Apparently a pirate beats a pie in the face!
Last week I had one of those experiences when it is that good that you ask yourself “is it really right that I get paid to do what I do?” Together with the team from Pragmatic Thinking we headed to Thailand for the latest Social Venture Program. We started in the slums of Khlong Toei with a family who have been dealt a pretty cruel blow when it comes to life. And as it is for many in Khlong Toei when you’re already living in the slums and then you’re dealt a hard blow you know life is pretty tough.
The team was quick to assist in the demolishing of the house and before lunch on the first day there was little evidence that a house had stood there for decades previous. After putting our best demolishing skills to good use, we did the next best thing we could, and that was to step aside and let the locals take over.
Over the next forty days the locals funded by the team from Pragmatic Thinking will build the family a new home which will give them a safe and secure place to live. They won't have to worry about water rising through the floor boards when it rains, nor will they have to worry about water flowing through the holes in the roof when the summer thunderstorms roll in. Check out the guys in action
The team enjoyed an intimate dinner with Khru Prateep, an amazing humanitarian and friend of ours at Hands who shared her forty years of leading the Duang Prateep Foundation. She shared stories of commitment, influence, perseverance and an unwillingness to accept discrimination based upon personal wealth, or more to the the point, a lack of any.
Her stories had the team considering how they can achieve more for the benefit of their family, their community and those they work with. She kind of has that impact, you question what you have done and reflect asking "what more can I do?”
We then headed to the humanitarian capital of Thailand, also known as Baan Home Hug, where the team learnt many lessons, the first was that laying bricks requires the foundations to be right. The second was that a good pirate trumps a pie in the face any day of the week.
Night four of the program saw the tables turned on the team who were given a budget of 1000 Baht ($40AUD) and 30minutes in Big C (think a cross between K Mart and Big W) were required to split into teams and entertain the kids. As a witness to the performances I am still left unsure how the pie in the face didn’t beat the very ordinary pirate, but the kids voted so who was I to argue.
There were tears, there was a lot of laughter, some blood shed and blisters accumulated during the time in Thailand but without question all left with a full heart and a different perspective of influence, resilience and a clarity of purpose on what really matters in life. The team was deeper engaged, a pie in the face will do that, and they returned to their office in Brisbane with some memories banked of their time together that won't be forgotten in a hurry.
If you think this is just what you need to build deeper engagement with your team, clients or those you want to be your clients, why not get in touch
For the record I decided that it was ok to accept payment.