Loosening up

My neck is still tender from the Thai massage Katie took me to. The satin curtain-enclosed massage spaces reminded me of the Thai massage house in Kabul, which was eventually closed when the masseuses didn’t get their visa renewed (supposedly because they were taking away jobs from Afghans, ha!)

The massage was long overdue after two weeks of way too much time in front of a computer – and as a result rather intense. I kept wondering whether to ask her to reduce the pressure a bit but then she moved to another part of my body.

We completed the morning’s outing with a sushi meal at what is becoming one of my favored restaurants. I ordered a copy of the meal to take home for dinner.

I have nearly completed my week of inquiry into the senior team’s functioning, with only two more interviews to go.  The patterns are beginning to emerge from the heavily populated mindmap in which I am pouring the answers to my questions about progress, stand stills, informal norms and desired outcomes of the retreat. Getting the ingredients out of which to fashion the design of the senior team retreat was the reason for my one week trip to Pretoria. I consider it a success.

Friday night I participated in a ‘make-your-own-pizza’ night at Katie’s and Josh where a Dutch couple from Venlo with their six small children were busy fashioning the pizzas, even one with chocolate and marshmallows, which I let pass. It was an evening with much kid energy and great conversation about lives lived overseas and speaking Dutch (I passed the test).

Everything is changing again in Lesotho. The senior leadership retreat is indefinitely postponed as key participants were summoned by another ministry to do work that can’t wait. My counterpart has been transferred to another ministry and so we go back to square one. As a result my extended stay makes less sense and requires rescheduling on the Pretoria side as well.  In the meantime all the flights home from South Africa are filling up – it is amazing how, even on weekdays, all the flights (and there are many) are full.

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