Monday, 13 June 2016

Amazing Race 2016!

The welcome crew in Budapest airport!

Every year when our interns arrive they do an "Amazing Race" - a three day team building exercise that has them travelling around different places and doing various challenges. This year we started in Budapest (Hungary) but were mainly in Slovakia. This marks the start of the internship for most of them and it's the first time they're meeting their teammates! The Amazing Race allows everyone to get to know each other, see what their team is like under pressure, and is an incredible bonding experience.

The first day there were a couple of challenges in the centre of Budapest before we got buses to Slovakia. There was an unintended late night challenge - filling out all your information for the foreign police for the night at the hotel! Normally it isn't necessary to give all the information but with the recent refugee crisis, things have become a lot more strict. We got the first person checked in at 11.40pm and the last person at 1.20. It was a long process!

The next day was chock-full of challenges - including, but in no way limited to... Getting your team across the square using pieces of cardboard, with one less piece than team members.

The infamous food challenge! This year it was Slovakia's halusky (potato dumplings with bacon) which is actually pretty good, there was just a lot of it. The lukewarm, soured sheep's milk, though? Yeah, not good. And a lot of it. 

After the food challenge teams were off to the absolutely stunning High Tatra mountains. Here teams had to climb one of the mountains, complete logic questions, build a shelter, answer questions about Josiah Venture, and other things! I was quite happy to have this view for a few hours as I waited to ask people about Josiah Venture.

The next day, Friday, we woke up in the high Tatras but quickly left. Interns travelled to an old castle and completed all kinds of crazy tasks. The theme running through the Amazing Race was that the princess had been kidnapped and the interns had to get clues, go through training, etc to get her back.

I was at the second last station of the day - and that black plastic fob is literally the key to the castle (or, one of the many castles in Slovakia!). Teams had to go in, listen to a guide's spiel (which was in Slovak!) and hear the name of the famous person within the presentation.

When teams had successfully completed that challenge they were running to the finish line! They found a princess and had to pick her up and carry her to the finish line (don't worry, we had princesses there, they weren't lifting random women).

And this is what all twenty-eight teams were running for - the Josiah Venture Amazing Race trophy! This year the first and second team were literally only ten seconds apart but, for the first time in JV history, a country won it for the second year in a row! Way to go Estonia! 

And here is our group shot from the end of the race! I am so proud of these teams and how they jumped into their summer, getting to know one another and being stretched. With the Amazing Race finished it was time to go to Intern Training! 

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