Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Behind the Scenes

Wedding Preparations

It seems the world has gone Wedding crazy, make that Royal Wedding crazy. As regular readers know we had a wedding here in February, the photos arrived last night and I will be posting the ones of the big day in the next few days. As a taster though here are a few from behind the scenes.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Letters in the post

The loveliest thing, a real letter in the post! Not a bill, or junk mail a real letter. This was from some wonderful guests who stayed in February and came via one of our UK based agents

Re-produced Letter
‘‘Dear John and Michelle

I can’t believe that it is eight weeks since Michael and I returned from Mafia Island. In that time I have spent six of those weeks keeping and eye on an aged aunt in Plymouth whilst her carer went on holiday, as well as juggling bits of work courtesy of my laptop, mobile phone and passing homing pigeons. Michael went straight back to work with a week of high pressure meetings with colleagues from the UK and America plus consultants. Reality has a cruel way to bring you back to earth.

We have very pleasant memories of our stay at Ras Mbisi that will stay with us for a long time. One of our best, if not the best, holiday, ever thanks to you both and your team.

It has taken me eight weeks to get some pictures printed that I took of the guys on the boat when we visited ‘your’ desert islands. They aren’t the greatest photos on the world, as the bright sky tends to skew the exposure. But I did get enough prints so that there’s one each. That’s if they want them.

Also, as the car turned the corner from the Lodge we realized that we hadn’t said goodbye to Rama who had looked after us so well at meal times and also on the boat trips. He must have thought us very rude white trash, so do please send our apologies and could you give him the enclosed envelope as a thank you. (I/We never seem to get the tipping thing right.) This time we put it all in the tip box thinking that would share it all out fairly. But the looks on the guys faces when we left having seemingly given them nothing made us feel awful. So next time in Africa, or anywhere else non-European, we’ll do a mixture of individuals and tip boxes.

We have put the word round about Ras Mbisi and given the web link to a few friends so we are doing our PR bit too. I hope the rest of your season goes/went well and that the wedding event was a great success. Good luck with next season.
Warwick Square sends its regards as do we.

Peter and Michael’’

Just a note; the tip system here is a shared tip box, this was/is the staffs choice and they are very happy with the system, they also never expect tips. As all our staff are local most had never had jobs before let alone worked in the hospitality industry so until the first tips happened they had no idea they would get them as well as getting paid. They don’t take them for granted and know that if guests don’t get exceptional service there won’t be any tips. There is no need for any guest to feel they should tip directly (although if they want to then that is their choice – but please, be aware that there are many staff members behind the scenes that you rarely see but are just as responsible for making your stay as those you do see and interact with). By the by, the ‘look’ on the guys faces was sadness, they are always sorry to see nice guests go – but you should see the jigs of joy when the rare nightmare ones leave!!!!
The reference to Warwick Square was because they live just off it and I used to live just on it (long ago in my single, girl about London days), a fact discovered over cocktails at sundown.

The photo? That's Shungu Mbili, our 'desert' island, site of many a beach BBQ for our guests.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Community spirit?

Photo is the Village Chairman, Amin the deputy head, Castor, our GM and the Village Secretary - no idea who the last guy is, he jumped into shot at the last minute!!

Well today was a bit different, I spent it in our nearby village attending the Village Committee, glad handing the Village Chairman and the deputy Head of Chungaruma School. The reason? To hand over a computer for the school that was donated by guests – specifically Meghan and Daniel Hunter on the occasion of their wedding which was held at the end of February at Ras Mbisi (no, still no photos). Ras Mbisi donated, system discs for the PC and PC CD-Rom games, the football one was VERY popular.

It’s so nice to be able to do these small things within the community – even if it does mean I am giving up a day a week to give computer lessons – gulp! We hope to be able to raise funds for more over the next season, plus access to the internet, a valuable tool for teachers and students alike.

So, if you are feeling generous, or just happen to have an old laptop having upgraded, please think of putting it in your luggage to bring with you on holiday, likewise any computer games suitable for use on a PC/laptop.

New projects on the go - the vegetable project is getting going, we now have 4 people trained up, they will be responsible for the day to day running of the project within the village. School desks are as ever on-going