Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Countdown to the Conference: 18 days - A Day Off

            No organization can function productively 100% of the time, and Sri Lanka Unites is no exception.  After a week featuring 3 departmental meetings, back to back appointments, more hours than could be counted at the office, and the filming of the SLU music video, Saturday brought a well deserved time of rest and enjoyment for the overworked team.  In addition, the team took the opportunity to celebrate international volunteer Jordan Carr’s 20th birthday.  We assembled at a hotel for a long and relaxing lunch by the beach where we unwound and exchanged stories about SLU and the funnier aspects of our lives.  Afterwards, we took a quick trip to the Pegasus hotel where we continued our conversations.  Prashan De Visser, Joel Fernando, Sarge Perera, and Ben Morrow honed their cricket skills at batting practice until the rest of the party joined us for a game of volleyball on the sand.  Local tourists and sightseers even joined in the fun and a good time was had by all.  Finally, after leaving a few members who decided to retire for the day, we alighted upon Prashan’s family home where we gratefully consumed a large home-cooked dinner and generous dessert in honor of the birthday celebrations.

            While taking time to rest as a group is enjoyable and relaxing, it can also serve two important objectives.  First, it prepares the group for the work that still needs to be performed before the conference.  Physical rest can, of course, prevent exhaustion, but metal relaxation can just as equally renew one’s vision and motivation to accomplish a mission.  Second, time spent as a group away from the work setting strengthens the team’s ability to cooperate and proceed smoothly.  In a charity like Sri Lanka Unites, interpersonal relations are of paramount importance.  The most crucial of these relationships are the ones between the team members themselves as they exchange plans and information between departments.  Identifying this ability between members of SLU is not difficult.  Both the work and downtime atmospheres convey a sense of openness and willingness to communicate that enables all members to feel comfortable interacting with one another.

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