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Saturday, July 15, 2006
Team Building – Valea cu Struti/ Ostrich Valley
One of the things I really love about our company is the team buildings the HR team organizes each year. After having my first such trip after a week of working here, it was now time for my second such experience. Therefore, on Wednesday morning, we (Support, IT and Antispam team) left for Ostrich Valley which is near Bran actually.

The area is called so because they are breeding the said birds here. The hotel where we stayed which is also called Valea cu Struti has these breeding pens where they have 6 ostriches. I first thought they breed them to then kill and cook them (they offer three ostrich plates), but later found out they have to little to do that, so they only breed them and bring the meet from Baia Mare.

We chose to go their by several cars belonging to the employees, so I was assigned to Misu’s car, along with Cris and Valy, my boss. We passed by Ploiesti, Sinaia and just before entering Predeal took a left turn, on the way to Rasnov, drove through Bran and in another 20 something kilometers ended at the Ostrich Valley hotel. The hotel was very cozy and comfortable, too bad it was spoiled by the restaurant staff who, to put it mildly, had skipped all their customer care training.

What can I say about the area? Breath-taking, simply marvelous! Although it rained for several hours each day, we could still get a pretty good picture of the place. I believe it was the best choice of place for a relaxing getaway. The first day was mainly spent having an awfully long lunch! It seemed to finally start at 3 pm and ended near 5 pm...I guess that says a lot about the staff! We then had an HR game planned for the afternoon.

Tried a little pool with Cris, but then we both decided to quit as we were not that skilled and the game was becoming pathetically long...We then had dinner, not long enough after that late lunch, spend some more time talking, then I went to bed, as I was beat!

The second day was my favorite. Three words: All Terrain Vehicle. Also known as ATV! A really thrilling experience that turned into an amazing adrenaline rush! Of course they had only standard suits and not that small helmets though…I looked like someone shrinking over night and trying to fit in the clothes from the other day...It lasted for 50 minutes and it made me feel on the top of the world. Not necessarily because of my heart pumping like crazy.

On a stirring/climbing/down sloping on my ATV break, I turned my head to look around. I was practically on the top of the world, surrounded by a breath taking scenery, people working on the field, amazed of our crazy kids’ toys, birds singing, a mild wind and pure air! Unfortunately, these moments were short, as we had demons to ride!

Back to the hotel, we thought of enjoying the tennis court. Of course, I tried to only play with Cri as we both kinda…hmmm…sucked would be the word! But we had no luck, some other guys played with us. And I cannot say who made more fun of ourselves, us or them. That night we also had our camp fire! A very shrewd attempt to originality of the staff: they made the fire out of wood and a broken plastic chair! But it was fun to watch it and watch other people watch it all the same.

The third day was the day for paint ball! I had this feeling that I should not go, but decided to try it as the previous “never have done this” adventure turned to be so great. But miracles do not happen everyday. Paint ball is fun as long as you can move. When you are positioned into a dangerous looking valley and your only attempt to move turns into a very scary slip, it tends to get boring. Fortunately, I could get away from it with no hits and with several hits on others! Born to be a soldier, what can I say!

The ride back home took us through the same scenery that can simply be worshiped. Back to Bucharest, where I am now preparing for a birthday party for one of my colleagues! We’re going dancing in a club called Cuba – Republica del Sol! Quite ironic, given that it has rained today and is still is really cloudy…

Note: links with photos will continue to be uploaded as I manage to publish them in my photoblog!

posted by Alina @ 10:04 PM  
  • At 7/16/2006 6:13 PM, Blogger Alex C. said…

    Well, it's nice to see that (at least) some people enjoyed the trip. The scenery was indeed gorgeus -- makes me wonder, "when will I buy a house there?" -- but the area was a bit too isolated for me.

    I guess it was nice, after all... My ATV trip was "the real sh-t". It was raining heavily and seing a ligthning bolt strike the ground a couple of hundred meters in front of us sent shivers down my spine; I became aware of the danger, when another lightning lit a house, as one would light candle... the house was turned to ashes in 10 minutes!
    The tennis court was my favourite place to relax and kill time. Btw, did I suck? :)
    And I don't want to remember the paint-ball session, as nobody took 2 minutes of their precious time to come to wake me up... Some friends, huh? (No, Alina, I'm not blaming you, but I had higher expectations from other people...)

  • At 7/16/2006 6:55 PM, Blogger Shirazi said…

    Trip (good trip) on company. Sound good.

  • At 7/16/2006 8:20 PM, Blogger Alina said…

    Alex, sorry! Cris and I were also sleeping but Cristina V woke us up. As we were the last to leave, we had no idea you were not already there :( Anyway, you really did not miss much.

    Shi, it was way better than simply good :D

  • At 7/16/2006 10:54 PM, Blogger bart said…

    i'm glad you've enjoyed yourself... you need a time out like this, a time away to find yourself, your place in life and the your place in the company for which you work (despite any misgivings you might have...)

    it sounds like a really wonderful weekend you've been treated to... keep well, i'll catch up with you a.s.a.p., life isn't all that much fun here right now...

  • At 7/17/2006 8:10 AM, Blogger Alina said…

    Bart, thanks! It was quite the treat I needed, given that three days of the week were turned into a weekend and then had the real weekend for myself as well!

    Sorry to hear you are not doing that great. Hope things improve soon.

  • At 7/17/2006 4:19 PM, Blogger Curly said…

    It certainly looked like a pretty fun trip!

    The fiels were all looking very lush!

  • At 7/17/2006 8:33 PM, Blogger Cristina Vintila said…

    Hello! I am for the first time here... :"> How are you, Alina? Nice blog you have :) I will be waiting for the photos from our tb... :P

  • At 7/17/2006 9:11 PM, Blogger Alina said…

    Curly, yup, it was quite a treat :)

    Cristina, welcome...I will post the photos soon and also bring them all at work :)

  • At 7/18/2006 1:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi there,

    Thanks for sharing the story..couldn't help but notice though that you spelled " meet" instead of meat..were you hungry? :)

    Nice blog though. Oh, and pretty good English.



  • At 7/18/2006 10:57 AM, Blogger Alina said…

    Rob, given how much I could eat it that team building, I am pretty sure I was not hungry at all :)

    Such little issues will be probably solved in the future when Word will learn to do more than simply checking the spelling of all known words, considering the general meaning of the phrase :)

    In the mean time, I guess more attention would do wonders!

  • At 7/18/2006 5:13 PM, Blogger Brea said…

    Okay, I need to find a new job. What an awesome trip!

  • At 7/19/2006 9:56 PM, Blogger Alina said…

    It actually was, Brea! Way better than expected! :)

  • At 7/21/2006 1:46 AM, Blogger Safiya said…

    You look very cute in your bike gear!

  • At 7/21/2006 6:13 AM, Blogger Alina said…

    Yeah, sure, very cute! Ready to stuble also :)) Thanks Safiya! :D

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Name: Alina
Home: Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania
About Me: "This is my church. This is where I heal my hurts". It's also where I feel free and my preferred means of expression.
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