Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hammam Experience -- felt like a fish being scaled :-)

Had a great first face-to-face meeting with our clients Monday morning at one of the Government Ministries. It felt like we were at some government official meeting.  According to one of my teammates, it was like we’re in a peace treaty meeting with other government official from different countries. The meeting was led and hosted by Abdelmounaim Guessous who is the Minister of Economic Affairs. We had translators interpreting the presentations for us since most of the conversations were in French. Our team was divided into 4 groups and our clients are as follows: The Ministry of Agriculture, The Ministry of General and Economic Affairs, ARDI Foundation, and Moroccan Women Mentoring/Networking.  I was assigned with the Moroccan Women Mentoring/Networking organization and I am partnered with IBM Australia’s representative, Tracey Pickersgill.  We were tasked to make a 2 year strategic action plan for the organization and make recommendations for marketing, communication and financial sustainability.  I took a shot of our meeting place and here’s how it looks:

After the meeting, we had lunch and broke off into sub-teams with our client (Moroccan Women’s Mentoring / Networking) to start discussing about our assignment.  The discussion was very lively and most of my teammates agreed that we had the “feel good” project compared to others who had the much more serious ones and I praise God that He has been answering my prayers and I know He’s been guiding me and my partner every step of the way. The meeting ended quite early for our team as our clients need to go to a meeting at 2pm so we just waited for the other teams to finish and off we went to our hotel to freshen up.

The team had Chinese food for dinner and it was funny seeing our teammate Austin from Taiwan act as our interpreter that night.  Usually, Jailan or Boutaina were the ones who does the translations for us since the menu are all in French, but for tonight, since the menu has Chinese characters in it, Austin was able to translate it for us. :-)  The food was really great and prices were reasonable so we’re planning to eat here again next time.

Tuesday was our first day at the client’s office.  Our client provided us a private room with private rest room (which is clean) and they always see to it that we have food at the table.  When I say food, I’m referring to sweets, fruits and of course, Moroccan Mint Tea. 

The whole day was spent speaking with our clients about the different departments of the organization.  They gave us an overview so that we’ll know how MWM works, what their main activities and objectives are and the like.  Information overload? YEP! >.<

We left the office early tonight because we were scheduled for a girls’ night out with Jailan at Le Diwan.  She organized a “Hammam” massage for all the girls which is a Moroccan style massage with body scrub and steam.  The scrubbing is different in that you are being tossed around like a limp fish (according to Jailan..LOL) and that’s exactly what I felt! I felt like I’m being scaled all-over.

Here’s a picture of the marbled bed where we had ourselves “scaled.”

Overall, the experience was ok except that I wished the massage was longer.  I guess we’ll have to try it again at another time before we leave. :-)

#ibmcsc morocco 

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