Leeuwarden is Calling!!!
by Ntsika Mtembu & Dolev Termin
The day started at 11:00am when the whole group walked 1.5km to the Groningen railway station to catch a train to our new home, Alibi Hostel, in Leeuwarden as the start of our early development as young water professionals in this Wetskills pathway in The Netherlands 2018. After making the train wait for us due to high coffee demand from everyone, we enjoyed the 30 minutes train ride to Leeuwarden through the green landscape with various amazing views from the small cities, livestock, water bodies and this of course this was a new experience to many participants from outside Europe. Our new home, Alibi Hostel situated in the centre of Leeuwarden surrounded by beautiful bridges with petunia flowers and canals, is a historical prison, which was converted to a hostel and a tourist attraction.
After receiving a warm welcome at our new home, team and room allocation was strategically conducted by our supervisors (Peter and Ioana) to ensure diversity (nationality and gender) within teams and diverse interactions outside teams as a group.
Meet the Global Young Water Professionals for Wetskills NL-2018
Team 1: Self-supportive temporary shelters for multi-purpose use
- Max (Netherlands)
- Bianca (Romania)
- Sibghat Ullah (Pakistan)
- Afrah (Oman)
Team 2(picture): Self-supportive cities and islands on water and energy
- Ntsika (South Africa)
- Pann (Myanmar)
- Emiel (Netherlands)
- Alaa (Oman
Team 3: Wastewater reuse for agriculture
- Laura (Netherlands)
- Dolev (Israel)
- Tahani (Omani)
- Fatema (Oman)
Team 4: BioBizzHub for energising startups to scale up their business
- Dube (South Africa)
- Amir (Israel)
- Kathiya (Oman)
- Juanita (Colombia)
To help with getting to interact with each other and learn each person’s qualities, a to-do-list with 88 crazy missions was given to team by our two supervisors, Peter and Ioana, to complete within 90 minutes. The task seemed easy but it was truly C-R-A-Z-Y and difficult with missions that required creativity and thinking outside the box (a typical Wetskills challenge skill). Speaking of crazy missions, here are some (proof required for completion in a form of videos and photos):
- Yelling at least to 5 random cyclers “That’s my bike”
- Buy a child
- Wedding proposal (2 approved, one rejected)
- Get under water without getting wet (creative idea on the left from Amir)
- Kissing a stranger
Despite all of that, some missions such as doing a good deed and helping an old lady to cross a road were truly amazing. This included saving Dolev’s life from a crazy potential collision with a cycler.
After 90 minutes of going up and down the city doing the crazy mission, it was time for lunch- the Dutch way (or rather the Indian-Dutch way as we still had leftovers from yesterday’s dinner: ZERO FOOD WASTE AT WETSKILLS!!).
It was truly an amazing experience for the group (picture on the left) and the following food items provided a remarkable experience to the group:
- Mixing chocolate sprinklers with butter and bread (with the extra-ordinary Juanita who also added banana)
- Ginger bread (Frisian Ontbijtkoek)
But we must say, it is very interesting that everything seems to go well with bread here in the Netherlands; not forgetting the mini-education we received from Laura and Max about having pancakes for dinner; that’s a topic for another day)
Strengthening the bond within teams and between teams as Wetskills 2018 Netherlands family
After a long search for a supermarket on a quiet Sunday in Leeuwarden, we successfully collected rewired food items for a diverse dinner set up to meet each participant’s cravings. After dinner, we gathered at the TV room to project each team’s hilarious proceedings and findings (proof presented in videos and photos) during the crazy 88 missions. Most of these findings shall remain secret to the 2018 Wetskills Netherlands family because if we can tell you that people in Leeuwarden can sell you a child for 50 euros or simply give away their signature without asking “why” and knowing an official authorised reason, we will leave the rest for us to know and you to find out in the next Wetskills Water Challenge 2019 in the Netherlands.
Developing innovative and out of the box solutions for water challenges in a changing world!!!