Friday, March 19, 2010

To Georgia and Azerbaijan

I leave for Tblisi, Georgia, and Ganja, Azerbaijan, on Monday, March 22.  I am going on behalf of the Center for Democracy and Citizenship to train Public Achievement coaches in those two cities.  I am very excited about the trip (and not a little anxious - while the Embassy of Azerbaijan has assured me that my visa and passport are in the mail, until I have them in my hands, I will not be able to relax:)).

My trip is sponsored by PAUnite out of Poland, and the organizers, Julie and Ala, have been incredibly helpful preparing me for this work.  I strongly encourage people to view the PAUnite web site.  Of special interest to the Public Achievement community will be the descriptions of the Public Achievement team projects: they are doing some amazing work, and I've been inspired by the writings.

My primary task is to help the mentors (what Public Achievement coaches are called in both Georgia and Azerbaijan) to understand more clearly the dynamic role of coaching, as well as other Public Achievement roles such as mentor coordinator and site coordinator, so that the groups can work more collaboratively, both within their local sites and between the countries.  To that end, I have worked with Julie and Ala, the Center for Democracy and Citizenship, and colleagues within the Twin Cities Theatre of the Oppressed community to create a plan for the four-day gathering.  (I'll post the plan in a later blog.)

My plan is to blog almost-daily while I am in the Caucasus, and I hope that you'll enjoy the postings.  I encourage you to comment, too.  Depending on my technical abilities (and that is asking quite a bit), I'll be adding photographs and possibly short film and audio to the blog postings as well.

Let me know what you think.


  1. Michael, best wishes on your journey. What an experience and courageous adventure! It is inspiring to think of you carrying your presence, skills, and wisdom to these places and, I'm sure, learning much in the process. Take good care!

    Cathy G.

  2. Michael, I hope your visa has arrived and you can place your entire energy and focus on your trip and the work you are doing. Take care and be safe

  3. Michael, have a wonderful trip and best wishes on everything. FYI, our students are excited, but a little nervous on leading their training this Friday. I assure you them that they will do just fine. Our spirit are with ya. Looking forward to hear about your discoveries over sea. Peace, ns

  4. Noke, I want to know: how did Friday's training go?