The FRIEND staff ended 2005 by concentrating on training and team building, and we began 2006 in the same mode. Last month we were fortunate to have a team from People for Intercultural Awareness (PIA) come to conduct a workshop for our staff. Our team is a diverse one, and though we interact with each other every day, there was still much we all had to learn about each other’s cultures and intercultural experiences. Everyone on staff came with an open mind and a willingness to participate.The PIA facilitators, Adi Vasu Chute, Elizabeth Krishna, and Fr Frank Hoare, took us through many different activities and exercises to raise our awareness of cultural differences and increase our sensitivity to cultural practices that may be different from our own. The role plays that the staff performed to illustrate difficult intercultural issues were particularly moving and valuable to our learning. At the end of the workshop, each staff member shared their thoughts on the part of training that taught them something they didn’t know before the workshop began. Each person may have come away enriched by a different aspect of the experience, but everyone was happy to have had the opportunity to attend the workshop and gain insight into others’ cultures as well as their own

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