South Africa – Trip 1 – Day 11 & 12

Betty cutting the carrot cake :)

Betty cutting the carrot cake 🙂

South Africa – Trip 1 – Day 11

Another ‘training session’ with the team at the Sterkfontein lodge… This time, we covered self-awareness and style preference with a quick description of the circle of influence model and why it is useful. I knew that this one would be more of a challenge… and it was, in a good way… 🙂

Again, it was really interesting to see how the team reacted to the materials and the concept of style preference in particular.  Style preference is as much or as little as you want it to be really… from the quite simple A, T, P, E model all the way to full-blown Myers-Briggs…
I was using the A, T, P, E model and I think I need to simplify it some more in terms of wording, judging by the amount of questions about specific words that were asked. And also making it very clear that these are only preferences and not ‘this is the way you are, 100% of the time.’
I am sooo glad I got the feedback from the team… I thought I’d struggle to basically be told that I needed to ‘go back to the drawing board’ with some of the materials I worked on whilst in the UK. But in fact, I didn’t struggle at all.

Success in this project, for me, is defined by people understanding the materials and concept and being able to apply it in real life. The materials need to be right for the target audience… stating the obvious really [I do like to do that…] But this time I care, in a way I can’t really explain.
Our target audience isn’t corporate employees who already are doing well for themselves [and by this I mean earning a decent salary, that allows you to have a roof over your head every night, food on the table 3 times a day and potentially some leftover money for hobbies and other ‘non-essential’ things – let’s put some real perspective here!] but want to progress further in the corporate world. Our target audience are young adults, often living in poverty, who may have a roof over their heads every night, albeit a leaking one, and whose parents, if they are around to care for them, are genuinely worried about putting food on the table on a daily basis.

Now I knew all of this when I started the project, but seeing it here, in Munsieville, on a daily basis, makes you realise how lucky you are. And I am lucky!
Lucky to have a family who love me unconditionally and want me to do well for myself;
Lucky to have parents who paid for me to go to University and be successful;
Lucky to have friends & colleagues who support me on a daily basis;
Lucky to work for a company who cares about my development and provides the framework to help others through volunteering.
We are lucky, and they aren’t and with Project HOPE UK, we are working towards changing that! And I am soooo proud to be part of this. Be the change!!! [I’ve heard this somewhere… but where…?!? Ahhhhh yes, the Pulse program! 🙂 ]


South Africa – Trip 1 – Day 12

My last day in South Africa on this first trip… It has come so quickly… Today, I will not talk about what I did… I will talk about the people who have made Munsieville my home for the past 2 weeks and have become part of my family. If I didn’t know I was coming back later in the year, I would struggle to ‘keep it together’ but ‘ce n’est qu’un au revoir’… As Arnie would say in Terminator… ‘I will be back’!

In chronological order (this seems the fairest way to do things!) and from the bottom of my heart, thank you to:

  • Simon, Betty’s son, who picked me up from the airport and literally babysat me on my first day in South Africa (and who is also dropping me back at the airport today) – I really appreciated you taking the time to show me around, pick the car up [which was a lot more challenging than it should have been…] and being so nice and friendly!
  •  Leandri, Marlize and Zeldi and all the staff at the Rabbit Hole, who made my stay there so lovely. Thank you for stopping by and chatting and taking an interest in what I was doing here. Thank you for being so friendly and even coming to pick me up from the car rental place when Betty had to attend an emergency in Munsieville. I hope we keep in touch and I will definitely see you later in the year 🙂

    The Rabbit Hole

    The Rabbit Hole

  • Betty and her daughter Elaine who came to see me on my first afternoon at the Rabbit Hole to make sure everything was ok and introduce themselves – I needed that after not sleeping on a plane for 11 hours!!! 😉
  • The entire team in Munsieville [in alphabetical order… I had to pick something!!!] DK, Elaine, Innocent, OB, Papa, Saffiera, Sara, Sibongile, Stella and Tumi for being so friendly, welcoming and energetic. I am genuinely impressed by your dedication and commitment to the community and I can’t wait to spend more time with you. In the meantime, I will miss you!!!

    Saffiera - I'll miss my morning hug...

    Saffiera – I’ll miss my morning hug…

  • Suzanne, from Cape Town, who happened to be staying at the Rabbit Hole on her own whilst on a 3-week work assignment in Krugersdorp. I have really enjoyed having dinner with you every night (very nearly!) and having lots of silly conversations!!! It was fun… I hope I’ll get to see you again when I visit Cape Town later in the year!

    Suzy & Julie

    Suzy & Julie

  • The staff at Shepherd’s Tree Game Lodge, particularly Chane, who were so attentive during my weekend in the Pilanesberg Game Reserve and also Quina, who helped me book this trip – I had a fantastic and super relaxing time… I will never forget that clear, bright night sky and the amazing wildlife I got to see.

I feel Mum, Dad & Sis deserve a special mention here… It has been lovely to Skype with you during the past 2 weeks. I’m not sure why we stopped using Skype to communicate but it is soooo nice to [virtually] see you. Thank you for everything you have done for me… and not just in the past two weeks… For believing in me, for loving me, even when I’m being ‘unreasonable’ [what I really mean is when I’m being a right pain in you know where…]… You have to really… 😉 but I appreciate it!!!

And finally to all of you, who have followed me on my first trip and read this blog. I hope you felt ‘part of my adventure’ and enjoyed reading me as much as I enjoyed writing for you.

The best is yet to come! 🙂