Monday, May 4, 2009

Did you know the Cool things we did last Summer?

Some say that one of the hardest things to do is to say goodbye to the people who have been a part of your life, it happened to me last year during our team's last summer getaway.

For three years, I have traded smiles, jokes, ire, food and coffee spills to these people I called officemates during our stressful but fulfilling job in a call center in Quezon City. And now, it will all end in our last group outing.

So to make sure that it will be a summer to remember, we need to come up with “cool” activities that we can do during our gimmick. I was one of those people assigned to think of the unthinkable.

We decided to get a private pool so we can do whatever we want to. With the meager budget and little time for preparation that we had, the nearest place we can get is situated on top of a mountain in Tanay just a few blocks from the middle of nowhere. As expected, some of our officemates opted not to come citing reasons of fear of malaria and NPAs, scheduled visit to the dentist, and RFBF (restrictions from boyfriend).

Despite of all the hassles and KJs, our trip to Tanay went as planned. We used three vehicles to accommodate the whole team. We left our meeting place around 7 p.m. We expected to be in a middle of a traffic jam in Libis so we prepared games that we can do inside the van. We played games like Follow the Leader, Name that Tune, charades and some no-brainer stuff.

Our vehicle is the last one in the convoy and someone joked what if we got flat tires or our engine got busted in the middle of our trip. We soon found out the answer when the van suddenly stopped in the middle of a dark long and winding road in a mountain in Rizal around 10 p.m. Our cellphones have no signal and there is not a single house in sight. We all step out of the van while our driver/ mechanic fixed his vehicle that we rented. The girls, of course, were scared. Some of the boys started telling scary stories and do howling sounds (one way of hiding the fact that they are as scared as the girls).

Good thing, a group of nice gentlemen passed by and offered help. While waiting for the van to be fixed, some started playing with their shadows while others look for good spots for picture taking.

We arrived at the resort before midnight and another “great” news welcomed us. The whole area is experiencing brownout. The generator has no fuel and that means we have to survive the evening with only make-shift lights and sounds of crickets to enjoy. It also means that all our plans for the evening ---AVP presentation, videoke session, etc --- will have to skipped.

But you know what’s cool with the experience, it became a blessing in disguise because the limitations of our situation bonded us more. We made a bonfire and everyone in the circle shared a story or two while roasting hotdogs and mallows. The calmness of the night created a mode that feels like we were a family that night. Some opened up and talk about his and her likes and dislikes about the group. I felt the sincerity in everyone who delivered their monologues. After the many stories and bottles of beer that I ingested, I found myself in dreamland.

The next morning, we were like kids playing. It’s cool to see smiles from people I used to think were reincarnation of Mr. Scrooge. The swimming pool was all ours. We stayed there until our skin turned maroon. It was one of those moments with friends that you wish would not end. But of course, we have to consider the fact that we only paid 12 hours for the venue.

After a month, our account closed. But what’s cool is the fact that we are still close to one another even now that we are working in different companies.

To sum it all, our last get together was a learning experience in a way. With all the unavoidable snags that came our way, we still manage to have a great summer. I hope others can get some pointers in this story on how people can still be cool this summer in the middle of unforeseen dilemmas.

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