Harvest season is on. Agriculture and Income Generating Activities are busy harvesting and buying maize. Healthcare is in the midst of a three-week intensive training for new employees, so they can greatly extend their program’s reach. Monitoring and Evaluation is hitting the field to collect data – harvest yields for Agriculture, and baseline surveys before Healthcare’s new employees hit the ground in their new areas. It’s a busy time. And when things are most stressful, it’s even more important to make time to have some fun together as a staff.

Lately, we’ve been breaking out the volleyball net and ball a couple of days a week as the office closes down. It’s a great chance for us to enjoy some non-work time together. It’s a needed opportunity for staff from different programs to get to know each other better. And it’s a great chance to have some good informal conversations about how work is going. As I get to know our Kenyan co-workers better through venues such as this, I am able to hear more about their work, their lives and their hopes. We get a chance to share more freely about some of our bigger picture goals and visions for the program.

And it’s not just beneficial to me. Last week on the way home from an impromptu volleyball match, I was walking side by side with Paul (Leadership) and Thomas (new Social Marketing staff member). It was great to hear them going back and forth while walking home, relaxed from a good time shared on the court – Paul asking really good, probing questions about the goals and methods the new Social Marketing team will be using; Thomas answering in a really thoughtful way, proving that he’s learned a lot during his first few weeks of training. That back and forth – good natured; probing; insightful – exhibits how strong our team can be, and gives me great hope and confidence in Nuru’s future management.