Monday, June 11, 2012

Staff Outing

Last week Mr Daniel, our local agent in Kerala (Companion Holidays) treated all his staff and their immediate family to a short holiday.  In the past we have had staff parties (often arranged when one or more of the Kerala Connections staff are in India so that we can join in).  But this year they were given the opportunity to experience something of what our customers experience by taking a holiday in Kerala.

The group of consisted of all our permanent drivers and office staff along with their wives/husbands and children (the youngest child was just one year old) - a total of 35 people.  
They started from Trivandrum and transferred to the backwaters where they all got to spend a night on a houseboat.  As most of our customers spend a night or two on a houseboat this was a wonderful opportunity for them to understand what it is all about.  

They then drove up to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and spent a night in a hotel - another first for most of them.  Because they were a large group they stayed in a number of hotels – but they all met up for dinner hosted by  Greenwood Hotel.  

Next they went to Cochin via Munnar.  Although the drivers visit Kerala’s highest tea growing area regularly this was another first for many of their wives and children.  In Cochin they again had the opportunity to stay in a hotel and eat out.

Finally, what was perhaps the most exciting experience for many of them - they flew from Cochin to Trivandrum.  Drivers spend a lot of time waiting at airports to meet our customers – but Indian rules mean that they are not allowed in the terminal.  Now they have all, not only seen the inside of an airport, but have flown and consequently have an understanding of luggage carousels etc. 

Taking a family holiday is not common practice in India so this was a terrific opportunity for our lovey staff and their families to experience a holiday.  Thank you to Daniel for having the idea and organising it.  And thank you too all the hosts that were so generous and enabled this outing to take place:

Lakes and Lagoons – houseboat operator who provided overnight accommodation, plus lunch and dinner (including prawns).
Aranya Nivas, Thekkady – a delicious buffet lunch
Lake Palace, Thekkady – an exclusive boat for game viewing and evening tea at Lake Palace
Wildernest and Spice Village – accommodation in Thekkady
Greenwoods, Thekkady – buffet dinner (a good spread) for everyone
Secret Garden, Rain Tree and Tea Bungalow – accommodation in Cochin
Greater Cochin Boats (Mr Shibu) – a Harbour Cruise for everyone

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