Wednesday, October 30: The very last moments before ‘the field’ by Claudia Garduño

DSC_1662This was our last weekly meeting before our visit to ’20 de Noviembre’, but it was also the first working session where the LABBERS from Aalto and from Mexico would be sharing a physical space. We also invited all the experts in Mexico. The idea was to set some sort of agora, where each team could wrap up their discussions and design an ‘intention plan’ for the field.

However, not everything goes as planned. First of all, the Mexican LABBERS had plenty of deadlines to meet before leaving, so Juan and Pam could not make it. Second, we sent the invitations to our experts very late, and of course, they were already fully booked. In the end, our agora was formed by the LABBERS: Gabo, Flynn, Isela, Ismo, Theresa, and Suvi; our experts Rodolfo Alvarado, Adolfo Balfre, Gabriela Yáñez, Alastair Fuad-Luke, our teacher Susu Nousala; our documenters Antti and Jan; and our facilitators: Xavi, Are, Luz and myself.

We started by sharing our thoughts about the workshop that took place the day before. It was interesting to observe that despite the fact that the projects were very different, and that most of them included technological solutions, the greatest concern was on how to actually inspire change. Communication seemed to be extremely important, we needed to understand and to be understood. Apparently, the key was to go from being ‘us’ and ‘them’ to simply becoming ‘we’. Would the initial discussion become crucial? Susu comforted the team by stating that rather than finding the right starting point, what was crucial was just to start. Before breaking into groups, Alastair raised that communication between groups was going to be very important as well as sharing our reflections (bringing the positive things of the day, and being aware of things that are not working).

DSC_1614Gabo, Flynn, Are, Adolfo and Rodolfo started working on the Eco-Hostel. Rodolfo shared new information with the team; last year, he, Omar and Antti made a trip with the tourist guide ‘Humberto’. They were taken to the archaeological site, Rio Bec and were able to see a camping site under construction. Therefore, this team decided to first of all, talk to Humberto and find out all that there is in 20 Nov.

DSC_1644Luz, Theresa, Suvi, and Gaby were interested in joining the Eco-Hostel team for an exploration. They also thought that it was very important to get a clear picture of the actual situation in 20 Nov before communicating any of their ideas to people of 20 de Noviembre. They planned to visit the artisans, but they also wanted to follow Humberto, as tourists are the artisan’s main customers.

DSC_1616The Water team, Isela, Ismo, and Xavi got a bit confused. The water samples that Omar collected from 20 Nov had been analysed, resulting in hard water; but it rains a lot and water should not be heavy. Perhaps the containers were the problem, perhaps the cement was causing the hardness… But the water from the plastic containers was also hard… where is the problem? Ismo, Isela and Xavi decided that they also needed to visit more families in 20 Nov, make questions and observations and gather a clearer understanding on how water is being used before planning their awareness campaign.

DSC_1565In the afternoon, we drafted a schedule for the week in ‘20 Nov’. Just before leaving Tec de Monterrey, Susureminded us that we are making a plan so it can go wrong!

-by Claudia

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