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All work and no play...Team Building 2015


Team building is basically about fostering workplace relationships and fortifying much needed barriers between the different roles and hierarchies in an organization (with diplomacy of course, lest the subordinates bay for your blood later).

Ticketsasa and our friends at Pesapal and Verviant had one such arrangement about a week ago. We set out to Nakuru, enthusiasm in our hearts and booze in our trunks, with sincere hopes of achieving our own objectives, in conjunction with the generic goals every team has during these exercises.

Trying to catch the cheaters

An easy task twas not for this is one group that gives a whole new meaning to the term “different strokes”. Case in point: state an organization that has a bloke who was an instant millionaire in campus, a lass who once dealt with the dearly departed, a vivacious lady who rarely takes no for an answer, a principled young man who‘s been sporting a six piece incessantly since his first day, an avid blogger, a free spirited lady with quite the sense of adventure, a CEO with a slight inclination to boiled maize and bodaboda rides, our own resident James Bond, tenacious men, reserved women, volatile individuals, the narcissists, the family people, the over- achievers, the pessimists,  the couples - you name it! Now imagine trying to create a synergy between all these conflicting personalities. Well, that’s what we hoped our three nights at Punda Milias Tented Camp would do.

Generally, the whole exercise was a success. Below is a consensus of the teams’ views:

The Food - Point me to a person who does not like buffets and I’ll show you a liar. Buffets are the way of the world. Salad and some dressing to tease the palate, carbohydrates to line your stomach in preparation for the incoming ethanol, a massive dose of grilled protein…I mean, there’s a little bit of something for everyone!

We may have overdone it with the protein since meat was a part of the daily menu. 6 sausages, 4 eggs, bacon, milk, pancakes for breakfast, add a barbeque lunch and dinner on top and you've got yourself a hives disaster!

The Accommodation- We literally took over the camp. The camp features luxury safari tents, bandas, a family tent, and wananchi (ahem regular peeps) tents. The luxury tents were swanky enough - high density mattresses, crisp snow-white duvets, and a private shower. The catch here was the little ladies’ room.  ‘Eco–toilets’ is what they’re called. The idea of aerobic decomposition may be a noble one but imagine literally peeing in a toilet-like sand structure then covering your remnants with saw dust! Wouldn't you rather just go outside Yogi Bear style! Plus there was a huge sign next to the toilet that expressly bans you from doing number 2. This was all rather unsettling.

The bandas and the family tent were pretty cool. However, the culmination of any camping experience is the actual tent; the one that has you flat on the ground with a make-shift shelter. Our primal instincts were awakened by this occurrence. Sure we've camped in Mt. Kenya and Machakos where conditions are harsher and more unforgiving, but we weren't prepared for the acute onset of frostbite that ensued. We contemplated body to body warming and other bizarre methods to treat hypothermia but to no avail! Dawn found us gathered outside our tents sulking and vowing to boycott the trip if things did not change. Later that night, much to our amusement, the tent dwellers were offered more favorable­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ conditions.

The Activities – Nothing brings out the best in people like wholesome activities that engage each member and allow the team to gel. We were able to exercise good sportsmanship, to accommodate each other and to work as a team…well, so we thought.

Competitive doesn’t begin to describe the violence we subjected to each other, all in the name of winning. We had grass burns, thorn pricks, abrasions, lacerations and finally emotional abuse to prove our commitment. Take for example this one game where the facilitators had a set of balls at the centre and we were divided into teams around the said balls. The goal was to get as many balls from the centre and secure them in our groups while trying to steal other people’s balls. A slap in the face would have been the least of your problems had you been there; we pinched, bit, tackled, shoved, kicked and punched ourselves to victory!


Another activity involved us popping each other’s balloons. This was anything but calm. Nails and thorns became improvised weapons. Oh what chaos! Oh what fun!

At the end of it all, we learnt that Pesapal should stray from entering any hula hoop contest since our team would only register one contestant.

The Sun – By 11 am the full force of the sun has descended upon us (which ironically marked the beginning of all our team building activities). Sun burns spread like H1N1. There was no salvaging the epidermis from the unrelenting UV rays. Next time, we’ll take appropriate precautions like floppy sun hats, waterproof sunscreen, smearing vinegar on the affected areas, using ibuprofen as an anti –inflammatory and such.

The Pool – The pool was the ultimate resting place after a long day. Many a memories were made in this pool. Cannon balls ruined the side-liners’ comfort, belly flops hurt the amateurs, chlorine was unmerciful to our already ashy skin, the fact that there was neither a shallow nor a deep end was a slight inconvenience, and our DIY ‘swim suits’ were less than satisfactory. However, despite all these complications, we managed to have a lot of fun in the sun!

The ‘Night life’ – Night time at the camp was pretty relaxing and a time of imbibing. There were plenty of juices, lagers, vodkas, whiskeys, malts, fruity cocktails and cream liqueurs to go around. A deck of cards came in handy later when people had spare time. Kenyan poker kept us entertained (don’t expect a Texas hold em type of game: Kenyan poker fell from the sky with its independent set of rules). Sitting by the bonfire and listening to the musings of alcohol induced philosophers marked our night-time activities at the camp.

We could go on and on. In summary, great food, great people, great activities and an excellent camp... Even these ladies agree!

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