This month (February 2020) we were excited to host our first Ayana Journeys Team Training Retreat. The gathering brought together our whole family of core staff and freelancers, and for one working week we lived together in a peaceful villa on the outskirts of Siem Reap.
Days kicked off with healthy breakfasts in our sun-soaked private garden, followed by breezy rooftop meditation. The bulk of the day was taken up with a packed training program hosted by in-house trainers and a small group of outside experts too. As well as intense days of learning, we spent evenings bonding with team dinner duties (who knew we had so many excellent cooks?) and games, as well as peaceful pool-time floats and not-so-peaceful belly flops! The joyous week was concluded with a big family BBQ party with impromptu karaoke and Dad-dancing (because what Cambodian party is complete without these key ingredients?).
Participants recapped on our company values and commitment to responsible tourism, to ensure everyone is able to communicate our philosophy and get behind the benefits we intend to bring. We spent a lot of time building our facilitation skills, especially for younger audiences on our experiential learning adventures, and how to explore complex topics like development in impactful ways. We dived deep into the psychology of adolescents, became more fluent in gender and sexuality terminology, and better equipped to support guests’ mental health during our programs. We got serious in risk management and child protection sessions, and laughed hard during countless role play activities.
Beyond the valuable training opportunity for facilitators old and new, it was a privilege to bring together our fantastic team to reflect on everything we have achieved so far, and look forward to our future together. Taking time out to create this retreat-style space was a wonderful treat to celebrate this talented, loving, and quirky family we have built!
Special thanks to our guest trainers from Penhjet Counselling Services, A Place To Be Yourself, and facilitation gurus Possibilities World. This year’s retreat was hosted at the beautiful Hak’s House – thanks to their team for all their support.