Day 1 November 12th

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The day's programme started at 8.30 a.m. with a traditional ava ceremony hosted by the National University of Samoa to welcome the overseas participants from 14 countries. As with Samoan tradition, the official welcome began at 10.00 a.m. with a religious service or lotu. The keynote address to officially open the workshop was presented by the Honourable Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, Mr. To'omata Alapati To'omata. Paul West of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) delivered a presentation about COL and its role in the development of the VUSSC project which includes this bootcamp.

The formal bootcamp programme started off with the introduction of participants, with each participant providing information about where they are from, how they became involved in Disaster Management and how they came to be on this particular workshop. One of the team leaders gave a presentation about the course outline developed in the team leaders' meeting in Vancouver. The participants were given a chance to think about the course outline overnight and identify any potential changes they may want to recommend the following day, on which the course outline will be finalised. The day ended with the facilitator requesting the participants to keep a list of lessons learnt each day to help COL improve on the next bootcamps. Participants also reflected on the day's events with some giving positive discussions about the day's programme.

Afternoon tea was superb, with lots of fruits and muffins - and delicious battered eggplant. Compliments to the students from the School of Hospitality-IOT.

Patilla,I will have to make a major effort not to get fat with all this fine Samoan food that I am eating each day. I LOVE SAMOA

Looking forward to a healthy lunch preferably fish in white sauce and seafood pasta with white wine perhaps?