GRRT Team Meeting

Back in Costa Rica following my trip to Nepal, it was time to gear up to meet more of the team. Our sub-team was heading to Costa Rica for our team meeting. Perry, our manager, was responsible for the Communications, IT, and Security components of the Global Rapid Response Team. This included:

  • Issac – IT – London Based
  • Eric – IT – Kenya Based
  • Chris – Communications – London Based
  • Steve – Communications – Canada Based
  • Zaza – Security – Cyprus Based
  • Me – Security – Costa Rica Based
  • Marcella – Administration – Costa Rica Based

Between April 16 and 17, 2011, the team would start arriving in Costa Rica for a three day meeting. The team would be staying at the Hotel Radisson in San Jose, which is quite a nice hotel. My counterpart, Zaza arrived on the 16th. I drove to the hotel to meet Zaza and we would go out for drinks and dinner. This was the first time I met him and it was good to connect.

Dinner at Marcella’s

On Sunday, April 17, the team would all gather in the lobby of the hotel to be transported to the home of Marcella. This was a time for us all to get together before the meeting on Monday for a social gathering.

Marcella was delighted to have more of her team in Costa Rica and was the perfect hostess. For me it was nice to get more insight into the GRRT and hear the stories of past deployments. Everyone in our sub-team was great to be with.

Day 1 Meeting

On Monday we all met at the hotel where a conference room was set up for us. The day had a full agenda, and as with all World Vision meetings, started off with Devotions. After Devo’s, we did a further round of introductions to explain more of what our roles were within the team.

During this time, the GRRT was going through a transition. We were changing our corporate identity from the GRRT to the Humanitarian Operations Unit (HOps). This transition was discussed first thing in the morning. We also discussed new reporting lines and matrix reporting.

Within our team, each unit had two reporting lines, one to the home unit and one to the GRRT. This was more confusing to our team, security. We did not yet have a matrix reporting line to the Office of Corporate Security (OCS). The GRRT Security unit was an anomaly in that we were directly embedded into the GRRT. This would change in just over a year.

Day 1 Dinner

At the conclusion of our meeting, the team freshened up and prepared for dinner. We all went to Perry’s home where is wife, Samra, had prepared a delicious meal for us. Samra is an amazing cook. Perry and Samra had a beautiful apartment overlooking San Jose and was enormous.

Similar to the evening before, it was an opportunity to once again meet with the team on a personal level. I had enjoyed discussing social media with Chris and Steve and how security was a part of it.

Team Building Day

Tuesday, April 18 was set up as a team building day. We would all meet at the hotel early in the morning. Transportation arrived at 0830 and we were bused to the venue for the day. The venue was the Rainforest Canopy Tour, some 50 minutes outside of San Jose. This was along the route where I had taken my son a few months earlier.

Here we all enjoyed a relaxing day of zip lining and traveling the aerial tram. While on the aerial tram, Steve, had managed to drop one of his lens filters. Remember, Steve is a comms guy and always has his photography equipment with him. Fortunately he remembered where it fell and one of the guides had managed to secure it after.

This was an amazing day of activities for us all. The team enjoyed Costa Rica and all of her beauty. It is even better when it is free! When we returned to the hotel at the end of the day, we had a final dinner together.

Day 3 Departures

Already Wednesday and our time was over. For some, the journey was longer than the time in Costa Rica. Perhaps a good way to not suffer from jet lag! Most of our team began the journey back to their home base. Those that stayed an extra day would have a one-on-one meeting with Perry.

As for me, after saying farewell to Zaza, I returned to my Costa Rica life. The next preparation was for the upcoming HOps meeting in Cape Town, South Africa. Here, the entire HOps team would converge for a week long meeting.

Of note, only Perry and Marcella are still with World Vision from this team.

Next Story – HOPS Meeting – Cape Town

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