Thursday, June 19, 2014

living the high life

It has to be said that spending 3 nights in a totally luxurious hotel last week did make running a conference that much easier ...

Having a quiet space to escape to for a short nap between the day and evening programmes, a big deep bath with lots of smellies on tap to unwind in at the end of the day, a Nespresso machine with endless pods, the vast and varied breakfast buffet ... not to mention having heating on 3 of the frostiest nights Cape Town has seen this winter ... no one believes me that it was really hard work too!

It was hard work, but affirming - I'm even better at this major logistical stuff than I used to be, it's great to function in an adult realm - although they can be as ridiculous as children really, and it feels so good to be supporting people doing good work.
This conference was for an international donor organisation, and to be told that they had a more successful and productive time for not having to worry about any of the logistics made me feel like I'd contributed in some small measure to the benefits all their grantees will feel on the ground.

It also made me feel conflicted about the amount spent on the conference though. I get that these people (most of whom traveled here on grueling schedules) needed to be comfortable and warm and well fed in order to make provisions to help those that most certainly aren't, but showee, this comfortable? This is not a new issue, we all know the stories about international funders driving lux cars etc etc ... and I won't criticise this particular organisation - not because they were employing me but because they really do amazing work around the world - but I still can't reconcile my head and my heart on this one.

I guess you can't always let the details get in the way of the bigger picture, and I certainly appreciated my own little taste of those luxurious details - I've been back 6 days but it still feels wrong to have to peel my own fruit ...

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