Wednesday, 26 March 2014

The end of our time in South Africa looms large #ibmcsc South Africa

Wednesday dawned with the education team being the only one still to deliver its final report to the project sponsors.  We had a meeting set for 10am with our 2 sponsors due to come and meet us at the hotel so we could present our findings and recommendations to them.  If there is one attribute that I have learnt over the last month to be of critical importance it is flexibility, particularly where it relates to schedules.  Today was to be no exception.  Early in the morning we get a message that another meeting means that our main sponsor won't be able to make the meeting.  It is important that he be there so the meeting is rearranged for 1:30pm.  At around 12:15 or so we decide to get some lunch ahead of the meeting and head out of the hotel to make the usual pilgrimage to Woolworths.  Just as we are walking across the car park we are hailed by someone behind us…. our main sponsor has arrived for the meeting!

Slightly awkward in that his colleague is set to arrive around 1:30 but never mind, we head back into the hotel and sit down with him to discuss our report.  Our findings and recommendations are well received which is good to hear.  A bit before 1:30 we agree to head over to the Mugg and Bean in the mall for some lunch and to continue our discussion.  The second of our project sponsors arrives around 1:30 and joins us so we take him through the outline of the report as we wait for lunch.

Lunch over we grab a quick group photo outside the Mugg & Bean

All in all a very positive end to our project with the department of education.  I'm pleased with the progress we were able to make during our time in South Africa and am confident that we have produced a set of recommendations which, if implemented, will help to see TeachersTryScience adopted more widely in the schools.

As an added bonus the trip to Mugg and Bean gave me the chance to add to my burgeoning collection of "Mayorships" on Foursquare - I'm going to have some very fond memories triggered over the coming months as I am notified about others "stealing" my mayorships.

With all of the teams having done their final presentations and in light of this being our final evening in the Stayeasy we thought a group dinner was in order.  The ever helpful and accommodating staff at the hotel agreed that we could take over the central seating area and rearrange the tables for our meal.

Setting the table

The basic idea was that everyone would contribute something that was appropriate to their nationality.  Woolworths were out of trifle but I did manage to get a custard tart ( looked very much like this ) and a "Mess" which was somewhat along the lines of an Eton Mess.  Other contributions included BBQ ( US), spicy rice and curry (India), Sushi making (Japan) and the hotel kindly provided us with some South African pap as well as bread rolls.  All told quite a feast.

Here is the before photo as we gathered before digging in…..

... mandatory group photo before tucking in...

It will be sad to leave Pietermaritzburg but this was a great way to mark the end of our time there and the bonds that we have built inside the team over the last 4 weeks.

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