Tuesday, November 3, 2009

"Kuishi kwingi ni kuona mengi"

Marlene Legaspi-Munar, Philippines

On my way to LittWorld aboard Kenya Airways, I browsed through Msafiri, the airline’s in-flight publication and found this Swahili saying from an article: Kuishi kwingi ni kuona mengi. It means, “When you live a long life, you see and learn a lot.” The author of the article highlighted the idea that learning and using every experience is important if we are to enrich our lives.

I believe here at LittWorld that is what is happening--learning is taking place through the general sessions, panel discussions, one-on-one consultations, interaction among peers and workshops. There are many interesting workshops being offered here and the participants, including myself, have found ourselves in a dilemma of choosing which workshops to attend because they are being held simultaneously.

I found a happy compromise by first attending the ones which I think would be very helpful in my current writing situation. Secondly, I chose to attend those workshops which I am interested in and yet have little knowledge of (remember the idea of learning new things). And thirdly, I choose not to attend at all even though I really want to, and still learn something.

How do I do it? One eager Indonesian woman, Windi wanted to attend the workshop on "Combining Fact, Fiction, Fun and Fantasy in Children’s Books" which I was attending. I, on the other hand, wanted also to attend the session on "Writing Biographies" which she was planning to attending. Both workshops were being held simultaneously. Her solution? We swapped notes at the end of the workshops!In another instance, I missed a workshop on developing Bible curriculum, but the resource person, Esther Zimmerman, was only too happy to copy her Powerpoint presentation onto my flash drive.

I know in both situations the dynamics would have been different if I had sat and actively took part in the workshops. But I am also reminded that learning doesn’t just take place in a one hour and a half seminar or workshop. We learn what we can at the moment. Beyond LittWorld, we will still keep learning.

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