Every year, Ernst & Young brings together all the first year trainees from sub-Saharan Africa for a week of learning, partying and the making of unforgettable memories. It is the most anticipated event of the year with over 350 participants and 40 facilitators from over 10 African countries. Rumour has it that it cost EY millions to host this event and judging by the glamour, glory and grandeur of the week, I am not surprised. I have had the most amazing experience; it would be a crime not to share :)
I got the short stick of flying out at 5:45am on a chilly Sunday morning (while some of my colleagues flew on Saturday evening and stayed in a fancy hotel) – I was far too excited to be bogged down by the dreary travel arrangement. We were greeted by the breath-taking gates of Legend Golf & Safari Resort and had welcome drinks and a buffet lunch.
We were soon instructed to do a team building exercise where we had to find our group members and build a kaleidoscope. It was to help us “see the world differently” – a tad cheesy, but it was better than the clichéd: “Hi, my name is…”.
Supper for each evening was hosted at different locations. We were picked up by Mercedes Benz Vitos because the chalets were a good couple of kilometres away. Upon arrival, we were handed glasses of sherry to warm us up. We were lucky this year in that winter set in a week late and so we were able to dance in t-shirts. The decor was beyond expectation. The colours were rich and vibrant; the fires were warm and enchanting. The overall ambiance of the venues were superb.
There was an over abundance of delicious, tantalising food. I am ashamed to admit I porked out majorly. I literally stuffed myself with everything: chicken/lamb kebabs, potato wedges, assorted salads, prawn-thingies, mealies, and cheese-cake for dessert. I reckon I packed on 3 kgs this past week… oh well, c’est la vie.
I got back to my room at around 11pm – early, I know… but considering that I got up at 3:30am and had already danced for four hours, I was surprised I persevered that long. I shared a room with my friend Bianca, the coolest roomie ever! She managed to stuff a bottle of vodka and a bottle of wine in her luggage, and carried her 21 kg bag all by herself. ;) Our rooms are pretty luxurious. We missed out on the underfloor heating (only certain chalets had those) but we comforted ourselves with our electric blankies <3
(To be continued)