I cannot clearly remember the date but I remember it was on the early days of December, 2019 when I received the call. I was back in my hometown; Nakuru, Kenya. The year had been eventful for me and I was ready for a challenge but was not sure what to make of my feelings and clutter in life. This being said, I was looking for a reason to go back to the capital, Nairobi but I didn’t have enough to convince my folks to do so. As I was seated on the couch, my phone rings and the caller is someone who may or may not grant me my wish depending on what he has to say.
He says, “Hello Ruth, I need you to meet me tomorrow at 09h in my office. I have a project that you’d be ideal for.” You can almost see my bounce as I hang up the call ready to deliver the news as well as the dance in my mind for having my wish come true.
I wake up early the next morning ready to travel to Nairobi ready to face the new chapter. I get in thirty minutes late, unfortunately. Traaafffiiiicc! I enter a room with a few of my friends in it with smiley faces and some already teasing me of my tendency to be late. I take a seat head held high and ask, “Where are we at?” (You can almost smell the confidence). The facilitator goes on and on introducing “Rumo!” I lean in ready to understand with a pen in hand to write down some notes. So far it seems like an interesting project and one with players or rather teams from different countries.
“The Nairobi team is the one and only in Africa.” At this I’m literally at the edge of my seat but I try not to be too obvious. I am enthused, elated, humbled, anxious and many happier emotions surging through me but I can’t quite understand what the project is really about. I understand the pillars and I can tell their importance but I cannot understand how the project will help me. I might not have mentioned this before but I had quit my job five months prior to this meeting and the reason was to find my purpose because I couldn’t get to it seated at a desk job that was not as challenging for me.
The meeting comes to an end and in as much as I didn’t communicate my dissatisfaction, I felt that it was a challenge worth taking. At this point I can’t wait for February 24th. Here comes the long awaited day and I get to where my team was meeting budding with joy. Rumo becomes an interesting subject. Now we are required to have a Slack application on our phones or laptops. I have to say I’m not a techie and add that I am not zealous to try out new applications or even have a conversation about it. After a few minutes of affirmations and tutorial lessons from my mates, I have the confidence. The first meeting entails some introduction and now I can really get the gist that is Rumo.
There comes the communication and welcoming to all things Rumo from our facilitators; Elis, Noemi, Anne and Fernanda. The welcome is so warm that you can’t help but feel at home and also feels like you’ve known these people for ages.
We take our first assessment which enables us to choose our competencies under the Connection pillar. I chose to focus on ‘empathy’. You’d ask why but this is an area I felt like I needed a lot of practice on so why not?
Then comes week two where we are to choose yet another competence around the pillar of Balance. This time I focus on ‘flexibility’.
On the third week, I choose ‘boldness’ which was under the Resilience pillar. While I had faced some few challenges on the last two competencies, this one felt like trying to push a bolder up a hill. The exercise I was supposed to engage in was a challenging one and I could hardly decide on what is my boldest version. Ultimately, I realized that I am at my boldest when mentoring young people because in believe in the potential we have for a great future.
Week four comes knocking and it is a week to focus on Growth and this time I choose to work on ‘self-confidence’. This was quite an eye opening week since I had to look at myself in a new picture as well as realize things that I appreciate about my life as well as write them down which led to enhanced self-awareness.
Quite anxious about the last and fifth week, I even felt giddy at the mention of purpose. I’ve been on a soul searching journey with a thirst to find out my purpose in life so you can guess how happy I was and ready to see what Rumo had in store for the week. At first I had been looking forward to the local immersion which was to be a whole weekend with me and my team mates ‘playing to grow’. This became impossible because of the Covid-19 outbreak so we were to have a virtual immersion. Allow me to say that all my expectations were met and I got to connect with other players from Spain, Palestine, Brazil and Barcelona.
There were the reflection group calls, individual and group awareness exercises – these were something to look forward to every time. New habits formed as a result, new routines and a new journey to personal growth carved. It is truly unforgettable. The last reflection group call ended on a sad note as it meant parting.
An awesome team of facilitators that are people-oriented warm and humble. The free flow of communication made the experience more interesting.
I could redo Rumo anytime and would not tire as it is simply fulfilling and full of life. I must say that I now ready to start a new journey to greatness, mentorship and self-actualization.
Rumo is simply a breath of fresh air!
About the author
Ruth Kimani defines herself as a ‘student of life’, a science enthusiast and a lover of people: “I wake up everyday looking forward to impacting a life in any way and ensuring i go to bed a better person.” She participated in team Nairobi of our program Rumo.