When our team landed in Johannesburg with an itinerary that included checking in and out of accommodation 10 times in 3 weeks we knew that a unique experience awaited us. This was reaffirmed on Monday morning when we met our entourage for the first leg of our trip. Over the first 48 hours days we logged 15 hours in a car and finally ended up in Tembe Elephant Park.
On our way to the lodge we were greeted by two of the park’s residents who gave no warning before crossing the road without bothering to look both (or either) ways….
… It was immediately clear who calls the shots Tembe!
Over the next 24 hours we found the locals to be even more captivating. We were fortunate enough to meet the 12 founding members of PEACE’s newly established second-tier cooperative. The secondary cooperative’s mission is to support the growth and success of these 5 cooperatives through various stages of funding, development, and scale to create opportunities for some of the most rural residents of KwaZulu-Natal ? They represent 5 primary cooperatives, 12 different crops, 500 hectares of land, and more hope and hard work than any cohort in the cohort Olympics or Haas applicant waiting for a call from admissions.
Just as inspiring are the individuals working tirelessly to make this happen. First and foremost our wonderful team-lead Nora who has been working to help the people of South Africa for over 20 years.
The next big milestone will be a presentation today to a group of 20 leaders with expertise in fields related to our project (agriculture, cooperatives, etc). We also found out YESTERDAY that our presentation will be broadcast to radio stations in 2 South African Provinces and an audience of 2 Million users so of course no pressure. As we sat down to begin a long night of preparation we had yet another surprise…
Local dancers and musicians who came to give us a taste of the local music and entertainment! After an incredible performance they gave us the opportunity to show what Haas was made of….
I think it goes without saying that we are hoping to wow them with our business plan…