December 2013 – January 2014
Well, since the Great Rice Seed Race, (which Anneka Rice has so kindly helped me to document), I had a nice week of R n’ R over xmas and New Year. Christmas day was nice, if uneventful. I went out with a few colleagues to have a nice lunch somewhere, but most places were closed, so we ate at the mall. I found it weird how many people chose to spend Christmas day at the mall, but who am I to judge?
Then later on we went back to a friend’s apartment and gathered a few more colleagues together for wine and cheese and some party games. It all got quite drunken and raucous after I discovered most of them had never played “I have never….”
That’s when things started to go downhill rather fast! Boxing day was fairly hungover and quiet.
I got very over-excited playing with my “Snow in a can” xmas present!
It’s SNOW in a CAN!!!!
Yeah, well, you had to be there. Probably also had to have had at least half a bottle of wine to find it as amazing as I did….
Then I went off to a cheap hotel near the airport for a few days of total relaxation over New Year, which I mostly spent reading, lounging quietly by the pool, lazily floating around, working on my tan, attempting to sample every cocktail on the menu (most of them were fairly disgusting) and playing cards with CeeCee.
Here are some pictures of that:
Weird couples-loveseat/seesaw/swing chair…
Artificial beach at another slightly posher hotel….
Nice sturdy hammock
Lots of Koi Carp
The hilariously phallic towel art that was left on the bed in my hotel room…
I think it was supposed to be some sort of flower, but it’s hard to say.
CeeCee and I get all dolled up for New Year…
Poolside drinks on New Year’s Eve
Working my way through the cocktail menu….
After all the New Year fun and celebrating, I went back to Tacloban for a couple more weeks to carry on the rice seed distributing madness, and after two weeks more of that I handed it over to someone else to finish the job, as I was needed elsewhere.
However, before I left Tacloban, the team there had a fantastic staff New Year’s party that was seriously epic.
Ever since the typhoon, our office in Tacloban has grown, filled with well over 100 staff and volunteers, all working tirelessly day and night, for ridiculously long hours, 7 days a week. It is completely exhausting, even though it’s rewarding at the same time. And so our fantastic Programme Manager decided that for the sake of staff welfare, and in the spirit of team building and generally appreciating all of the hard work everyone had done, we ought to have a staff New Year’s party.
The party was on Saturday, and was really incredible – all of the teams prepared songs and dances and games, there was a very tangible air of excitement verging on hysteria at times (trust me, when the logistician is put in a tutu and fairy wings and dances up on stage surrounded by the finance team with their shirts all pulled up, hysteria is really the only reaction you can have).
There were costumes, and quizzes and games, and balloons and prizes and a whole lot of laughter. It was exactly the kind of fun, silly pressure release that everyone needed to blow off a bit of steam after working flat out for 2 months straight. Here are some pictures of the fun and games:
Public Health team go all out on their costumes!
Then Lee busts out her fire poi!
Even more impressive when you look at the size of her heels!
The hilariously confusing alphabet game…
My prize from the quiz – a “small squishy pillow”
The Finance team share the love by throwing fake money onto to the audience during a particularly heart-warming rendition of “We are the world”
Later that evening a smaller group of us headed upstairs to the restaurant for dinner and a few beers, as it was J’s leaving do as well. There was a lovely musician, Linda playing guitar and singing, and after a few beers we decided to turn the evening into a karaoke night, and took turns singing up on the stage.
It was all a lot of fun, at least until I got drunk enough to get up on stage and sing, at which point half of my colleagues went and hid behind a pillar in embarrassment. Eventually my lovely friend S just walked up on stage, hugged me, and walked me backwards away from the microphone in a bear-hug until the singing stopped.
Suffice to say I have now been banned from ever singing in public again, no matter how drunk I am – which is probably a good thing all round! 🙂