Motivation, Rest & Relaxation…Subtle and yet Powerful!

Published By UNNGOF |  November 13, 2015

Many of us take the issue of staff retreats and team building exercises at face value, we consider them as part of the events of the year, part of our annual work plans. Very rarely do we view them as deliberate efforts on the part of our employers to motivate us; to help us refresh minds that have been bogged down with fatigue; to rejuvenate bodies long since exhausted; to allow for some ordered rest and relaxation to bring out the best in us and keep ‘burn out’ at bay. And even more worryingly, very rarely do we actually take time to enjoy every facet of these retreats. This was all made even clearer to me  this year at UNNGOF’s mid-year staff retreat.

On Tuesday 21st July 2015, all roads led to Nakiwogo landing site in Entebbe as the UNNGOF family set off for our mid-year retreat in Kalangala. The excitement was visible and the joy on everyone’s face evident during the short bus ride to the ferry. Engulfed with excitement, childhood memories washed over me; days when I would sail on the long gone Pamba ships to Kisumu and Kabalagala ship to Mwanza for my holidays.

The three hour sail to Kalangala was refreshing and as we landed at our Hotel, I got in touch with nature and its beauty; the water, the trees all around and the good ambiance of our hosts – definitely well spent time away from work! Seeing my colleagues free and unwinding from the office fatigue and share freely gave me a different appreciation of how great each one of us is in complementing our UNNGOF family. The quiet and loud moments with laughter and deep reflections on who we are and what we would wish to be under the UNNGOF family awakened me to some things that I would do differently.

We took the time to visit our members in the area and returned exhausted after a learning filled day. The campfire was great and as we shared our field tour experiences gathered around the fire by the lake shore, enjoying the high proteins around Kalangala, I could read not only the pride but also the regrets we shared as a family on the few things we hadn’t done, especially in profiling the great contributions our members had made in changing the lives of many in their work areas. The BIDA story as told by those that went across to Bufumira island was empowering. “How  little hands with small coins can bring meaning to thousands and even millions of citizens, yet some big hands with big budgets, houses, cars and all kinds of posh machines cant trace their foot prints to change” – An awakening call to the way NGOs do their work on behalf of those they claim to represent!

Then all too soon, I looked at the clock in the morning, it was 5am and I had to wake up, pack my things and plan for the three hour journey back to Kampala. Oooh!! It was such a short period and yet so fulfilling. I still have a debt to return to the island and enjoy the beauty nature has blessed us with.

I returned to work with a greater appreciation of UNNGOF, myself and my work mates, our differences and strengths and the feeling that I would be able to end the year with a bang! I could do more, I could go on.