Best. Week. Ever.
I know that title is a huge call, but it really is true. The Cure Kids Race to Survive was the most amazing week, and truly life changing for me. I know I've previously wanked on in a previous post about how I felt a change in attitude (from negative to far more positive) when I was training for RTS, but it was nothing compared to the feeling of accomplishment when I completed it.
The best way to describe it would be a mix between The Amazing Race and Survivor, with 4 teams of 22 people (all Accor Hotels employees from Australia, New Zealand and Fiji) who battle it out in a series of challenges, some physical and some mental, over a period of 5 days.
The first day was spent getting to know our teams and doing a bunch of team building activities - burpees, push ups, and assorted physical exercises...
We continued on to one of the Fijian islands to a remote village. What really blew me away the whole time we were in Fiji was the incredible warmth and hospitality of the Fijian locals. There was something pretty special about an entire village standing on the beach singing and welcoming us as our boat pulled in! That day was spent building rain water tanks to make access to clean filtered water easier for the village. To be honest, I had no idea what I was doing but I learnt a lot about concrete mixing so that's exciting!
The next few days have all kind of blurred in to one, I can't remember what happened on what day! All I remember was that I sweated a lot, and had a sore back from sleeping on an air mattress in a tent. The teamwork I felt during that week was nothing short of incredible - our team was made up of so many different strengths and weaknesses and it was so cool to see everyone helping each other through the challenges. It became less about winning to us, and more about finishing each challenge as a team and making sure everyone was OK.
After the 5 days, we were all exhausted - physically and emotionally. On the last day we drove out to some incredible sand dunes and had one last physical challenge, a running race. We had a couple of people in our team that had injured their ankles so we decided that we would all walk with them and cross the finish line together - last place or not. It was really special, and a lovely way to end the week as a team of good mates.
After all the hard work was over, we checked in to the Sofitel for our last night in Fiji. The locals put on an awesome show for us, and we sat down to a never ending buffet... Literally the longest buffet I've ever seen.
Everyone's stellar efforts resulted in over $830K FJD being raised for Cure Kids, and will go toward much needed screening and treatment of Rheumatic Heart Disease. Very cool, and bloody worth it.
See you next time RTS!