zaterdag 31 augustus 2013

End of teambuilding and start of Working days

Rionildo (University Eduardo Mondlane ) & Moniek (Maastricht University)
Monday, August 26 – Day 3
After a great night, where we played Werewolves, danced, sang and laughed in the streets we woke up to a sunny morning in Boane. We all survived and no werewolves had come to kill us. After breakfast time, we all packed our bags and waited for the checkout. However the checkout was a bit more chaotic as we found the camera that had all the videos and pictures of the last night was missing. We even asked the manager of the Pequenos Libombos accommodation if somebody had found it, but nobody had. He could only promise to let us know if it turned up. In the meantime everybody was searching their rooms, bathrooms and the streets and gardens around.  Panic increased as some other participants locked themselves out of their house. Luckily, one of our Dutch participants turned out to have some mean breaking in skills, and the sun started shining again when Ralph found his camera had fallen behind the couch. These are the kinds of teambuilding exercises that you cannot plan.
Finally we had to leave the marvelous place were our bonds were formed and headed in convoy on our second field trip: ETA of Umbeluzi which is the water treatment plant that provides drinking water to the Maputo city, the capital of Mozambique. After some discussion amongst the Mozambican participants and Lindsay where exactly this plant was located, we finally found the sign that pointed us in the right direction. Once we got there we were received by Robin van Loo, the project supervisor of Vitens-Evides International who would be our guide during the visit. It started with the presentation about the involved companies in the Mozambican water sector and a basic explanation of how the plant works. Even though the plant is being improved upon regularly and new technologies have been implemented, the system still loses about 40% of the water and only half of the city’s population is served. Nonetheless, it is the biggest water treatment in the country reaching millions of consumers.
After a tour of the site we headed to Matola city to have a wonderful lunch at an Italian restaurant called Mimmos. “Madonna mia” that was a good lunch.
Tuesday, August 27 – Day 4
After one long day that was yesterday, with the field trips and the trip back to Maputo city, we all had a very long rest last night.
As soon as the sun raised in Maputo we all headed to SNV, where the day program would take place. We were all excited to start working together. The day started with a brief review on the program manual by Johan, including the cases, the activities for the two weeks, and some aspects concerning logistics. Then Lindsay talked about the launch of the Mozambican Water Platform (PLAMA) that will culminate with the final presentation of the Wetskills project. The project will be the first of hopefully many international and multi-disciplinal cooperations.
After the first presentations we were asked to choose one or two pictures among dozens of beautiful and breathtaking ones. The picture had to be representative for the person who picked it and also represent what that person wanted to bring and to receive in the Wetskils program. Among the chosen ones were pictures of engines, zebra, sunsets, elephants and even one of a Buda statue. One thing that we learn for shore was that “images say more than words” after all.
During the coffee break the Mozambican student were introduced to the typical Dutch ‘Stroopwafels’, the sweet treats brought by Iris. The next task was to learn more about posters and elevator pitches. It was a real fun and interesting to evaluate the posters of the previous Wetskills programs and rank them, because it made us realize how many things you should think about to make a convincing poster and how different tastes can be.
When it was around 1:00 pm we had our lunch served in the facilities of SNV, were we could eat, chat and then, listen to some guitar played by Ango and Moniek, while Rionildo was making a video of it, how always happens when something cool is in the air.
Then, the afternoon session started and the groups had to be slightly changed because of the absence of some Mozambicans participants which for study reasons could not be present in the program. The groups started to have their working sessions and first tasks, debates and discussions on their cases, until around 5:00 pm when we left the SNV, yet full of energy for the upcoming one and a half week of Wetskills.
Rionildo & Moniek.
NB. Afzetlint, afzetlint, ‘t is leuk om af te zetten maar ‘t is beter als je sprint.

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