The feeling of a Mexican GA

The feeling of a Mexican GA

What is the feeling of being at the GA in Mexico so far ?

That’s a trick question; after one day of sheer chaos and existential desequilibrium, there is no clear feeling, but rather the constant yearning for a state of clarity, however ephemeral and vanishing.

A quick update on the last post: yes, in the end, there have been delays in my flight in China, and yes, as the prophecy foretold, this was followed by ruthless disregard of my connection flights. But with a fortunate twist of fate, I found a way to reroute to Montreal and make it just in time: less than 2 hour before the flight to Mexico.

This chaotic journey set the tone for some of my struggles of this assembly so far: transport insecurity, food insecurity, cafeine insecurity, and overall August Meeting insecurity. The experience culminated in being assigned a training on emotional intelligence at less than 30 hours notice, with trainers I didn’t know, and couldn’t meet (despite many attempts, and due to organizational failures). Yes, I was truly grateful for my prior experience in disaster management.

Still, against all odds, the wonder of the GA prevails. The NMO sessions are stimulating, the trainers impressive (cheers to Claudel !), the participants most fascinating (and this being my first GA, from an incredible diversity of countries), and I quickly found the gist to contribute with surprising insights… (yes, surprising, since my brain’s executive functions had long since gave me).

Main take away from the sessions?

–> Communication is a trauma, and there will always be « noise » in the system, uncertainty, and unexpected inputs… however, a non-violent model of communication is effective at defusing tensions when they arise, as they inevitably do, in communication systems of high complexity (like institutional communication).

–> Writing is a powerful tool to advocate for health and reach out to the genera audience, through opinion letters for example… but it must abide to certain « unofficial » rules of the media industry. Pleas, articles and chronicles who don’t conform to a journalist’s time and lifestyle constraints, or a journal’s sensational appeal, will not proceed through. So we were sort of given a list of « cheat codes » to publishing with media outlets 😉

–> Speaking of cheat codes, apparently you can start a Google Finances account for NGOs, ask your delegation to click on the advert of your NGO repeatedly (earning 2$ per click), and attempt to finance your activities this way. True story.

As we are about to start the plenary session, I wish great success, and much pride, for our delegate Alexander Lachapelle who tonight will be giving the candidate speech for the international position of LOME (Liaison Officer for Medical Education) !! Don’t tell the other delegations, but we’ve heard his speech and we know already, that he is winning this position 😉

In the next blog entry, I will follow-up on my training on emotional intelligence (spoiler: it went amazingly well), and first plenary experience, and share more highs and lows of this daunting AM in loco Mexico. Until next time,

charles-antoine barbeau