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close this bookAquaculture - Training Manual (Peace Corps, 1990, 350 p.)
close this folderChapter fourteen: Program design - week five
View the documentSession V-1: Guest lecturer - site selection, pond design and pond construction
View the documentSession V-2: Quiz - week five
View the documentSession V-3: Site development/pond design
View the documentSession V-4: Processing of masonry project
View the documentSession V-5: Issues in peace corps aquaculture programming
View the documentSession V-6: Introduction of seminars and seminar topics
View the documentSession V-7: Fish fry
View the documentSession V-8: Personal interview - week five

Session V-1: Guest lecturer - site selection, pond design and pond construction

Total time: 7 hours


· Provide in-depth information about site selection, pond design and pond construction;

· Provide opportunity to apply new information in the field under the instruction of an expert;

· Prepare trainees for upcoming training exercises.

Overview: Fish culture can only be successful if the ponds in which the fish are being raised function properly, and if good decisions were made from the beginning in choosing the site. It is therefore critical that trainees develop sound skills in the areas of site selection, pond design and pond construction in order to be effective in their jobs overseas. These aspects of the job tend to be intimidating to trainees and new volunteers because the price of any errors or bad judgement during the construction phase is very high and long lasting. There is a great deal of material to be learned, and to facilitate this process, especially given the time constraints of the program, a highly experienced expert should be brought in to teach the trainees the basic considerations, skills and techniques. In reality, a true ability to successfully practice these aspects of the job come only with experience, but this session provides the foundation that will enable trainees to begin building that experience base. Please note: The guest speaker will actually design his/her own session, with the staff simply notifying him/her of the time frames and general nature of the material they wish to have addressed. The following provides a general idea of a possible flow of events, based upon the way the expert used in this program designed his session.

Note: To prepare trainees for this session, they should be given a homework assignment the day before the guest lecturer is to visit. The homework assignment is to list all of the questions the trainees can think of regarding choosing a site for a pond, designing a pond and building a pond.

1. The meeting begins after morning pond time. The trainee facilitator introduces the guest speaker and tells the group about his/her credentials and experience. The speaker then begins the lecture, beginning with an outline of what will be covered and encouraging trainees to ask questions whenever they wish to. Since the morning lecture will probably be long, approximately four hours, a fifteen minute break should be taken halfway through the morning.

2. At lunchtime, the trainee facilitator provides the guest with a lunch. Lunch time is long enough to include pond time, usually an hour and a half. During this time, the guest may choose to remain with the trainees to talk informally, or he/she may choose to take a break in the office.

3. After lunch and pond time, the meeting continues. The guest finishes covering his/her material, which should take approximately an hour more in the classroom.

4. When the guest has covered the planned material in the classroom, he/she takes the group out to the field for the next hour and a half or so. In the field, soil samples are taken with an auger and examined in light of the information received in the morning session. The speaker can then divide the group into two or three smaller groups, giving them an assignment such as doing a baseline and finding a contour at a given slope, or some other aspect of the material that was covered during the discussion on site selection and pond design. The guest circulates among the groups, providing guidance and clarification regarding questions that arise.

5. For the last thirty minutes or so, the group reconvenes in the field or in the classroom to discuss the field project and to ask any last minute questions. The trainee facilitator thanks the guest on behalf of the group, and the session is completed.

6. The session is followed by the normal end-of-the-day pond time.

Resources and Materials:

· Expert with knowledge and experience in all aspects of site selection, pond design and pond construction;

· Blackboard, chalk, eraser;

· Extra lunch for guest;

· Soil auger(s);

· Nearby area(s) where samples of diverse soil types can be found;

· Field or other area suitable for field exercise as designed by guest;

· Dumpy levels, tripods, stadia rods, tape measures and surveying flags (one set per 8 to 12 trainees) for field exercise.

Trainer Notes:

· The staff member who makes the arrangements with the guest expert should be sure to allow ample time for the guest to prepare the session. Provide information that will help the speaker understand what the trainees do and don't know, and will make it clear what it is hoped will be covered to meet the needs of the program;

· The trainee facilitator should be selected and notified by the staff ahead of time. He/she should meet with the visitor about twenty minutes before the meeting begins in order to conduct a short interview that will allow him/her to properly introduce the guest and provide information regarding credentials and experience;

· The trainer in charge of meals should arrange for an extra lunch to be ordered. The trainee facilitator should take responsibility for making sure the guest gets a lunch;

· Staff members should be present throughout the sessions and field exercises. They should take behavioral data and one should be assigned the task of taking notes on what the speaker actually says. This is helpful in developing quiz questions, or in case there is some confusion later about technical information that was relayed;

· It is important for the trainees to have already worked with the surveying equipment and be fairly comfortable with the concepts and practice of surveying prior to this session;

· Technical material to be covered in depth should include at least the following:

· Criteria used in site selection;

· Physical parameters: water sources, variety of soil types, topography, vegetation, climate, etc.;

· Other parameters:

· economic feasibility (construction costs vs. potential income from this pond(s);
· market situation and proximity to market;
· proximity to farmer's home;
· danger of theft/vandalism;
· accessibility to roads, to resources;
· room for expansion;
· farmer's skills, other interests and work;
· availability of resources;

· Water sources (types, characteristics of each, advantages and disadvantages of each;

· Soils (types, how to identify, which are suitable to pond construction, considerations in construction that are dependent upon soil type, etc.;

· Topography (common types of topography, slopes, what is a suitable slope, how different slopes affect pond design, how topography affects shape, orientation, size, and layout of ponds, etc.;

· Types of ponds (diversion, barrage, watershed, contour, water table, etc.) and pond systems (parallel, rosary) including descriptions, construction considerations, advantages, disadvantages, suitability to various topographies, how different pond types can be used in combinations, etc.;

· Designing and laying out ponds, following contours, use of gravity flow, staking out ponds for construction;

· Parts of a pond (dikes, dike slopes, toes, top width, core trench, freeboard, storage, bottom slope, surface area, emergency spillway or overflow, drainage structures, inlet structures, anti-seep collars, etc.) and relative dimensions, options, considerations that determine dimensions, etc.;

· Pond construction (all steps involved and sequence of all steps including scarification, tamping, compaction, cut and fill, calculating dike volumes, sealing bottom, dealing with trees or other vegetation, erosion control, etc.);

· Specific types of drainage and inlet structures (monks, sluices, PVC stand pipes, other pipes systems, Rivaldi drains, siphons, canals, etc.). Also discuss use of sleeves over pipes for bottom draining, special considerations regarding spillways and overflow structures (i.e. width and depth in relation to water flow, pond size, etc., dangers of screening overflow structures, etc.).

Session V-2: Quiz - week five

Total Time: 45 minutes


· Provide opportunity for staff and trainees to check trainees' comprehension of technical material and identify areas needing further clarification;

· Reinforce importance of learning credentials of a resource;

· Reinforce importance of taking thorough notes.

Overview: This quiz is given to the trainees the morning following the visit by the guest expert on site selection, pond design and pond construction.

5 minutes

1. Upon arrival at the classroom after morning pond time, the trainer informs the trainees that they will have 35 minutes to complete the following quiz. They may use their own notebooks. Do not begin counting the time until everyone has received their quiz.

35 minutes

2. Trainees complete quiz.

5 minutes

3. Quizzes are collected. Trainer discusses whatever is necessary for the next activity.

Resources and Materials:

· Either prepared newsprint with quiz questions (very large letters), or individual copies of the quiz questions for each trainee;

· Extra notebook paper and pens available in classroom.

Trainer Notes:

· The thirty five minutes allotted for this quiz is a tight time frame. If most of the group appears to need more time, be prepared to allow five or ten more minutes;

· While going through the completed quizzes, staff members should take note of material that still appears to be unclear to a large number of the trainees. These should be reviewed with the group;

· Following is a copy of a sample quiz:


Note: You may use your notebook to answer the following questions:

1. Who was the visitor we had yesterday? What are his credentials and why is he qualified to speak about the topics he covered?

2. Name a variety of types of water sources and discuss advantages and disadvantages of each.

3. How might topography influence pond size, shape and orientation?

4. Why is it important to remove the topsoil from an area before constructing a dike?

5. Draw a detailed cross-section of a pond. Label all features and assign sample measurements.

6. Describe the different types of ponds and pond systems. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each.

7. Why is pure clay not recommended for constructing dikes?

Session V-3: Site development/pond design

Total thee: 17 hours (assuming 4 groups)


· Give trainees experience in site analysis and pond design;

· Reinforce and apply [earnings from guest lecturer;

· Practice extension techniques;

· Use peer critique as a learning tool.

Overview: At this point, trainees are comfortable with the surveying equipment and techniques necessary to evaluate a site and design and stake out a fish pond. The guest lecturer on Site Selection and Pond Construction has provided other important information in these areas. In this exercise, trainees will have their first opportunity to put together all of these skills and concepts and apply them in a realistic situation. The reality of this type of work cannot be expressed in a classroom setting, so trainees find this field project very challenging and educational. Since this is one of the most intimidating aspects of the work they will do as volunteers, practicing during training is as critical to building confidence as it is to reinforcing the technical knowledge.

5 minutes

1. In the classroom, trainees are divided into small groups. They are told that they will be shown a water source and an area that is a potential site. They are to examine the site, then design and lay out an appropriate pond or pond system for that site. They might consider themselves as consultants, hired by a farmer to look at his land and design a pond, making the best use of the land. Professional quality is expected both in the technical aspects of the project and in the manner in which the information is presented. They should assume that there will not be access to pumps for moving water. They should design ponds to be 150 - 300 square meters in surface area. Although they will be working in groups, each person is to keep his/her own set of notes and diagrams, and should be able to present the site.

10 minutes

2. Trainees brainstorm a list of things they will have to measure or calculate at the site, while a trainer records their list on the board. The list should include:

Initial survey of area

Layout of ponds

Stake out center line

Stake out core trench

Stake dike toes

Height of dike at each station

Top width of dike

Slope of site and pond bottom

Water levels at source


Placement of drain

Type of inlet, drain, overflow

Critical elevations

Stake canals, dimensions, slopes

Cut and fill

Volume of dikes

Hours of labor.

5 minutes

3. The trainer demonstrates an extension technique used for defining dike shape and size to a farmer using bamboo and string. This technique is to be used by the trainees when they lay out their ponds. They are not limited to this method and are encouraged to devise their own extension tools. The technique referred to here is a simple one that works as follows: two pieces of bamboo (or some other straight poles or sticks) are placed in the ground at a distance apart from one another that equals the top width of the dike. The poles are sticking straight up such that the tops of them actually mark the top width of the dike. A piece of twine is tied to the point where the back toe will meet the ground at that point in the dike. That same piece of twine is then tied to each of the poles, and then to the point where the front toe will meet the ground so that the twine forms an outline of a cross section of the dike at that point).

5 minutes

4. Trainees are informed of the time frames in which they will be working, and that they will be presenting their sites to the rest of the group. The presentation is considered an extension exercise, and should include appropriate visual aids and demonstrations. Each presentation will be critiqued by the group for both its technical and extension aspects. Remind trainees that they will be working in field conditions (i.e., sun, heat, insects, snakes, etc.) and should take proper precautions and dress appropriately.

35 minutes

5. Trainees are then taken to the field and shown the sites that the staff has already chosen. They are shown the water source and the general area in which they can "build" their ponds.

12 hours

6. Trainees carry out this exercise in their groups at their sites. Trainers should circulate among the groups to observe and provide any necessary logistical support, but should not participate at all in the exercise or provide any input into the trainees' work.

4 hours

7. Each group presents its site to the other groups. Everyone in the group should have a part to play in the presentation. The presentation takes place at the site, not in the classroom. Presentations should take approximately 20 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of questions and answers, then 5-10 minutes for the critique.

Resources and Materials:

· Blackboard and chalk;
· Bamboo stakes or similar material;
· String;
· Tripod, dumpy level, stadia rod or hand levels and stadia rod for each group;
· Surveying flags or tape;
· Soil auger or shovels;
· Newsprint, markers, rulers, graph paper and/or other materials requested for preparing presentations.

Trainer Notes:

· It is important that trainers choose sites with care prior to this exercise. They should be sure the sites are feasible and be familiar with the areas used. Be clear about boundaries or other site specific instructions when showing the sites to the trainees. Also warn them of any special dangers (snakes, alligators, private property nearby, etc.);

· Since sites are in undeveloped areas and sometimes remote, a trainer should be with or near the groups as much of the time as possible. If it is necessary to leave trainees alone for short periods of time, be sure they know where to go for help if an emergency should arise in the absence of a trainer;

· Groups should be as small as possible depending upon the size of the group and staff, the number of available sites, amount of equipment, and logistical considerations. Four is a good size, six should be considered the maximum. The larger the group, the less opportunity there is for everyone to be involved in the decision making;

· If possible, groups should be divided for the presentations so that everyone sees several sites, but the number of people at a site at any time is small enough to allow everyone to see and to be involved in the discussions and critiques. This can be done in a few different ways. If there are several groups, then some can see some sites, the others can see the other sites. If there are less than six groups, it will be better to divide each group into two. Two large groups are then comprised of a few people from each of the small groups. In this case, all of the sites are seen by everyone, and there is more responsibility on each member of the small groups for the presentation of the site. Caution: The division of groups, order of presentations and logistics for getting around to each site in an efficient manner can be very complicated, especially if a site is to be seen twice by different groups. A trainer should have responsibility for working this out well in advance, and all staff members should be clear on the arrangement that has been determined;

· Before beginning the presentations, it is helpful to hold a short meeting in the classroom to discuss the format for the critiques. Allow the trainees to decide what they should be looking for during the presentations and commenting upon during the critiques. Suggestions for points to be covered and commented upon include:

· General approach to examining the site, and the order and completeness of the general survey (i.e., soils, elevation of water source relative to drainage area, baseline or general topography, accessibility, proximity to road, etc.;

· How well was the site utilized? (orientation of pond, consideration of equalizing cut and fill, shape of pond, size of pond, potential for expansion, consideration of trees or other obstacles, etc.);

· General understanding of principles of fish ponds and how they function (i.e., relationships between critical elevation points;

· Use of surveying skills (completeness, accuracy, apparent confidence in knowledge of concepts;

· Completeness and correctness of pond design and layout (i.e., have all important components such as core, top width, dike toes, inlet, drain, water surface, freeboard, overflow, volume of dirt needed, cut and fill, etc, been marked, calculated, determined and included?);

· Soundness of decisions made by the group (chosen top width, dike slopes, core depth, etc.) and accuracy of calculations;

· Presenters' familiarity with important information and numbers (depth, surface area, cut and fill, estimated labor, etc.);

· Is the pond staked out and presented in such a way that the finished pond can easily be visualized?;

· Presentation style, use and quality of visual aids, apparent familiarity and comprehension of the presenters regarding their data and design, ability to field questions.

Session V-4: Processing of masonry project

Total tune: Approximately 2 hours


· Provide opportunity for group leaders to bring the project to a formal conclusion;

· Provide opportunity for trainees to review steps followed throughout the project and fill in gaps that individuals may have in their notes;

· Provide opportunity for trainees to critique their work, identify strong and weak points from both technical and organizational standpoints;

· Reinforce technical [earnings and clarify points of confusion as necessary.

Overview: The masonry project involves many steps and is completed over a period of time. During that time, some trainees may be more involved in some steps than in others and may need to learn more details about the steps in which they were less involved. In addition, it is important to take time to assess the final product as well as the steps of the process used to achieve that product in order to identify strong and weak points, problems and solutions, etc. and draw conclusions that may be applied next time trainees need to tackle a masonry project. This meeting is facilitated by the group leaders for the masonry project. Near the end of the meeting, the trainer who was in charge of this project also offers his/her input.

Note: A short description of this session is given as part of the design for Masonry and Carpentry Projects in Chapter Twelve. The following is a review of the processing step in a bit more detail. If wheelbarrows were or will also be constructed, the processing of that project can take place as a supplement to this meeting or in a separate meeting depending upon scheduling and logistics.

1. The trainee group leaders facilitate a discussion of the project. This should take place mainly in the classroom in order to ensure that everyone can hear, see and participate, but should also include a walk out to the actual project site in order to look at the completed structure. This may occur at the beginning or at the end as the group leaders see fit, but if it occurs at the beginning, they should point out specific things the trainees should look at and be prepared to discuss.

2. The trainee facilitators should begin the session with a review of the entire project, chronologically, from beginning to end. The discussion should address:

· What actually occurred at each step (including preparation of site, design and construction of form, setting up and bracing of form, reinforcement, mixing and pouring of concrete, tamping, finishing, curing, removal of forms);

· What worked well, what didn't work well for each aspect;

· Suggestions for alternative or improved techniques, solutions or approaches;

· Special problems or difficulties encountered, solutions tried or recommended;

· Results (condition of finished product, what caused any unanticipated results;

· Economics (materials and tools used, costs of construction, time and labor, efficiency);

· Analysis of group organization aspect (i.e., effectiveness of group leaders, unique aspects of being a leader, unique aspects of being a group member not in the leadership role, how well group worked together, problems encountered, what helped, what people learned about themselves, what people learned about group projects.

The discussion should involved a lot of group discussion, sharing of ideas, asking and answering of questions.

3. Near the end of the session, the trainee group leaders should ask the trainer in charge for input. The trainer should provide insights on his/her observations, constructive criticisms, reinforcement of positive aspects, suggestions. The trainer should share any personal experiences and ideas, and give any helpful hints or techniques he/she may be able to provide.

4. The trainer should ask the trainees to spend ten minutes or so listing important points that came up during the discussion that they want to be sure to remember for next time they are involved in a masonry project, and/or a group project of any kind as either a leader or participant.

5. In concluding, the trainer should congratulate the group on the project and on the discussion, as appropriate, and should thank the group leaders.

Resources and Materials:

· Blackboard, chalk, eraser (in case trainees want to illustrate points or ideas, or if group leaders want to put up an outline for the discussion;

· Other materials group leaders may request (newsprint and markers, etc.).

Trainer Notes:

· The trainer in charge of this project should meet with the group leaders well in advance of this session. They should be given ample time to prepare and should provide suggestions for ensuring that the issues listed in step number two (above) are addressed. The trainer should ask the group leaders to allow time at the end for him/her to share some of his/her observations with the group. It is also a good idea to encourage the group leaders to take the initiative in critiquing their own leadership in the project, and encourage them to prepare themselves for both giving and receiving feedback in a constructive manner;

· The trainer in charge of this project should also be well prepared. Careful notes should be taken throughout the project in order to be able to provide good, accurate, useful input regarding observations the trainer made as trainees worked through all of the steps, as well as technical points that may have been overlooked, not clearly understood, or that can be offered to supplement the knowledge the trainees have. The trainer's input should also be provided in a constructive, positive and helpful manner;

· This project provides a perfect opportunity for trainees to feel a real sense of accomplishment. There will probably have been errors made, but if the errors serve to enhance the trainees' learning, then they will have been worthwhile. If the group tends to be very hard on themselves, the trainer should make a point of helping them put their errors into perspective. He/she should try to help the trainees recognize both their accomplishments and the new knowledge they obtained through the project.

Session V-5: Issues in peace corps aquaculture programming

Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes


· Expose trainees to the issues they will face directly and indirectly as part of a complex government-to-government development project;

· Provide trainees with the broader context and framework of how what they are currently doing relates to their future work overseas;

· Alert trainees to common pitfalls faced by former fish culture volunteers and Associate Peace Corps Directors in project design and implementation.

Overview: Although trainees are caught up in daily training activities, it is important to step back at some point in the program and discuss the bigger picture. This session is partly a bridge to incountry activities, but it also serves the purpose of emphasizing the need for project planning and goal setting. The discussion helps ease trainee anxieties over their upcoming challenges and responsibilities overseas. Finally, trainees get a sense of the successful history of Peace Corps aquaculture programs, why their roles as extension agents are critical, and how the various administrative structures can promote or hinder the success of their own development efforts.

Note: This session should be facilitated by someone with varied and substantial Peace Corps fisheries programming experience. This discussion can be particularly effective when cofacilitated by the Project Director and the OTAPS Fisheries Specialist.

10 minutes

1. The facilitator(s) must start the session by introducing him/herself (themselves), giving particular emphasis to programming experience in fish culture or in the region to which the trainees are assigned. Also, the mood must be set by asking trainees to set aside, for 90 minutes, their ponds, training assignments, group projects, etc. Provide a simple definition of what is meant by "programming" and explain the importance of this to the trainees' personal situations.

10 minutes

2. Ask trainees about the experiences they had with Peace Corps just to get into the training program. Use this as a springboard to describe the structure and function of Peace Corps recruitment and placement. Include the roles of the host country ministries and overseas Peace Corps staff. Encourage relevant questions and direct the discussion to areas of highest interest.

40 minutes

3. This part of the session is more lecture oriented although questions are still encouraged. Because programming issues are largely outside of the trainees" experience at this point, the main objective is to expose them to some of the most important issues and sow the seeds for future discussions. The following list includes many of the key topics to be addressed:

· Project feasibility studies;
· Ministry approval and involvement;
· Generation of requests for volunteers;
· Program and project funding;
· Peace Corps/U.S.A.I.D. collaboration;
· Role of the Associate Peace Corps Director/Program Manager;
· Keys to successful aquaculture projects (intensity, independence, profit, simplicity);
· Role of training;
· Project goals (commercial/subsistence emphasis);
· Standardized technical packages;
· Project duration and the six-year plan;
· Posting including criteria for decisions;
· Fish stations versus extension;
· Peace Corps/Washington (especially OTAPS) role;
· Influence of politics;
· Counterparts;
· Sustainability and long-term impact.

30 minutes

4. The last part of this session should focus on what the trainees can do now in terms of preparation for handling these issues. This should start with the facilitator giving a lecturette on the importance of program planning and goal setting. The last fifteen minutes can be given to the trainees to brainstorm a list of actions they can take during training to better prepare themselves for the first three months at their posts. Ideally, if time permits, a separate two-hour follow-up session should be done just on program planning and goal setting. For an excellent design on this topic, see Small-Scale Marine Fisheries Training Manual (Session T-74, pp 497-500).

Session V-6: Introduction of seminars and seminar topics

Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes


· Inform trainees about seminars;
· Announce seminar topics;
· Assign seminar topics to trainees;
· Distribute text books.

Overview: Up to this point, trainees have not had access to written materials, and most learning has been through observation, experience and field trips or visiting resource people. By working with their ponds, visiting other facilities, and doing a variety of field exercises that involved both application and communication of technical concepts, trainees have not only learned a great deal and acquired many new skills, but they have also been able to formulate much clearer, more specific questions than they had at the beginning of training. This point becomes evident during this session, and trainees have an opportunity to recognize the progress they have made. They know what they want to know, and they are very eager for information. At this point, they gain access to written resource materials and many other sources of information as they share responsibility for a series of in-depth, highly informative seminars.

5 minutes

1. The staff facilitator reviews training activities up to the present. The list of activities in which they have participated will include (at minimum) the following:

· Made observations of a pond system;
· Written detailed management plans;
· Handled and moved fish;
· Begun managing ponds;
· Dissected fish;
· Submitted technical reports;
· Had access to a variety of resource people through field trips and guest experts;
· Had field experience with surveying and pond design;
· Had experience communicating technical information in the classroom and in the field.

10 minutes

2. Ask trainees to individually brainstorm, on a sheet of paper, the questions they have about fish, fish culture and/or fish culture extension work. Tell them that this will not be handed in and will just serve as a tool for the next step.

5 minutes

3. Ask trainees for observations about the questions they have listed. Point out that through their hands-on work and interactions with resource people, their questions about fish culture and extension have become more focused and specific.

25 minutes

4. Divide trainees into small groups of about five each. Using their individual lists, they should develop a group list of the categories in which they have questions. Have them write this on newsprint.

20 minutes

5. Each group posts newsprint. Compare and discuss the lists.

Inform the trainees that since there is so much information to be addressed, an efficient means of doing so within the time constraints of training is necessary. Tell them that the areas they have listed will be organized into a set of topics, and that they will each be responsible for researching and presenting a seminar on a topic. Point out that these seminars will provide the bulk of specific information that they will receive in training, and that they are to be of very high quality. Also point out that they have a tremendous responsibility to one another to do an excellent job since they will be counting on each other for information on topics other than their own. Inform the trainees that, in fact, the staff considers these seminars so important that during the presentations, any seminar that is not of high quality will be stopped. "Not high quality" may mean inaccurate information, incomplete information, lack of organization, unclear or unprofessional delivery.

10 minutes

6. Explain that the staff has already organized the many areas they have cited into a list of seminar topics, and hang up a newsprint list of these topics. Ask the trainees to list their first three preferences for their seminar topic on a sheet of paper to be handed in. Tell them that the staff will assign their topics at a specified time later in the day. Explain that their choices will be considered, but that it is not guaranteed that they will be assigned one of the topics they have requested.

15 minutes

7. Trainees receive and sign for textbooks.


8. Following the meeting, the staff meets to decide on seminar topic assignments. In making this decision, the staff must take into account the trainee's preference, strengths and background. In addition, there will be some topics that have been requested by many trainees, and others that have not been on anyone's list of choices. The seminar assignments are posted later in the day.

9. Trainees are informed that they are to turn in outlines of their seminars the following morning. Outlines are to be done individually at this point, even if a topic is assigned to a pair of trainees rather than a single trainee.

Resources and Materials:

· Newsprint, markers and masking tape;
· Prepared newsprint list of topics;
· Flip chart stand (optional);
· Notebook paper, textbooks and other materials to be distributed to trainees;
· Sign-up list for documenting that trainees have received books.

Trainer Notes:

· An alternative design for this session is to have the trainees use their lists to compose their own list of seminar topics. When this alternative design was used in past programs, the session took much longer because the group usually had difficulty reaching an agreement. In addition, it was impossible to be assured that all necessary topics would be included. The method described in this session has proven to be more successful;

· The way the seminar topics are organized and divided among the trainees depends upon the number of trainees in the group, and to some extent, the backgrounds of the trainees. A typical list of topics and breakdown among trainees is as follows (for a group of 25 trainees):

· Extension/Administration - 2 trainees

· Site Selection/Construction - 3 trainees

· Anatomy/Physiology/Taxonomy - 2 trainees

· Stocking/Sampling/Growth - 2 trainees (*)

· Feeds/Feeding - 2 trainees (*)

· Water Quality/Fertilization - 2 trainees

· Handling/Parasites/Disease/Predators - 2 trainees (*)

· Reproduction/Genetics - 2 trainees (*)

· Harvest/Transport/Processing/Preservation/Preparation - 3 trainees

· Marketing/Economics - 1 trainees

· Levels of Intensity/Complexity/Alternative Management Strategies - 2 trainees

· Pond Ecology and Maintenance - 2 trainees

· For a smaller group, the topics followed by (*) can be assigned to one person rather than two. For a larger group, the group can be divided so that there are two complete sets of seminars. The advantage of this is that there is generally more discussion and questions during the presentations if the groups are not too large. The disadvantages are that the staff can become overextended and the logistics can be complicated.

· Pond Ecology and Maintenance replaces the topic entitled Pond Management that was formerly used. With the addition of the Levels of Intensity topic and some of the other changes that were made in the program over time, much of the material that used to be included in the Pond Management seminar (for example, integrated agriculture and alternative culture systems) has been included in other seminars. The Pond Management seminar therefore became more of a general integration of most of the other topics from a broad perspective. The title Pond Management no longer quite fit and actually seemed to cause some frustration to the trainees assigned to that seminar as they had difficulty defining their role. Thus, it is hoped that this modification of the title as well as restructuring of the content forms a new, substantive seminar topic.

Session V-7: Fish fry

Total time: 9 hours


· Learn and practice various techniques for processing fish;

· Learn and practice a variety of ways to prepare fish;

· Ensure that all trainees are willing and able to eat fish, and provide opportunity for them to taste the fish they are raising;

· Gain experience in group organization and coordination in the implementation of a complicated event;

· Practice interpersonal skills and protocol at a formal social function;

· Express appreciation to members of local community who have provided assistance.

Overview: The fish fry is a multifaceted activity that serves both as a learning experience and as an enjoyable social event and break from the usual routine. The trainees have complete responsibility for everything including planning and organizing, harvesting and processing the fish, cooking, meeting and interacting with invited guests, and clean-up.

30 minutes

1. The trainer who is assigned to supervise the fish fry meets with the trainee fish fry coordinators. The trainee coordinators are informed that they will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the fish fry. The following information, suggestions and requirements should be covered in this meeting:

· Date and location of the fish fry;

· Though they have ultimate responsibility, the coordinators should delegate tasks to the rest of the group. This is best done through the formation of committees, each of which has responsibility for a specific aspect of the fish fry. Submit a written list of committees and their members to the trainer;

· All trainees must take a turn processing fish;

· All trainees must serve on at least one committee;

· Any questions the other trainees have should be addressed to the trainee coordinators. Only the coordinators should make requests of the trainer;

· Coordinators should have a contingency plan for bad weather;

· Fish processing should include scaling and gutting, filleting and butterflying;

· Fish must be prepared in a minimum of four different ways, one of which should be smoking. Other methods and recipes may be determined by the trainees;

· Clear deadlines for submitting shopping lists, requests for equipment, etc.;

· Any restrictions or ground rules regarding use of the kitchen or other facilities, alcoholic beverages, etc. should be discussed. In addition, coordinators may establish their own rules;

· How guests will be invited (trainees may invite them, or it may be preferable to have them submit a list to the trainer and have the staff invite them);

5 hours

2. Starting about noon on the day of the fish fry, fish are harvested. As they are harvested, they are given to the members of the processing committee and processing also takes place.

As fish are processed, they are given to the cooking committee to be prepared. Those responsible for setting up the site do so - setting out tables and chairs, dishes and utensils, decorations, etc. All preparations of the site should be complete by the time guests begin to arrive.

Fish are prepared in a variety of ways. Smoking is one method of preparation that is required.

All guests are individually greeted as they arrive by at least one or two trainees.

2 hours

3. Food is served and eaten.

1 1/2 hours

4. After guests have left, the site and all facilities are thoroughly cleaned.

Resources and Materials:

· Fish of edible size and in sufficient quantity (approximately three quarters to one pound live weight per person);

· Harvesting equipment (seines, tubs, buckets);

· Platforms for processing fish (be sure surfaces are protected, can be used for cutting, and can be cleaned sufficiently to provide a sanitary work surface;

· Filet knives, sharpening stones, skinning pliers if using catfish;

· Gloves for protecting hands while processing fish;

· Cooking facilities (should include at least a grill and a smoker. A stove and oven are helpful and allow for more variety in preparation methods;

· Sufficient pots, pans, spatulas, serving pieces, kitchen knives, etc., as required;

· Aluminum foil, wax paper, plastic wrap, similar items as requested;

· Refrigeration for food prepared in advance and for storing perishables;

· Sufficient tables and chairs to accommodate all trainees, staff and invited guests;

· Groceries, spices, condiments, etc. as requested by trainees;

· Sufficient dishes, napkins, utensils, cups, tablecloths;

· Cleaning supplies for dishes, tables and site;

· Invited guests may include support staff at training site, resource people who have worked with trainees, local officials, etc.

Trainer Notes:

· One trainer should be assigned to be in charge of this exercise. Trainee coordinators should work only with this trainer to avoid confusion and inefficiency. The trainer should communicate only with the trainee coordinators and should not undermine their authority with the rest of the group;

· For the first fish fry, the trainee coordinators should be the trainees who present the Harvesting, Transport, Processing, Preservation and Preparation seminar;

· The trainer in charge must be completely familiar with all rules regarding the cooking facilities, purchasing procedures for groceries, and all other logistics and restrictions. Since this is a departure from the way meals are normally handled, failure to be well informed can cause problems;

· The trainee coordinators may determine what committees should be formed and how trainees will be assigned to committees (they may choose to assign people, or they may use sign-up lists so people can volunteer, etc.). Suggested committees include, but are not limited to:

· Harvesting committee;

· Processing committee;

· Set-up committee;

· Greeting committee;

· Cooking committee (may be broken down to salad committee, fish committee, side dish committee, dessert committee, etc.);

· Clean-up committee.

Each committee may submit its own list of equipment, food, etc. to the coordinators. The coordinators must compile these lists and give comprehensive requisitions to the trainer;

· Coordinators should submit a complete plan to the trainer several days before the fish fry. This should include a list of committees and a time schedule. Trainees may ask to do some preparation in advance (for example, marinating fish for smoking) and should be permitted to do so if possible;

· For smoking fish, a smoker can be provided, but it is preferable that they use the smoker that was built as part of the Processing and Preservation seminar;

· If available, have trainees fry fingerlings in addition to the larger fish. A trainer may need to show them how to do this.

Session V-8: Personal interview - week five


· Provide opportunity for trainees to assess their performance to date and their progress since the last interview;

· Check with trainees again regarding their feelings about being in the program and their level of commitment at this point;

· Provide opportunity for each trainee to receive feedback from the staff regarding his/her performance in the program and progress since last interview, especially in areas specified in the last interview;

· Reinforce strong points of each trainee's performance and discuss strategies for continuing to improve weaker areas or new areas of concern;

· Spend time with each trainee, on an individual basis, to provide an opportunity to express any concerns or discuss any issues he/she may care to share with the staff.

Overview: Trainees prepare for this interview by reviewing the self-assessment forms they filled out for the last interview and thinking about their progress since that time, especially in areas they targeted as wanting to work on. Staff also reviews their notes from the last interview so that there is a sense of continuity. In the last interview, which took place towards what was probably the end of an adjustment phase into the program, the questions posed at the beginning encouraged the trainee to focus on what they left behind and on the decision they made to join Peace Corps. The questions posed in this interview deal more specifically with what is going on regarding the trainee's work and progress in the training program.

1. Trainees are asked to prepare for this interview by reviewing the self-assessment forms they filled out last time. They are encouraged to think about their performance in the different areas since that interview, and to take special note of any changes in the ratings they give themselves. They should also concentrate on the areas they targeted for improvement and analyze how well they have implemented the strategies they developed with the staff for making those improvements. They should jot down notes about anything they wish to discuss and about issues in which they specifically want to request feedback.

2. As in the last interview, this one will be conducted by the Master Trainer and at least one other trainer. The Master Trainer greets the trainee, reminds him/her that the staff members might jot down a few notes to remind themselves of points they want to cover, and asks the trainer to begin the interview.

3. The trainer asks the following questions. Again, these are suggestions, but the actual follow-up questions and/or order will vary depending upon the trainee's responses and/or concerns expressed;

· How does the way you look at your pond now differ from the way you looked at it the first week you had it?

· What have been some of your high and low points over the last few weeks?

4. The Master Trainer asks the trainee what kind of feedback he/she would give him/herself at this point in the program.

5. The Master Trainer discusses the points raised by the trainee, and also encourages the trainee to bring up any other points or issues he/she wants to discuss regarding his/her performance. The Master Trainer provides feedback from the staff's point of view regarding the issues raised by the trainee, as well as any other feedback the staff feels appropriate including comments on areas in which the trainee requested further feedbac k at the previous interview.

6. The Master Trainer asks if there is anything else the trainee would like to talk about.

7. The Master Trainer concludes the interview by asking the trainee about his/her short term plans for then next two weeks, and asking if there is anything in particular the trainee wants the staff to be prepared to discuss at the next interview. The Master Trainer and trainer thank the trainee and end the interview.

Resources and Materials:

· Comfortable, quiet, private location to meet;

· Both the trainee and the staff members should bring notes from the previous interview as well as notes about issues they wish to discuss in this interview;

· Copy of the self-assessment form from the first interview.

Trainer Notes:

· Please review Trainer Notes from week three interview (Chapter Twelve);

· If the first interview went well, a sense of trust should have been established so that this interview can be an open exchange;

· At this point in the program trainees are very busy and generally very involved in their work. They are usually so focused on what they are doing in training that, at this point, they are not really thinking about working overseas. In the next interview, the questions will be designed to help the trainee put their training into the context of what they will be doing overseas, but for now the concentration is on what is occurring in their work in training.