It’s been a while since I’ve participated in this challenge, which also happens to be my favourite of Cee’s challenges. Let’s see where Which Way is taking us today.
A grueling ferry trip across a short expanse of sea and we’re in Catembe in Maputo. The last time I was there the ferry was packed with cars, trucks, lorries, and people. A bit too crowded for me, but the day we spent in Catembe was soulful and memorable.
Namibia is one of my favourite places on earth, and Swakopmund my happy place when I’m there. At the bottom end of town next to the lighthouse is a craft and curio market. Swakopmund has tar roads but the vast majority are salt roadways, like this one.
Musical steps at a restaurant in Joburg, they didn’t play music, but I suspect that those are song lyrics on them.
Nermal is one cute cat. A few years ago our neighbours asked us to look after their 2 kittens. As cat lovers, we immediately said yes and enjoyed looking after 2 cute little furballs.
A year later our neighbours went away for the Christmas holidays. Even though they had other people looking after the cats, Nermal, in the photo, and his brother came over and spent the day and nights with us. They missed human company.
After this time, Nermal decided to switch addresses. His brother, Garfield went home when his owners returned, but Nermal decided to stay…this is an open secret between us and our neighbours and we often laugh about it 🙂
Nermal has lived with us for about 3 or 4 years now. We feed him and look after him and sometimes he goes home to say hello, usually when we are away. But for him, we are his home. When our neighbours go on holiday, we look after Garfield. When we go on holiday they look after Nermal. Both are theirs, officially, but one has decided to live with us.
Nermal likes to plant himself under the shade of the lemon tree. He’s so gentle and such a sensitive cat, his fur cotton-wool soft.
Isn’t he just so cute?
Entered in Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Any Animal.
There’s a good reason for my absence from Wide Eyed In Wonder…I’ve been working with a partner on The Artful Facilitator programme which is launching in Johannesburg on August 15th. I’m so excited about it because it’s rather special – it’s meant to be an immersive experience, rather than just a dry contextless training that people won’t apply back at work.
Have you ever been in a session which has sucked all your energy because it’s been aimless? I know I have. Sessions where people have been on their laptops or checking email on their phones…not paying attention to the proceedings.
Then, of course, there is that one person who dominates the session, their voice louder than the rest. What about those sessions where everyone is in love with the shape of the problem and spend hours talking about it without moving into action before the time allotted to the session is over. When people realise this they decide to have another session to make some decisions…or they rush through actions which haven’t been well thought through.
An artful facilitator can steer sessions to better outcomes, help generate new ideas and grow trust, collaboration and accountability.
agile42’s designer did a beautiful job on the brochure – isn’t it wonderful?
Well, that’s my sales spiel. I know that there’s a good chance that you don’t live anywhere close to Johannesburg, or South Africa for that matter. But it feels good to share this with you.
We all have tools of the trade. Doctors have stethoscopes, mechanics have spanners and teachers have blackboards. They have, of course many more tools. Perhaps you’re already thinking of your own profession and the tools you use.
Are you a chef? Then some of your tools may be a set of good knives. If you’re a blogger you need a computer. If you’re a photographer you have a camera. Most people, irrespective of employment status have computers, books, phones, and much more.
As a trainer, facilitator and coach I have marker pens. Nice marker pens. Neuland ones to be exact. They have amazing colours, they don’t bleed through the paper and I can refill them. I also have wax crayons. Yes, you heard right. This profession is the only I know where I can take my wax crayons to work. And post it notes. And Lego. And dice. And board games.
It matters not what you do. We all use things to do what we do. We all have our own tools of the trade.
So says Winston Churchill who was himself a superb orator. His wit and turn of phrase make him, in my opinion, one of the great orators of the 20th century. He was a product of his time, a leader the world needed in those difficult years.
As many of you might remember I am a Toastmaster and one of the things I do to pay the bills is train people. Who am I kidding…I love training. I have loved it less and began to love it more when I found my voice.
One of the things I do in the Agile community in South Africa is giving back to it, by helping develop conference speakers. Up until now I’ve helped people with their conference presentations, from the slides to the story to the delivery. I’m branching out this year by starting a couple of steps before speakers get selected for conferences – at the call for papers stage – helping budding speakers craft their proposal.
I go to many conferences, and I vicariously live through many others via live tweeting. The names on the programme lines ups tend to be the same year after year and quite frankly, I’m feeling bored. I want to learn new things from new people.
There are so many wonderful members of this vibrant community that have so much to share, and perhaps they think they are not experts…but I don’t want to learn from experts all the time. I want to learn from people who are in the trenches, day to day.
So I’ve decided to do something about this. On Saturday I’m hosting a workshop to help prospective speakers refine their ideas, and help them with their proposals for the regional Scrum Gathering South Africa 2018 which this year is going to be held in Durban. In this way, I hope to play a part in helping to grow the Agile community of speakers and the Agile community in general.
The half-day workshop programme will flow in the following manner:
8:00 – 9:00: Refreshments
9:00 – 9:15: Connections
9:15 – 10:00: Talk: What makes a great conference submission
10:00 – 10.30: Go through the proposal submission format
10:30 – 10:50: Tea, muffins, coffee, and fruit
10:50 – 11:30: Group ideation
11:30 – 13:00: Draft proposal preparation, and pitching to the panel
Conference talks of all types need to be interesting and engage the audience. It starts with a tenuous idea and ends with an audience that has seen with their ears. And a satisfied and courageous presenter that has cared enough and taken the time to share her or his knowledge and experience.
Social Entrepreneur, chief wide eyed in wanderer, wonderer and bottlewasher