by Fhatuwani Masindi and Heleen Ter Schure
| Today is the hot-start of the Wetskills -Durban 2023 as we were meeting with our case owners. We were feeling optimistic about the day,…it was cold but not too cold. we started the day with breakfast between 6:00 and 8:00 AM. We left the hostel at 8:30 a.m. after breakfast to visit the regional office of the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) KwaZulu Natal (KZN) where we will be working.
Our session at the DWS KZN office started with an opening speech and overview of Wetskills program from the supervisors followed by Mr Ashley Starkey, chief director of DWS KwaZulu, who welcomed us to the regional office and provided an overview of water and sanitation.
The case owners gave a brief introduction in the conference room, and then each group sat down with their case owner to acquire information about the case and get to know one another. The case owners were really friendly and gave us insight information. We had some time following the sessions with the case owners to reflect and brainstorm as a group.
It really matters to take a proper lunch break during a hard working day right! At 12:00, we headed out to eat at KZN CBD’s fast food restaurants. At 12:45 p.m., we resume our activities for the day by meeting with the six specialists. The specialists are experts in sanitation, hydrology, geohydrology, and research. We did 10 minutes speed dating as a group where we could ask specialists questions about our cases and they would think with us about options and things to consider when creating a solution to a problem.
Following a session with the specialist, we proceeded to brainstorm and began to work on finding solutions to our cases. We wrapped the session as a group by assigning tasks to one another in preparation for the next day.
We left the DWS office at 15:30 and returned to our hotel rooms. When we arrived, some of us went shopping, while others went to the beach, while yet others just sat and watched the beautiful waves. However, it was still fairly cold and late, we opted to sit inside and order pizza for dinner. We had some really wonderful chats about our culture, food, ambitions, future goals, and experiences so far over dinner. After dinner, others relaxed and talked while others proceeded to work on their cases.