I’m back!10 June , 2013
Wow…last week was beyond crazy busy. As you know, I was busy on that school project I told you about and out at site every day.
Let me tell you, I hurt in places that I didn’t even know I had places! Up and downing with a brush on a ladder should definitely NOT be under-estimated as a valid form of exercise.
I’m sorry that I can’t publish some of the pictures we took during the process here, but those of you who got involved already have a few of my favourites in a presentation. My personal highlights of the week were:
- Working on something like this with my secret team was great. Think of it as a week-long drawn out physical labour kind of team building. I had a chance to work with them out of our normal office job comfort zone, and it was awesome.
- Coming back to the office on Wednesday and receiving a standing ovation from members of my team for getting everything organised and done by the cut off
- The party at the school on Thursday to hand over their good as new classrooms to them. Every time I walked into a classroom the children (who don’t speak English by the way, only Zulu) would shout, “Cheese!” Mwahaha! I played ball with one of the littlies while we waited for one the other teams to get their ducks in a row for the party, and I got some great shots of the children blowing me kisses while I waited.
- Friday morning I got a gift certificate from my team for a back and shoulder massage to say thanks. Aren’t they the sweetest? I’m cashing that one in this afternoon and I can’t wait!
- I don’t know Soweto very well, and have always kind of placed it in a box marked “dodgy area” in my mind. It may or may not be that, but I saw some things this past week which I thought was truly amazing. There is a sense of community there that I have not seen anywhere else! For instance, we needed the children out from underfoot while we gutted their school building and the principal just arranged for them to attend a different school up the road for the days we needed the place to ourselves. Another example, on Tuesday night my dad helped me move the carpet and curtain for the school and we got there quite late. While we were battling to unload the enormous carpet from his car’s boot, a random neighbour walked past and asked if we needed help – next thing you know the neighbours just took over and did the unloading for us (I was very grateful since I couldn’t really bend all that well by this time anymore).
- When you leave Soweto, you always get a “Go well” send off. I don’t know why this has stayed with me, but it really has. Simple…but good.
Lowlight of the whole experience:
- The lady who was supposed to do our presentation (let’s call her The-Great-I-am) tanked it…badly. She totally skipped past all of our slides and only focused on what her department did for the school. I was so mad and disappointed, so those of you who know me will probably not be surprised that I gave her a piece of my mind afterwards (a BIG piece). My team worked like slaves on this project and she denied them a chance to sparkle. *sigh* Oh well, at least the children got what they needed and we got a new experience? Yip, going to focus on that and not let her slip-up ruin the entire thing for me.
I really did have a lot of fun on this project. What a challenge! Thank you again to everybody who helped us pull it off. You’re all rock stars in my eyes!