Bringing HAI to Barcelona
On the weekend of April 13 to 15, 2012 HAI presented Level 1: Love is a Miracle at a beautiful resort – Can Benet Vives – located in the foothills of the Pyrenees, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, near Barcelona, Spain.
It is always a special challenge to bring HAI to a new region: to anticipate, discover and honor cultural and linguistic differences, and to explore how to bring the special quality of HAI into that environment. We anticipated challenges, and we certainly had them, yet all the energy that went into that first Spanish language workshop was worth it. Seeing the profound human connections between so many people during the workshop was so beautiful.
Our International HAI Team
The Team included two facilitators: Jason Weston and Felicia Williams Cosey; one producer: Brian Russell; two Interns who put in an extraordinary amount of time and effort helping the Producer make the dream of a workshop in Barcelona into a realty: Tina Estes, and Val Hammel; two translators: Kate Bancroft and Beatriz Sanchez; two Producers from other HAI locations: Mikki Kitz (Germany) and Graeme Malone (UK); and 10 other amazing team members sourced from the US and Europe. Together they recreated all the things a HAI participant needs, wants and expects for a terrific weekend – costumes for Saturday night entertainment, a first-aid kit for the occasional headache, and an entire “supplies” closet (even manufacturing backjacks from scratch).
Some of the team spoke Spanish, some spoke German, all spoke some English and a few spoke Catalan. For the Spanish speakers there was something deeply moving about hearing the language of HAI spoken in the language of their youth. For everyone, it was a profound experience to bring a HAI workshop, with its message of love, to yet another culture. Many thanks to all those who made it happen.
A brand-new Room of Love
People have often asked “what is involved in bringing a workshop to a “new” country? The answer can be reduced to 5 basic steps. If what follows seems like a daunting task, it is. Thankfully, love (and commitment) can move mountains. Love is, in fact, a miracle!
Here are five steps to bring our HAI brand of love to a place we’ve never been before:
Step One: Find a Producer team willing to take on the Herculean tasks of finding a location, getting participants registered, coordinating the needs of an international team, getting the right translators, arranging to house and feed everyone, all-the-while attending to 1001 “little” tasks required to make it possible for love to blossom in the room of love.
Step Two: Recruit an amazing, multi-lingual, multi-cultural team willing to leave their homes in the US, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain to journey to an unfamiliar site, with the goal of transforming it into a “Room of Love,” by whatever means necessary!
Step Three: Find translators steeped in HAI and able to become the voices for HAI’s remarkable Facilitators as well as for the participants.
Step Four: Embrace cultural differences: tailor and adjust the HAI workshop experience to “fit” the customs, traditions and mores of the local participants. In a word – be flexible. Throughout the weekend everyone involved had moments of turning problems into opportunities and challenges into changes.
Step Five: Just love everybody!