Remote Year Ohana Week 1: the year of coaching-on-the-road begins

It was exactly a week ago that I arrived in Cape Town and started my one-year Remote Year journey with the Ohana cohort. I've done so much during this time that it feels like it's much longer. Cape Town is a beautiful city, the people on Remote Year have been lovely, and I have had a wonderful time.

Right from day one, 4th March 2018, I knew I made the right decision to come here. From the warm welcome at the airport by our group leaders Danche and Miguel and another Ohana Remote Themi, to getting to the apartment building at 106 Adderley and being welcomed by more Remote Year staff, to getting to my own apartment (1001 the Gandhi room), everything was more than I had expected. Later that day, the dinner and drinks at Roundhouse on top of a hill overlooking Table Mountain and the beach is where Remote Year and Cape Town truly had me. The breathtaking view, the beautiful setting, and cool music made me fell in love with the place right away, not to mention the R45 (US$3.5) glass of wine!

The walk down to the beach led by our local experience manager Josh to watch the stunning sunset was the cherry on top.

Day 2, Monday 5th March started with a call with the Singapore Millennium Leadership team, followed by a mini orientation, followed by a walk to the co-working space - Cartel House. The space is super cool. It was the first time I have ever worked in a co-working space. I took the coaching call with my coach in one of the phone booths then had lunch with Mary, an Ohana Remote, across the street at House of H - a delicious plate of salad that was R80 (US$6.7). Towards the evening, a couple of other Ohana Remotes (Kayla, Katelyn) and I joined Travis, Josh and Tyler from the staff team for a "Kravis Ting" workout of push-ups and pull-ups. After the workout Kayla, Katelyn, and I went to Eastern Food Bazaar and had the most amazing dosa and palak paneer, totally pleasantly surprised to find it on day 2 in Cape Town! It was so delicious, cheap, and so much food that I ate it for the next two meals.

Day 3, Tuesday 6th March: The day started with a township run in Khayelistsha with two local guides. It was a combination of running (3 stretches totaling 9km), explanation of the local history, going on top of a mountain to get view of the beautiful city, and going through a local school and the local town. The second stretch of the run was so hot and I was totally kicking myself for not wearing a hat, but in the end it was so worth it.

The run ended at Spinach King with a delicious smoothie, spinach and cheese muffins, getting to know each other led by our lovely guide Buntu, and the voom voom game. What a great way to start the morning - a bit of history, some exercise, and whole lot of fun and bonding with the Ohana team.

In the afternoon I had a very good coaching session with a client. In the evening we had a local language class with the same local guides from the morning, followed by an open-mic night at the House of Machines where Travis and Mary performed. I talked to a friend of some of the staff members and he agreed to have a sample session with me the following week. I don't know whether a coaching relationship will come out of it but it made me realize that I could find coaching clients anywhere! All I need to do is to put myself out there, be genuinely interested in people, and have good conversations.... and carry business cards :)

Day 4, Wednesday 7th March started with a morning hike up to the Lion's Head. We started at 5:30am, got up to the peak around 6:45am, and watched the sunrise. It was absolutely a breathtakingly gorgeous views. I had some great conversations with a couple of Ohana Remotes Brittany and Andrew on the way down. After the hike most of us went to Truth Coffee for breakfast. I had the "Eggs, but not as we know it, Jim", basically an omelette. I had higher expectations for it, I definitely had order envy of other people's avocado toast and shakshuka :)

After coming back from the hike I had a very good coaching session with a client, followed by the second group supervision call (as part of my Co-Active certification) where I was the coach and did process coaching on the practice client. The supervisor gave me a score that was not as high as I was hoping. I tried to process why I didn't feel so good and to sit with the feeling, and realized that it was just my ego getting hurt and perhaps not ready to accept that I still had a lot of room to improve. But when I step back and realize what supervision is all about, it is about helping me to improve as a coach. If I don't make the mistakes here and learn from them where am I going to?

In the evening I went for an outdoor screening of the Count of Monte Cristo at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden with Andrei (on the RY staff team), Themi, Dave, and Andrew. It was such a quaint venue and absolutely loved the movie. I compared the venue with the Singapore Fort Canning movie in the park and this was so much more intimate and wine was SG$12... for a bottle, not glass! On the way back we had some very good discussions about personal development, Strengths Finder, which prompted Andrew, Andrei and I to organize a meeting to discuss how to progress the idea forward.

Day 5, Thursday 8th March: Finally for the first time in Cape Town there were no activities in the morning and I was able to sleep in. I started my Millennium Leadership call in the early afternoon followed by the Co-Active monthly call with Synergy colleagues, then had a coaching session with a client. In the evening we went to Clifton Beach for a beautiful sunset. When the sun went down, Danche showed us a cool ritual of touching the ground to signify that we are in a new place, this place. Then we had some deep conversations in the dark about what prompted us to come to Remote Year and we are all hoping to get out of this year. I just love conversations like this, where I can get to know people at a real and deep level.

Day 6, Friday 9th March: Last day of the weekday, I went for a run in the morning from the apartment (Adderley) to Sea Point Promenade and a bit further and then back. All together close to 10km. It was really nice to be able to do a run and explore the city a bit on my own. I tied to have a coaching session with a client but didn't end up having it because of his bad internet connection in the hotel. During lunch time, Andrew, Andrei and I met at Clarke's to discuss our ideas for personal growth for the Remotes. It was a really good session with a lot great ideas. After that I stopped by the co-working space and met Susan, bounced the ideas with her and got some more ideas. These discussions get me so energized - feeling like we are on the verge of creating something that could help others and grow ourselves. I was super pumped about where we can take it to.

In the evening I went to the Kravis Ting push-up and pull-up workout again, this time I was the only girl left with Travis, Josh and Tyler. Our workout fascinated a couple of local kids so much that they started doing the workout with us, it was the most adorable thing ever.

Friday evening was Pecha Kucha, a 30-second way to show one slide and introduce ourselves. I was a bit nervous before we started but once we all got into it was pretty fun. The conversations afterwards were great. I mainly talked with Kat, another aspiring coach who is in the process of developing her own wellness program, so I looped her into the discussion of creating the growth program for Ohanas that Andrew, Andrei and Susan are talking about. I love the possibilities that I'm seeing on Remote Year. There is a lot of fun to be had on the program, but what I'm seeing the most valuable for me this year is the professional development. All the people I'm meeting are so inspiring in their own way and the possibilities of collaborating on projects and learning from each other is almost endless.

Day 7, Saturday 10th March: today is the official orientation. It was a combination of presentations, mindfulness, getting to know each other activities, and group breakouts. I thought it was really good and reminded me a lot of breakout work that we did at Syngenta and with Co-Active, so it made me fell very much at home. The circle exercise we did on the roof top right after lunch reminded me so much of Co-Active that it was really awesome.

After the post lunch activity on the roof we did an Ohana values exercise where it reminded me even more of Co-Active. Our group came up with Ohana Love and it's sticking with us so far and I suspect will for the rest of the year.

At the end of the session we even did a hugging exercise which reminded me so much of Tony Robbins's Unleash the Power Within that I went to in February in Singapore.

After the orientation I went home for a quick workout before going out to 14 Stories Rooftop Bar for drinks. The sunset view from there was absolutely stunning.

Midday stretching before going back to the meeting room for some more orientation

The evening continued with some shots first at 14 Stories and continued with more drinks and dancing at Village Idiots. What a great day of connecting with Ohanas!

Day 8, Sunday 11th March: I woke up a bit tired from the night before but after a lot of water and food felt ready to go on a day of wine tasting. It ended up being a beautiful day with some of the most stunning views I've ever had in wine tasting. The group of women I went with, Susan, Holly, and Kat, were absolutely precious and our driver Anele was so lovely. Our first stop was Haute Cabriere in Franschhoek, so beautiful.

We then went on to Leopard's Leap and had a lovely waitstaff Ayrin. We tried to go to Ayrin's uncle's restaurant Racine but it had finished serving lunch by the time we got there at at 4pm (totally don't blame them) so we went to Boschendal and grabbed pies, quiches, and cheese. We ended up having an amazing wine tasting there with some added on oyster and wrapped up the day beautifully.

Overall, the first week on Remote Year with Ohana group in Cape Town has been amazing. I couldn't have asked for a better way to start out the year. Beautiful city, lovely people, and so many things to do. And most importantly, coaching remotely has been great. The strong wifi in the apartment made it very easy to have all my coaching Zoom calls, and since all my clients are based in Asia and prefer to have sessions in the evenings, it works out great for me in the Africa/Europe time zone, so I can have all my sessions in the morning and early afternoon. I also made progress collaborating with other Ohana Remotes about starting a personal development program for our group throughout the year. That is super exciting. This will become my number one goal next week - to further develop ideas for the personal growth tribe!

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