Written by Sally Hetherington, Operations Manager
On Saturday, 4th of July our team ventured on our six-monthly staff trip. The purpose of these trips is to reward our hard working staff and also to encourage and promote teamwork.
Due to a limited budget, and the fact that I selfishly didn’t want to travel too far given how sick I got on our last trip, our team chose to visit Banteay Samre temple and Trauv Kut.
We met at 6:30 in the morning at HHA, and I am proud to say that everyone was early. This is a team who never used to understand the concept of punctuality (as is common in Cambodia), but now they realise the impact it has on the rest of the team, so they are always punctual. We headed off; with me driving my motorbike separate to the van in an attempt to avoid the carsickness that began when I started living in Cambodia.
While I drove to the Angkor Archaeological Park ticketing booth, the rest of the team made their way to our normal breakfast spot, about 20km away from HHA. I then met up with them after a nice drive through Angkor avoiding the monkeys on the road, and they were already eating their breakfast of pork and rice or noodles.
After everyone finished eating his or her breakfast we traveled a short distance to Banteay Samre temple. This is a quiet temple that not many tourists visit, but it is one of my favourites. I love the architecture, and I suppose I also love it because of how quiet it is. It was the first time for most of our staff to visit the temple, so we took our time having a look around and taking photos.
We then set up for our team building games. The first game had its challenges due to the wind. Flying a paper airplane isn’t so easy when the wind sweeps it to one side! We then played a game that Thai learnt in his workshops at Possibilities World, a training institution we often send our staff to learn at. It involved our team standing around the edge of a big piece of plastic with holes in it and trying to get a ball all the way around the edge of the rectangular piece of plastic without the ball falling into a hole. Gee, did that take a long time! This was the first time I had seen some of the staff lose their cool. To be honest, I don’t think I am patient enough to even attempt that game.
We then ate some delicious snacks (I use the word delicious biasedly as I made some of it) and started on game three. This game involved using pipes to transport a ball to the end of a course and put it successfully into the hole. The team that rushed was not successful; it was the team that took their time and were careful in their decisions that won. After that we had our final exercise involving four teams. They each had $1,000 to spend on items to help them complete a challenge to get from one point to the other without touching the ground. After a lot of discussion, the team ‘bought’ their items such as egg cartons, newspaper and buckets, and had five minutes to put something together. The winning team each had different ways to get across such as jumping in buckets and making shoes out of newspaper and string.
It was then time to head to Trauv Kut, a new destination that is a quiet lake surrounded by restaurants. What really impressed me about Trauv Kut was the signs everywhere encouraging people to wear life jackets. Our team ate a big, delicious lunch, and after resting for awhile some of us popped on our life jackets, grabbed some rubber tubes and headed to the water.
While we mucked around in the water a couple of staff members paid 75 cents to get into a pedal powered swan boat. What a bargain! They had fun peddling around while other staff went for a walk.
After getting out and drying off, we ate some more then headed home. Boy, was I tired after all of that!
A big thank you to Junie, Leslie, Lisa, Meg and Carla who sponsored this day. We are looking forward to the next trip!