My physical and athletic abilities can be compared to the analytical and oratory skills of Sarah Palin. And that, says a lot. Combine your newly acquired knowledge about me, with the fact that I was at a training programme (which I would fondly refer to as hellward bound), and you will end up with a perfect recipe for disaster.
So we get to the place which is about five hours from Colombo, and hey, seems we have to sleep in tents. Five of us decide to take one tent, and I quickly go in, mark my claim for a corner, and start unpacking. Unpacking in a tent, is a different deal from unpacking at a hotel. See hotels have those tiny closet things with the built-in hangers. Tents don't. In a tent, you just get a canvas floor.
For the faint of heart, don't even try to picture this. For the rest, go right ahead. Imagine a 20 foot by 20 foot tent, with no windows, five guys, and two days to go. There is already a set of sweaty clothes, and a minimum of four sets per person are to be expected. Fun.
The experience however, was fun. With rain soaked tents, convulsions, allergies, dirty clothes, back aches and what not's.
But more importantly, the thing taught me a couple of things.
Teamwork is fun, and while it's nice to see people work in teams, embedded discomforts and dislikes (I'm tempted to say hatreds), don't actually go away. Whilst the entire thing, two people who don't talk to me whom I would call Technical N and John Smith, didn't talk to me at all, and I didn't make an effort to talk to them either.
Stepping out of our little comfort zones can be fun to begin with, but then it gets on your nerves. The lack of proper bathrooms, battalions of insects trying to suck the life out of you, and improperly stocked first-aid kits, does take its toll on you. When things start to annoy you, you get annoyed at everything, and everyone. Understanding this is important to keep your head on straight.
Sometimes, all one can do is be the wind beneath someone else's wings. Your role will go completely unnoticed, but at the end of the day, you will still have the satisfaction of knowing that you played your little part in getting the job done.
And that, matters a lot.