I can hear the sounds of a lively group of people singing “Happy Birthday” from a few houses down. The roads are very narrow in this historical part of Lisbon and sounds carry in the quiet of the night.
The day was rushed and long. I did manage a lovely lunch with a friend at RTP and I had dinner at her house as well. She showed me a few of the studios and I snuck in a photo of the RTP Africa one that was about to go on air.
I had conversations with two taxi drivers, walked more than 10,000 steps (6,65kms), burned 1,866 calories and climbed 21 flights of stairs, all while taking loads of photos.
I took some photos of some of the gorgeous buildings at the Campus de Justiça – a government department campus where some courts are located. A security guard came out of one of them and politely told me to not take photos of the government buildings. I complied as I forgot that most countries don’t like you to take photos of their government buildings. There are some countries that would’ve arrested me on the spot for doing that.
I have more errands to take care of tomorrow and I hope to be able to put my feet up as well, and maybe, just maybe, have time to download some of the pics I’ve taken and post them on this blog.
One of the things I love about what I do is that it’s real. “Real, what’s real?” you may be asking, “that is such a broad generalised statement to make.”
Yes I agree, and one of the things I love about what I do is that it’s real 🙂
I’m not sure if it’s by nature or by design that people who are involved in Agile coaching have decided to challenge so-called accepted ways of working and being to help teams collaborate and achieve great things through the power of “we”.
You can recognise an Agile coach by the amounts of “we” in their conversation. This is what makes this community such an awesome one be a part of. Yes, we do travel around the world working and learning and we challenge the status quo of eschewing offices. Most of our bases are at home. If we’re not at a client we’re at our home offices.
Some people call us hippies and this is their need to order their reality by putting people in boxes. We don’t believe in boxes. We believe in people. People don’t fit in boxes because we are not box-shaped. We are all sizes and not all sizes fits all.
Agile is slowly starting to become more used – I’m reluctant to say “mainstream” because this would mean trying to put it in a box where it is supposed to be better than other ways of working which are not “mainstream”. Who and what determines that something is mainstream or not. And if something is not mainstream does it mean that it is not good or effective or “hippie-like”?
Take the conference I’m at the moment. It’s an unconference using Open Space Technology. We, the participants, are the ones to determine the conference programme. Anyone can propose a session and host it. It’s about what I want to learn and share with the community.
It’s a place where I can experiment with coaching techniques I’ve been thinking of applying. I know that I will get good feedback and a space to improve it.
Two of my colleagues at this conference have brought their 2 cute kids to the conference – a months old baby and a little girl of about 4 years old. They are in the conference room with us and there is no need for them to whisper because they are part of their parent’s system – so it’s important to acknowledge this. Once organisations start seeing their people as systems, part of a bigger system that transcends the nine to five (and not as resources on their clock to move around at will) our workplaces will become much happier places. Happy people make happy workplaces make happy families make happy societies. Happy societies have more empathy.
Imagine what we could do with more empathy in the world. The possibilities are endless. So I go back to what I said at the beginning of this article – one of the things I love about what I do is that it’s real. And these are some of the things that make it real for me.
I’m back to blogging, this time from a different country. I find myself in Portugal for a couple of weeks. I opted to travel on British Airways via London because that was the shortest transit time, meaning that I’d spend only about 14 hours travelling. The idea was to arrive in Lisbon on Friday morning and still have time to take care of a few things.
It didn’t happen that way though. The plane’s main fuel pump malfunctioned and no clearance for take off was given until it was fixed. They spent an hour trying to fix and eventually had to replace it. Thankfully there was a spare in Joburg. Another 3 hours and we were on our way.
Here’s the rub – all of this was happening with us on the plane already! So the repair took place on the tarmac with a plane load of people! Eating dinner! I would’ve loved to disembark.
We took off 4 hours late and I missed my connecting flight. I must say that British Airways were very professional – those of us transiting were met by customer service representatives and I’d already been booked on the later flight to Lisbon.
A transit in London is not ideal when your home currency has devalued to the point that £1 costs R20.00. A fish pie and a pot of tea cost me £30.00 which is R600 – a week’s groceries for Che and me! That’s the fish pie on the right.
Unbeknownst to me Portugal is in the middle of a 4-day weekend – the commemoration of the April 25th Carnation Revolution. It was supposed to have been a military coup to overthrow the dictatorship that had been in force since 1933.
At the same time, the non-violent civil groups decided to campaign as well. All of this led to the fall of the dictatorship without shots being fired. When the people took to the streets to celebrate this, carnations were put into the muzzles of rifles and on the soldiers’ uniforms. Monday the 25th is a public holiday because of this. It’s rather beautiful, peaceful political change.
I’m now in beautiful Sagres in the Algarve, after a romantic and relaxing train journey. I do love travelling by train. If there was a train from Joburg to Europe, I can guarantee that I’d be on it, even if it took a few days! Better than ships like in the olden days – the trip was the holiday because it took a few weeks.
I’ve taken some beautiful photos already, a testament to the beautiful subject-matter rather than the photographer. I’ll be posting these soon. I found a few hidden gems in Lisbon, things I didn’t know existed and I was blown away by some of them.
I’m writing this in a hurry which is resulting in a disjointed post with dubious grammar. As long as the spelling is correct I’m good to publish. Time for better writing later. Right now I need a cup of tea – it feels like the right time for that.
That’s it for now. It’s still daylight outside and it’s already 19h50. That’s really it for now.
As always, thanks for reading and please leave a comment.
I haven’t blogged for a few days. My little voice tried to warn me. I’m travelling to Portugal tomorrow and the past 2 weeks have been a fog of anxiety and worry, mainly because I had an issue with my travel documents.
Thoughts of cancelling the trip did go through my mind, borne out of a fear response. My gut instincts were saying – “Go, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to attend this facilitators retreat, where some of the rock-stars of the Agile world will be present.”
My instincts won out and I’m going, albeit with a provisional travel document which means I’m going to have to ensure I get all my docs sorted out before the 6th May whilst I’m in Portugal.
I’m transiting in London and hope things will go smoothly for me there, in Lisbon, at the BA desk at Joburg International Airport…well, basically everywhere.
I’ll be posting as often as I can. Once I get to Portugal I’ll have lots of food for blogger inspiration.
The other thing which is causing me some annoyance is that my Akismet subscription was suspended. I’m annoyed because I got no email from Auttomatic telling me that the card they have on file is past its expiry date so the automatic renewal didn’t go through.
I realised that something was amiss then I started to get all this annoying comment spam.
I’ve updated the payment details so I’m now waiting for them to process the payment. It’s nice to get dozens and dozens of comments, only if they were real. It’s amazing the kinds of messages I’m getting. Who does this stuff?
I’ll visit your blogs as soon as I get connectivity in Portugal.
“Breathe, just take deep breaths…” I remind myself, more often than I care to admit. As my eyes become accustomed to the morning light I kick the covers off my sweat soaked body.
It’s a brand new day, the sun is shining, I can hear the sounds of Che making coffee in the kitchen and I have a great job to go – and yet some part of my sub-conscious hasn’t cottoned on to the fact that there is no need for the fight or flight instinct.
Something I was dreaming of perhaps? Something I am afraid of perhaps? I take a deep breath and need to concentrate on taking the next one, deeply as well. And the next one, until my mind and body calm down and acclimatise to the sanctuary my bedroom offers.
As always, thanks for reading, and please leave a comment!
Who would have thought that Apple fans extended beyond the human species? The spotlight is on Nermal, our neighbour’s cat who has adopted us and now has 2 homes – and enjoys the best of both I am sure.