Friday, October 5, 2012
It's Been a Year...
I feel that we tour guides have come a long way in the past year. At first, just finishing up the tours safely was all we could hope for. Then we started struggling to make our tours more and more interesting, because we were purely grateful for the visitors for choosing to come a long way to our city. And we started struggling more to have them want to come back again, because we didn't want this to be a short fad.
In the beginning, I tried to apply what I learned from the CIG workshop to my tours. After one year, I'm still trying to do the same, but probably in a more relaxed way. And in this time of bustle, we gradually started to attend various workshops and visit more places (including other geosites) to improve our guiding skills. The efforts definitely gave us different perspectives. Many things that we knew merely as "pieces of information" started to "make sense." It is our privilege as tour guides, I think. Not many people can experience something like this in their day-to-day living.
Now our guide association has a wider variety of members. Some of our members have background in nature-tour, camping or teaching. There are people (including myself) who can share a great deal about things like mechanism of learning, teaching, motivation, interpretation and risk management. I really think that we should take time to discuss what "geotour" is, TOGETHER WITH those members, to create "our geotours." And you can't truly motivate people with the attitude, "If you refuse to come to my training, you are of no interest to us geopark mainstream people."
Photo: View from the top of Middle terrace (M1) of Nishiyama Plateau. Sweet potato field here is "the safest evacuation point in time of earthquake" according to Dr. O of Kochi University. Very true.