27 September 2009

Leaving Luanda

Somehow, 15 months has passed since I arrived in Angola, and just like that the MBA Enterprise Corps assignment is over. There were several going away parties the final week in Luanda, but the most touching was our team lunch held at Jango Valero on the Ilha. I knew something was up when Wilson, an Angolan colleague, brought a guitar case to the outing. The mystery was solved before long, when he broke out with his special song. I didn't know what to expect, but luckily the cameras were rolling.

The meal was great (lobster on the buffet line is never a bad thing) but I was caught off-guard when it became clear I was expected to make a speech. I had been so focused mentally on trying to finish work projects and figure out my packing strategy (it's not easy to pack after living somewhere for 15 months when you're constrained by airline baggage policies to get all your stuff home!) that it never dawned on me that I should prepare some remarks. Of course Burch - the MBAEC volunteer that I arrived with 15 months ago - spoke well and from the heart, which made my speech seem all the more inadequate. I stumbled through it somehow and nobody threw any food at me so I'm taking that as a sign that my comments were acceptable. I was honored to have the experience and look forward to keeping in touch with the team.

Wilson's going-away tribute:

6 comments:

Panda!!!! said...

I can't believe you're done! What's next on your agenda? Any chance you'll be sailing through SF?

Peripatetic Life said...

Yes! I'm in SF in December (16th-21st) and looking forward to it!

brendapie said...

That's adorable! Good luck with all of your future adventures!

Anonymous said...

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