Looking for way

Everything is greasy, my smartphone, my computer keyboard, my glasses. I emerged from my weekly massage with a thick coat of oil. It was Patience once again who covered me with oil and started to knead my sore and unused muscles in a way that made me flinch. This time I asked her to be a bit gentler, so I could enjoy the massage even more. She didn’t use the smooth and slippery stones this time, burning hot in a nice way; I guess I forgot to specify this detail.

The rest of the day was about completion – completing multiple reports – and closure of a magnificent two weeks in Lesotho. I didn’t mind the work, after all, what else is there to do when you are in a hotel on the top of a hill? In the morning my colleagues joined me on their day off – consultants are a lot of extra work. We sat on the terrace looking out over the vast plains around Maseru under a blue sky with a nice cool breeze and discussed work, language, congruence and philosopy.

We sent our youngest colleague home after an hour, knowing that his young wife, 9 months pregnant, was waiting for him in the car outside. We couldn’t get her to come in and sit with us – a clear demarcation between work life and personal life that I didn’t want to impose any longer than needed. We reviewed some critical documents that serve as a basis for all the work planned for the future, including the phasing out of our presence and resources. Rarely do projects have exit strategies but this one is trying to get it on paper – not an easy task.

The team leader joined me for dinner in the hotel’s Chinese restaurant and we talked for hours – he likes talking and I like listening, making us a well-balanced pair. I continue to learn more about the dynamics of the project through these conversations and hope that I can bend some of them around into more productive avenues in the next few weeks. I am not quite sure how but, as a good Quaker, I know ‘way will open.’

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