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Global SKILLs midweek Connect: 8/19/20 ~ Community building



Greetings and Happy Midweek!

I hope your week has started out well. I am now working on a part time job for the US government as a Census2020 ‘door knocker’. My task is to help people who haven’t already done their census get it submitted. It’s a ‘never a dull moment’ job - I’ll probably be writing more about it in future midweek moments, so stayed tuned.

Today though, I’d like to share a bit about how Global SKILLs engages and empowers people in  strategically integrated community building. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I live in a tiny house built on a trailer. In February, I moved my home to a different site here in beautiful central Florida and am now in what’s called a “55+” community, which means one resident of the unit has to be at least age 55. Like multitudes of similar communities across the US, this one was built in the late 1960s, is affordable housing mostly for retirees and many of the residents are ‘seasonal’ using their homes as a vacation get-away or coming to sunny FL to spend the winter. Well, you can already see, I don’t fit the resident ‘profile’ (except for the required age!). I still work full time and I am a year round resident. 

Also, as a ‘third culture adult’ who has lived most of my life in Africa, I often feel like I am from a different planet. My life experiences and personal interests are vastly different from the residents here. Sometimes it seems like we speak at least a different dialect of English, or possibly just a different language. So, wanting to meet my neighbors and ‘fit in’ as much as possible, I have entered the community dynamics as a full blown cross-cultural challenge. I’m happy to report, it has worked pretty well!

Using Global SKILLs PROACTive learning strategies, with a focus on cross-cultural communications and meeting people where they are at socio-culturally, in the past 5 months (taking into consideration of course being locked down much of the time!) I've worked at getting acquainted and, when needed, ‘learning their language’! One successful attempt I’m very happy about, to enhance their own community infrastructure, has been helping initiate and coordinate a Phone Tree which has every resident connected by phone with a resident team to be sure everyone is well and having their needs met. Combining my strategic program design experience with local values on community interaction, and challenged occasionally by things like the established gossip grape-vine, we have seen previously isolated residents step up and volunteer, excited to be part of something they feel is of value for themselves and their neighbors.

Who would have thought I would find such a cultural challenge right here where I live?! I took the challenge and have run with it...and it's been eye-opening and fun. How about you - what is one cross-cultural challenge you find there in your community and how are you handling it? Share about it here or with a friend...and have fun discovering more cross-cultural dynamics right there on your doorstep!


Global SKILLs LINKs

~ Here’s one real life community building story I saw recently in the media...it’s not clear how long the rescue took but in the meantime, I bet the mariners had started their own desert island community building! https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/03/asia/us-australian-micronesia-sos-pacific-island-rescue-intl-hnk-scli/index.html

~ Check out my blog post introducing my tiny lifestyle (8/5/20) with lots of other resources on ‘all things tiny’. https://www.globalskillspartners.com/blog-1


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Celebrating Global SKIlls 10th Anniversary  ~~ Connecting, Collaborating, Cultivating Community

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