and focus on the others say but it’s can be difficult because I’m always in my state of stress. When I speak, the right thing to do it that everyone stops talking and listen, so they must look at me, they focus on me and that’s why I’m in panic. Sometimes I prefer that no one listen to me, it’s disrespectful to do something like that but because no one listen to me no one can judge me and in the same time I would like someone react in favour of what I’m saying, « I’m agree with her ». In this sharing circle, one time I successfully gave my opinion to all the group, I felt happy to do this even for the others is maybe nothing but for me it was a big deal. And after told my opinion I had a tough time to listen what the others said, too much focus on me, on my stress, I even didn’t look around me I just look the ground and relax me. I also gave my opinion in smaller group and be myself the reporter of my group but there were only the young people no leaders around me, (can explain why it was possible for me).
The family group is a moment where the people of the same nationality gather together and speak about the days was passes without pressure. This family group can be different according to the nationality. In the Portuguese group, the young-leaders participate too to the talk, they speak in their language and sometimes they drew; the group was dynamic, without structure, the different subjects appear themselves in the discussion, the group elt more connecting after each end of family group after sharing their feelings about same experiences. In the Greek group, the young-leaders participate too at the discussion who are in their language, they spoke each their turn without interruption by the others (most of the time) and after they were talk like an discussion about a precisely subject define by the young-leaders or not, they had the choice to not expressing themselves and they didn’t need to play some games to engage the discussion; for them this time of family group was a moment of sharing their actions and feelings of the days, to see that one experience can be felt different according to the person, that’s way the connection was stronger, release the tensions. In the Italian group, the young-leaders participated also in the sharing emotions, they were speaking in their language each their turn. For all of them, it was a way to listen and speak from the heart; to built and to secure the connections, the relationship of the national group. It was a way to share feelings about the days and mutualize information so to learn more about a person and had the feelings to better understand the people around us and the future days.
It’s time for each people to told without fear or pressure what they really think and for this time to speak in this own mother tongue. If the group national is good it’s even easier to talk, I mean if we have a good relationship between French group it will easier during this family group to say to the others and the leaders what we really felt, thought. It’s also a time to strengthen the national lies; a period of reunion between French. As one of the principle of this trip, it’s trying to go to see new people, people of different country, so maybe we don’t not all our time between French, so the family group was this moment of reunion, a moment to share with the others my days. We did this family several times during this trip, after 2 or 3 passed or we ask for one. Because there is a good relationship with the young-leaders, it was easy to ask for a family group and to have one. Because we care for each other, and look how the person of our nationality group, we can decide to do an intervention like a group; or say what we felt about the behaviour of someone. You must remember it’s a moment of free expression, like the sharing circle but also different because you can use our mother tongue so your words; the person who listen to you are more probably sharing your feelings and thoughts; after each one on talk we can engage a conversation about what we said and maybe improve a bad feeling.
For the family group, we also can use some methods and invite people to talk each in turn, therefore avoid the chaos or on the contrary the silence. We had to position ourselves on the scale of satisfaction and then explain why this graduation. We had to give our mental weather (sunny, cloud, rain, …) and justify this weather. These 2 methods are the way to engage the person to talk more about his/her feelings. We also take the first step and talk, be the one who start, and it will be easier for the rest of the group to continue in the same vein. The family group can be different according to the nationality as said upper, it can be different according to the place where we organize it. For example, if we were outside with the others, they maybe don’t understand us but we felt less comfortable to speak at our ease at the same time it’s less confined and we can smoke or drink a beer and it’s allow us to talk without stress and more relaxed, as if we are between friends ; if we were inside some people can pass in the room without intention to listen but still we are less concentrate in the conversation, in the same time we felt less cold so maybe more concentrate what happened in the group and less on our own body ; we could be around a table, on chairs or on the ground. Each place where the family group is stand can have is good and bad points, but what it helps it’s the circle is closed, no one outsider can get in our family group. Second point, the young-leader participate as well to the chat, they also gave their feedback, it’s not a vertical relationship.
In Portugal, we had family group, but it was different because it was not between the same nationality. One of the first days, the all group of participants of Portugal’s trip reunited, we made a circle per nationality, in the centre our leaders made a pair with another leader of nationality different. Then each of us (participant) we chose a pair of leaders where we didn’t share the nationalities. By that’s means we create several groups that we named “base group”. For example, in my base group, there was 3 French, 2 Portuguese, 1 Spanish and our 2 leaders, 1 Greeks and 1 Italian. The point of this base group was the same of the family group in Sicilia, we had to reunite each end of the day and talk about the day we had. The first week, we had this base group with our leaders than the second week we had this base group without our leaders.
The first week, we successfully reunited each end of the end. We chose a place and a time in the camp to talk about our day and our feels on this day. Because the first day we didn’t know each other’s, during the base group it was classic, we said only good things and our happiness, same for the leaders. Even if the base group was organized by the leaders, they like us participated to the sharing, and it was a help for us because there was no limitation between us or judgement. We had the feelings that it was okay to say anything. Also, sometimes the leaders started the sharing in the base group to facilitate our sharing. Although we were in group of trust, the first days, everyone in our group talked something positive and nice, it was only one day who we knew that the day wasn’t all nice, all positive that one of us said something less positive and that triggered the others to talk more openly on the negative stuffs. The second week it was time for us to become more independent from our leader. That’s means we had to organize our base group without them and just between participants. It was difficult to gather people at the end of the day, because everyone was tired and not really in the mood to take time to talk about the day. And at the end of the first day, few people knew that rule, and leaders had to remind us to do it. Because we were a great group, we manage to continue to do the base group at the end of each day and talk, I mean really talk about the day, our feelings about the day. We used the same technics we learnt during the first week and exchange between us, we noted what we say that we wanted to report at our leaders.