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Wednesday, 27 June 2012


the team building program for the CEO's Incubator Poject took off last nite with the team building session at the Port Dickson Santuary around 8.30pm. 
after getting  the participants into a group of 3, a team were given a blackout candle each and were asked to safeguard the candles with all their lives because once blown off there was no one to light the candles in the middle of the jungle for them and instead they had to grope in the dark till the end of the journey. there were 10 groups altogether.
i was ready with my torchlight and insect repellent. in this exercise, we were trying to witness and assess the creativity of individuals which are mid level managers with more than 12 years of service with the organisation.
we wanted to see if there were team spirit and teamwork. some team just took dried leaves (instead of green fresh ones) to block the wind - oh man! what were they thinking of! nevertheless,on the contrary some took pains to plan and came up with a solution of burning off the butt of the mineral water bottle they brought, erect the candle on the inner side of the cap and carefully screwed the body of the bottle back  to the cap upside down making a perfect lantern. few groups that took the approach came out of the jungle with ease.
anyway at around 9pm the first group were let off and the rest at 5 mins intervals. they were guided with a piece of rope that was tied to trees along the hilly path.
my job was to brief them before departure of their assignments that was; they were to relate a couple of most wonderful moments in their lives and share them with their new found friends.
to add salt to injury, i told them to strictly follow the rope and ignore the others that they would be meeting along the way for fear that it might lead them into the inner part of the jungle that eventually ends up in the state of malaccca. 
this means they will be spending the whole nite walking and walking. immediately i saw worried faces before me and i could almost feel the intense tension that was transmitted into the cold nite air. 
well, as if that wasn't enough to send fear into the very core of their spine, i had to seduce them with the fact that should they see anything unusual, a distant figure or an unusual sound, they were to say and do nothing and not to turn around and look at the back. 
one girl almost fainted and the other whispered with tears in the eyes, "ala encik, ada ke benda tu kat sini" and i was already grinning like a "kerang busuk"
what the participants didn't know was they were within metres on the outskirt of a mature reserve jungle in the training camp. the path were ziz-zag in such a way to give the impression that they must have walked miles into the heart of the jungle.
the thing about PDS with it's location by the sea, there are no crawlies on the ground, a plus point that the participants didn't know. the facilitators were positioned close by with vantage view of the participants in case of emergencies.
we could poke a little fun by having someone dressed in white blanket gliding through the flying fox trail just few feet above their heads or using rubber band shooting at the candle to put it off. it has been done before but finally had to abandon the notorious idea because none of us were ready enough to be "bidan"(mid wife) should one of the pregnant participants "terberanak" (give birth as the result of the shock).
alhamdullillah, there were no injuries, no casualties or no encounter of the third kind. some team did groped in the dark while the rest proudly made it almost effortlessly, with not much problems due to their lanterns that save them lots of time.
moral of the story: you have got to have a plan - any plan is good compared to those with none.

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