Time Out for Fun!

June 30, 2006

Just two more nights left, and today Team Relationship Management brought the WHA/CTSK roadshow to Xcaret, which is just 30-something kilometers above of Tulum. The original plan was for a collation of those willing to get up at daybreak (Megan, Olger, Art from the UN and myself) to spend an hour snorkeling the reef in front of Maya T, then the snorklers would be joined by a collation of those who wanted more sleep (Janice), we’d all have a quick breakfast to be followed by a work-filled morning, then in the afternoon we’d all drive to Xcaret. But the Mayan gods of Power and Plumping had other ideas. Megan, Olger, Art (from the UN) and I did venture out into the morning’s rather choppy incarnation of the sea, and despite much lower visibility due to kicked up sediments, we did see a lot of fish (very Finding Nemo). But when we returned to shore, intending to move on to the next step of our plan we were stymied. At first I thought it was just the poolside shower that was having trouble – when I turned the handle all I got from the showerhead was a sad, dwindling hiss. In my room I quickly confirmed (by skidding across floor tiles that turn slick with condensation whenever A/C, which is otherwise constantly running, turns off) that Maya T was without power (again). Ever stalwart, unswayable and maniacally focused on being productive, Teams Product Dev and Web Site packed our laptops and Jeeped to the CTSK office in Tulum, determined to make headway on our various deliverables. What dedication!

Olger and I worked through the morning, but, with a final presentation pending the next day, there was still more work to be done. So rather than break for Xcaret as a group, we decided to divide and conquer. Olger and I (safely, obeying all traffic laws to the best of our knowledge) sped up the highway, and pulled into the Xcaret parking lot with minutes to spare; the CTSK van had also just arrived – this would be the first time they’d see the presentation that 2 of CTSK’s members, Manuel (Sales) and Pastor (Tour Guide) had been part of for the last few days at various locations around Mexico. After spending most of the last two weeks in our rustic accommodations, walking down Xcaret’s spacious, nearly elegant and completely air-conditioned hall was almost too much for me an Olger. While we definitely weren’t “roughing it” in Tulum, it had been a while since we’d been anywhere so refined.

The presentation was in a long auditorium, and it was packed with representatives from local hotels, tour companies – mainly Best Day (who were consistently supportive of WHA while we were down there, in a number of ways — thanks Best Day!), and others. I’d guess the total attendance was around 100, and Laura later told me that other audiences they’d addressed were around the same size — clearly these roadshows were the most contact with their industry that CTSK had ever had, and it was also clear that this sort of exposure would be one of the most important outcomes of the program. These roadshows were going to drive business. (And looking around the room, I got nervous about the website, wishing it could be finished before all these people left the presentation and went online to find out more…)

The end of the presentation also marked the end and realization of a tremendous amount of work for the WHA team. To celebrate, the group of us (Olger and I, now reunited with Laura, Kate from the UN, and new NGO friends) drove north to Playa del Carmen, where Janice, Megan and Dustin (who’d drive back to Tulum that afternoon to add his thoughts to the presentation material for the next day) would meet us. Without going into too much detail, because this is already a long post, and because, as I learned, “What happens in Playa del Carmen stays in Las Vegas”, here are some bulleted highlights:

  1. Debriefing, recapping and tequila on the Hotel Deseo, while lighting flashed in cloud masses rolling in from the Caribbean

  2. Dinner at Yaxche where, at a table of 16 (more?)
  3. Didn’t it seem like all servers wanted to wait on Laura.
  4. Wonderful speeches at dinner from Laura, Janice and Olger, capturing and expressing a lot of the emotion we all felt about the experience.
  5. More tequila
  6. Dancing at the Blue Parrot beach club
  7. “Tacos para todos!” – Greg Custer
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