As the sun began to rise across the horizon it was the time for the group to pack all their belongings and head to the community of Tumbira. The car, crowd-funded by participants Camila and Pedro, was waiting to drive all the people and backpacks to the pier where the fast boat was ready to begin the journey down Rio Negro.
Raquel had gone earlier and was already waiting for the rest of the crew. As soon as everyone arrived, they went to their camp receive the second part of the welcome kit : a brightly colored hammock made by a group of women from different riverine communities and a huge mosquito net. Working together, participants and the coordinator of the school nucleus, Cristiano, started setting up the hammocks.
Once the hammocks were set up, everyone gathered in the classroom where some Tumbira’s students, teachers and leaders greeted the participants with a special welcome ceremony for the Amazon Summer School. Each student introduced themselves, and as each said his or her name. Then, he or she had to choose someone from the Amazon Summer School to do the same. The two of them then sat together for the rest of the ceremony and song.
After the welcome by the community, Bruna, Isabel and Raquel invited the participants to check in with each other, asking “What are your first impressions of Tumbira?” After hearing some responses, the team facilitated the opening class regarding basic assumptions about complexity, leadership and the interconnection between scales of influence and understanding - individual, group, community and world. This included an overview of the program journey using Theory U and finished with a workshop for the participants to work together to create and align their purpose, principles, and vision for the course.
To close the day, the group was invited to think about their personal intentions for the course. To end the day, the Rio Negro and the stars were ready for the first group swim.
After dinner, everyone presented their personal introduction presentation - called Pecha Kucha. Each participant was invited to speak about their life and who they are by narrating twenty seconds of description for nine different photos they had selected and put into a slide show. While some were nervous to present, by the time it was over, many had smiles on their face and felt they had learned a little bit more about the story of each course facilitator and participant.
● Set the physical space together.
● Shared basic assumptions.
● Co-created working purpose, principles and vision.
● Gained a sense of being welcomed by the community
● Experienced presenting ourselves and witnessing the presentations of others
● Built relationships with ourselves and others.
● Questioned impressions, changing impressions.
● Experienced stepping into the power their own story.
● Surfaced some fears about roles, expectations, frustrations.
● Felt a sense of disconnection about some of the communities expectations.