Friday, December 14, 2007

Scoolvisits Zapolyjarny

On Friday, Saturday and Monday have we been visiting three different schools in Zapolijary, we have been talking in seven classes. The topic we were invited to talk about was drugs, alcohol and other addictions. We have been doing the same on our visit last year. This time they suggested to also offer alternatives instead of only telling that drugs is bad. When we left Borgen I had two topics I wanted to talk about, hope and alternative hobbies as an antidrug. For the last one I got god recources via I found out that I had been doing more homework that the others.

One part of whole presentation was about the countries we were from, Norway, USA and Holland. After that Turid told about her friend that is from Monchegorsk, she got her dream realized to be a missionary as a Russian in Guatemala, even when her life has been very difficult. With this story we wanted to tell that it is possible to reach your dreams, even from the places they are from.

After this Lindsay illustrated the value of their life by using a 10 Rubel note, and crumping and ripping it. After Lindsay I got my turn, My story was never the same, and I usually made it on the spot, being translated makes it a bit easier. A lot of time did I talk about the things I had prepared. Some times did I talk about the value of friends and family, and that they can be a big value to their friends and family. The last visit I talked about feelings, how hobbies, drugs and hope are influenced by your feelings.

A lot of times they listed very well, and I could see they were sucking up the message. Even when I did not feel my message was so convincing all the time.

One thing I really would like to improve next time is to have a better presentation and brochures or handouts. We prepared individually and in a short time. The program was very loosefit, but flexible. I think with Annelise and my talent in design we could have been making a good presentation, and some handouts as well, even in Russian.

After seeing how professionally Mission Advenures has been done, I think I can do the same. We grab a theme, we make a good design and then make our products (presentation, handouts, posters, shirts, stickers, whatever) A small project is no reason to not do it professionally. These thing do cost more time and money. I have learned to think like this in this trip, I like it, and I want to work it out.

Part of the reason I though about getting handouts is because the kids were crazy about getting our autographs after the lessons. We were doing loads of autographs and on even more pictures. To the point that I felt awkward to be in a picture with girls that were ten years younger. I felt kinda old.

Secondly, I thought I should have some good drawings in backhand to show or hand out to these kids, anytime. Like where ever I go, when I tell I work as a graphic designer and comic artist, people like to see some stuff. And it is good PR for me.

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