Social media has imprisoned us. Even in remote countries, while walking through an airport children will be humming Let it go...more...than once. The only people that might not have heard of Elsa, a blond frail fictional character in the movie Frozen, are the students from Regent who brought their books to study every spare minute they were given as they desperately searched for a plausible positive cognitive statement for the remainder of their week. A counselor's explanation of why the snow man keeps dividing after Elsa shakes with each sneeze in the new preview for the sequel, would bring calm to those not attending the school of Psychology. Clearly, fatigue is setting in. It is the middle of the week on the last lag of the group's trip. Although the team members are pulling on their energy resources and implementing their coping skills, they are still united in their passion to accomplish what needs to be achieved in Trinidad.
The Green Cross training resumed, and even though some who consistently attended look weary, a joy radiated from their faces. "I am taking this back to Laventille", an elderly church woman chanted as she gave us a hug, "I am taking this teaching back and I am going to help them all". The goal of the Green Cross trainers was not just to hold the bow and arrow while aiming at the target with precision. The Goal was to aim and hit the mark. Dr. Keyes and Lemuel Williams, with determination and a soft spoken approach, did just that. Their team was skilled and patient, making a substantial impact, leaving the locals empowered. Not only is there enough interest to start a chapter, but murmurs of reaching internationally were surfacing. At the end of the sessions, the global vision for people care became evident. The team's excellence in presenting and methodical training gave credibility to their field.
As the group returned from the prison, a picture of Dr. Erwin sitting on the desk started to circulate amongst the students. A spider almost the size of one's foot had been crawling around the room while the prison officers listened to the presentation. When our leader was asked about her emergency response, she simply stated with Southern dignity that the move was part of her presentation transitionwe. Her audience, delighted by her genuine personality, simply chuckled with Trini graciousness.
During the evening, those not attending the church service which ended in group sessions, stayed back to complete their Compassion Fatigue Therapist training. In one those classes led by Helen Kwak and Dr. Vanessa Snyder, participants were challenged to sign a promise not to join the front line workers who do not value their much needed wellness plan, and encouraged us to implement steps for self care. "You will have to drop some balls you are juggling," said Dr. Snyder sternly, "In order to recover your health and protect your mind". As we are nearing the end of our stay, perhaps Elsa was onto a good thing when she twirled with freedom on the mountain while singing...Let it go.
By Paula L. Henderson
BA Public Administration, MS cert in Emergency Preparedness and Crisis Management