Away

my department, program communication, took 2 days off from work to a resort in mae-rim district called “away” to reflect on this past fiscal year, to recharge our batteries and re”tool” (moving forward with strategies). anyway, before that one day, i had a personal meltdown. i didn’t even want to join the trip. at that moment, i wanted to indulge in self-pitiness and cry myself to sleep. thank God and my colleagues…they insisted that i went.

so i did.

there’re  12 of us on this trip. it was supposed to be 13 but one had severe diarrhea the night before so she couldn’t join. 😦 on thursday morning, we were split into 2 teams for a rally. we’re given the 1st clue which led us to 7-11. in we ran and got suddenly perplexed at what we were supposed to do. the clue told us that we would find something where it’s freezing. so we looked in all the fridges and icebox. eventually, we found it in the liquor compartment…who woulda thought. = = the next mission was to take pictures of 10 given items which include a car license number that can be added, divided, multiplied or substracted to 24, local politicians, person in uniform, a mountain hidden by hair etc. This task brought us to places like a market, a school, a gas station and a stop by the road. i had a fantastic time!

we got to the resort around 9 o’clock to be met by our 3 team leaders. we’re given the next task, the puzzle. i used to love jigsaw but i haven’t laid hands on it for almost 10 years! so it was a stress for me. but first we got to find our puzzle bags that were located somewhere around the pond. two volunteers who basically have no skills in paddling or rowing boats ventured out only to go round and round near the dock. lol

so they decided that there should be only one going out by a row boat. i’m not sure how it all happened but when they came near the dock, no one could get the “swan” tied and the row boat wasn’t steady. my poor friend, tik, was trying to get into the row boat…and here how we saw her at that moment:

then in she went into the water. another attempt on the row boat with me trying to get on too…you know, to help. well, our attempt looks like this:

our sunk boat

we were trying to flip the boat back over

also dragging the swan back to the dock

rut, our boat-sinking witness, was trying to get back up the shore

 after we made it back, we had to put the puzzle together with some eyes closed and some hands tied. tough task. it took us 10 minutes or more and we couldn’t finish it. finally, we were allowed to be all eyes and hands.

rut, the lady on the left, is really good at the puzzle

our proud but very tired team

after this rally came a whirl of “thinking sessions” where we talked about our rally experiences, our past year activities, personality analysis and many more. at the end of the day, my brain was totally fried. thankfully, we had a pool where we could jump into and chill. it was sweet!

the pool and the gorgeous background

we had a lot of fun in the evening. during dinner, we were watching korea playing against argentina for the world cup match. when the score was 4-1 (korea-argentina), all of us gave up and marched out of the restaurant to play “phase 10” card game and watch “sleeping beauty”. 

another episode of my clumsiness is this:

mineral water from france

every hotel in thailand provides 2 complimentary bottles of water. i was so thirsty during the afternoon that all i could think of was “cold water”. so i opened my fridge and saw 2 bottles of water, only they weren’t normal water…they were “mineral water” from france! i had no idea until i drank half of it ’till i saw….it was 80 baht for that little precious thing. worse, i didn’t even taste the difference. i thought i was drinking just natural water for the whole time! seriously!

but i thank God for this trip. i confess that i didn’t spend much time talking with God but He’s been working in me through the people i work with. you know, a lot of times, we get into the middle of it all and muddle through the happenings of each day without clear perspective or reasons why we’re doing what we’re doing anymore. but this retreat pulled me out of the fighting ring and provided a broader view of what this ministry should be like and how we, as a body of Christ and a team in the workplace, can support and look out for one another. i must say that this place is becoming more like home to me. i personally tend to build up “wall” to guard myself against deeper relationships (although i do love relationships). but these people have found some ways to break the wall and get to me, which i’m forever thankful.

below is the idea of how our team should be:

"none of us is as smart as all of us"

a troop of people walking on the same path holding hands…following the purpose of our life, Jesus Christ. even though there’s danger along the way (fox, lion and potholes). we also had the tank as our back-up, assuming to be the Holy Spirit protecting us (though i must confess that i’ve never imagined the Spirit in this way before 😉 )it takes all the hands from different cultures, races and backgrounds to touch the heart of men and women. it’s together…not just one person.

anyway, that was a summary for what i did these past 2 days. it’s amazing how everyday is an adventure and you never know what kind of mischeif or accident you’ll be in. but that’s what’s exciting, eh? it makes life flavorful. 🙂

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About Mink Gough

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him." 1 Corinthians 2:9 View all posts by Mink Gough

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