Saturday, 31 May 2014

Grand Finale

A happy ending to a great beginning. We presented our final recommendations to our customer on Friday Morning. Four weeks of intense work went into putting together our finale presentation. It felt so good to be present amidst both our colleagues from IBM and WEF and to be closing the assignment successfully. The customer was more than happy about the work we had done and highly regarded our presence for the month there. Final photograph sessions, exchanging contacts and cards, hugs and kisses, ahh - the oh-so parting ways atmosphere.
That afternoon we visited the IBM East Africa office for an executive meeting. After a few hours of discussions and meetings, we headed back to Riverside to get ready for the finale dinner at Carnivore (well, there were vegan options too). It was fun to be going together in the bus one last time. 
Post dinner we all gathered by the pool-side to spend some quality time together. Dominic sang for us and we joined him too. And then the hugs and good byes! It is over!

Happy ending!


@ Carnivore

Singing by the pool

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Wrapping up!

The final week is here! Working on presentations, final reports, recommendations ate up much of the time. Wednesday was supposedly the last working day at WEF office. Wink of the eye and four weeks have passed by! Cloudy mornings, long chats in D4, lunch at 'Originelle', discussions in the small meeting room at WEF, the amazing traffic, the long waits for Jimmy, the extra-amazing team, I'm surely going to miss everything. I wish I could take the team and the WEF office along with me to Hyderabad (agree with Ulla-Britt). WEF was very kind enough to give each of us a bag of goodies. That last minute where you want to click pictures, the selfie moments, the good bye drama - was fun! The evening we spent some quality time by the pool side chatting and having a good time.
Thursday - the first 3 teams KAAA, Strathmore and FKE present their final recommendations. While we missed attending the KAAA and Strathmore session, we managed to be on time for the FKE meeting. Lunch at Java House followed by a short walk to the Waajiri House. The meeting was amazing and the recommendations were acknowledged. Today while the 3 teams are relaxing by the pool, the WEF team (us) is gearing up for the final presentation early tomorrow at KICC. Was this urgent update actually needed, midst reviewing my slides for tomorrow? :))) Anyways, there you go. #ibmcsc Kenya

Where quality meets originality :)
Chilling by the pool

Chilling by the pool +

Chilling by the pool ++
Capture from my balcony

Team FKE


FKE Office

Jimmy, where are you?

Jimmy, will you even come?

We cannot stand this any further. So we sit :)

Monday, 26 May 2014

Can Monday get better than this?

It can't! Woah! What a day! Started of early as usual but all of us went to Strathmore University for a Career Fair hosted by IBM. It was very interesting to talk to some students one-one and the passion they have towards Social Entrepreneurship was so evident - A student said ' I want to gain knowledge to make the world a better place but not a worst place'. The university is doing a great job by providing education and supporting the needy. I also learnt about 'Indiafrica' today - something I plan to promote after I get back home. Being at school always feels so good!
Late in the afternoon, back to some serious business. Cloudy afternoon, chilly breeze, hot tea and some amazing music. Sitting in the balcony working, but didn't lose concentration though :)) After working for 2-3 hours, it was time to get ready for the cultural night @ Daniela's. Didn't miss the swearing-in ceremony in India. Big day back there!
Food from all over the world filled the table in no time. Far better than any other meal that is probably served at a best restaurant around. In fact no comparison. Food, drinks, desserts, music, people, pictures and what else is needed. Amazing evening with the best ever group.#ibmcsc Kenya

@ Strathmore
Business in Balcony!

@ Daniela's

@ Daniela's

For Raghu - Thanks to Ulla-Britt & Heli!


1-2-3- Jump!
1-2-3- Jump!

Dessert Table!


Sunday, 25 May 2014

Shoppers Sunday!

09:30AM - that's quite late to be starting a day at Nairobi. Was supposed to be a relaxed Sunday. Today myself, HS, Ulla-Britt and Alex decided to go shopping. Jimmy arrived at 10:30AM to pick us at Riverside Drive. We first went to Yaya Shopping Centre! After some intense shopping and negotiating there, we headed to The Village Market. Both the places were very different from the other malls we had seen so far. We had a sumptuous lunch and shopped till our Shillings were exhausted. 6-7 hours by the time we got back home. 
Tomorrow evening is our second cultural night and we are all contributing by preparing a dish from our own country. 'Double Ka Meetha' is going to be my contribution - Hyderabadi Cuisine. But it was hard to find all the required ingredients. So it will probably be a Kenya version of the dessert :)). Just pushed it in the refrigerator and all set to be at the Career Fair at Strathmore University first hour tomorrow. The final week begins! #ibmcsc Kenya

Maasai Market!
Sitting in the Refrigerator!


Saturday morning we drove to Gatanga, to visit the YARD Community. Luke was a US Peace Corps Volunteer way back in 2003 with this organization. So he decided to take all of us to this place about 60 Kms away from Nairobi. Calm, green and serene was the first impression. Amazing views, tea, coffee and pineapple plantations, hairpin bends and the scenic Ndakaini Dam were a cynosure to the eyes all through. YARD has been successfully implementing community development projects and has been encouraging and empowering youth. After meeting with the enthusiastic team of YARD, we drove further to visit two community groups that YARD serves. It was fun to be in a typical African village setting and dance to the tribal Kikuyu numbers. We spent the whole day at Gatanga and returned to Nairobi late in the evening. Thanks to 'Luka' for arranging the trip.
Dinner time! We decided to be at the Open House Restaurant - happens to serve fine Indian Cuisine. After  hogging on some Rotis and Kashmiri Dum Aloo, we decided to head to a nearby dance lounge. It was an amazing evening with some real amazing experiences. Returned home late in the night and off to sleep! #ibmcsc Kenya




Ndakaini Dam

The Group @ Gatanga!
Green House


Friday, 23 May 2014

Meetings, Visits & Discussions

Wednesday, Thursday & Friday pretty much remained busy days with multiple meetings at multiple places. Though the morning started with some weird side effects as a result of taking the Malaria Pill, the day progressed to be very interesting and exciting. First was the visit to the Catholic University. Ahh! fresh atmosphere - was reminded of my college days. It was fun to have lunch in their cafe amidst the students.
   Post lunch, we had a meeting scheduled with Eric Mibuari and Charity Wayua at The IBM Africa Research Lab. Interesting insights on how technology can be leveraged to solve some of the problems of Africa. The discussion was very stimulating - could have continued, but did we have the time? Following that, we went around the lab to see some of the amazing research that our team is doing. I literally had goosebumps when I heard about some of the projects and the impact those would create in future. Intense and terrific! That night we were guests at Spurwings and were hosted by Raphael and Susan for an awesome dinner. We also had a small birthday surprise in store for HS! Arrived pretty late at Riverside.
   Thursday was another busy day at NSSF and late in the afternoon, we quickly wrapped up to be at Strathmore University for a panel discussion and stakeholder meeting on 'Software Development and Innovation in Africa'. The adroitness and the enthusiasm that some of the students portrayed in coming up with some unique innovations and business ideas was remarkable. Another late night arrival at Riverside.
Friday - another meeting with our Director in the morning, followed by serious work on the final presentation. Back home now and all set for the weekend. Not too many things on the agenda for the weekend, like the past ones. But looking forward to an interesting Saturday followed by a Shopping Sunday! Weekend time!
Outdoor Cafe @ CUEA
@ IBM Research Lab
@CUEA Corridor

Thursday, 22 May 2014

On foot at Riverside!

First steps! Sounds like a baby just stepped up isn't it!:)) It definitely was such a feeling when we decided to step out of Riverside Pearls on foot to get some lunch on a pleasant Tuesday afternoon 'for the first time'. We almost relied on Jimmy everyday even to visit a nearby store, but it was fun to just walk across the street to get some lunch. 'The Office Park' it was - good lunch, pleasant environment, fruits to pick from. Wow! First experience of stepping out literally. And then late in the evening we visited an amazing Brazilian Restaurant - Fogo Gaucho for dinner! Was a perfect day with perfect company!
#ibmcsc Kenya
P.S: More details about Novida here. :)))

Lunch Time!
While we pick some fruits!


Monday, 19 May 2014

Mid-Term Review Already

Mid-Term review - indicating that we are only 2 weeks away from the completion of the 4 week assignment. After some late night work yesterday, we put things together on what we plan to deliver and recommend in the next 2 weeks. The meeting was attended by the CEO and members from all the departments of WEF. 
Happy that everything is going as required. Was good to get some feedback and hints on what might be expected for the final presentation. The meeting was followed by a long work day, brainstorming and beginning to pen down the recommendations. Tuesday is going to be another long day with work sessions on creating reports, refining the data gathered and lots more. Rainy evening, seated in the balcony, chewing the amazing Karl Fazer Chocolates (Thanks to Heli) and publishing this post, before I hit the bed. #ibmcsc Kenya
Post the Mid-Term Review