Can diversity be effectively learnt in isolation?

Often we hear people say, “I feel your pain.” This empathetic and well-meaning statement is generally untrue. It is like a man saying that he understands, or can feel, the pain of childbirth. The closest he will ever get is to actively listen to women talk of the pain, and to watch a child being born.

Similarly it is almost impossible for a person to effectively understand diversity whilst learning about “others” in isolation.

Often management groups ask us to teach “us” more about “them.” This is a way of keeping themselves aloof and safe from their diverse staff. Or, we are asked to teach “them” about “our way.” This is a group form of isolation, which substantially reduces the positive impact of diversity awareness training.

It has been our experience that diversity is best learnt, practically, in groups of diverse people. The diversities need to include, as far as possible: Gender, age, race, language, sexual preference, levels, departments, cultures and religions.

When combined in this way the benefits are tremendous. It is firstly possible to upscale the methodologies to a level of fun and competition. Secondly, the resultant interaction ensures long-term learning through the relationships that are built across diversities. Thirdly, there is a huge element of cross diversity team building and respect-building and finally, the lessons gained are either first or second-hand experiential skills.

Diversity awareness, learnt in isolation, will build the intellectual understanding of diversity, the fairness and injustice of diversity. Strong understanding will be gained of diversity and what is acceptable behaviour and what is not.

Sadly very little will be understood – at an emotional and experiential level. This can only be gained through interaction with people of different backgrounds.

Please comment below, or visit our site for more information on Celebrating Humanity Diversity Training programs.

Living and Teaching Unity – Arthie and Brian Moore

Da Moores 2012 Arthie, Brian and Family‘Living and Teaching Unity’

An excerpt from: Golden Room.

Many cross cultural couples will readily include in their list of the benefits of being in a cross cultural relationship, the delight in being able to have two weddings that reflect their dual cultural heritage.But for Arthie and Brian Moore of South Africa, two weddings wasn’t quite enough to reflect, represent and celebrate this couple’s inspiring journey. They have in fact married each other seven times, and the second wedding was a surprise wedding!

Their story begins with a dream. The amazing and almost unbelievably accurate dream of a young girl in year seven at school, about the kind of man she wanted to marry. And the dream of a nation that it would one day be free from apartheid.Arthie grew up as a fourth generation Asian South African in a Hindu family classed as ‘Indian’..

Unusually her family came from divergent socio- economic backgrounds, with entrepreneurs on one side and fishermen and carpenters on the other side, her roots stemmed from indentured labourers from the Indian subcontinent.

From an early age Arthie’s family understood she was somewhat rebellious and determined, a person who knew exactly what she wanted and how to get it. For a school project Arthie wrote out her dreams where she described exactly who she would marry and what they would do with their lives together; her future husband would also be tall with blue eyes and blonde hair.

Perhaps her family only gave cursory attention to this detail. After all in the South Africa of this time White people and Asian, ‘Coloured’ and Black people had very little interaction. There were separate neighbourhoods, separate schools, separate churches, and separate sports leagues. In effect, just as the policy intended, -apartheid meaning separateness- the people of South Africa were separated in every conceivable way.

The ‘races’ of South Africa certainly did not intermarry. (more) via www.goldenroom.co.uk.

Arthie and Brian Moore – Profile

Both Arthie and Brian have many years of Africa and international experience in developing communication and respect within diverse teams, removing conflict within teams, diversity management training and transformational team building.
They love to learn about people, their cultures, traditions and religions and are able to greet in over 80 languages! They are widely travelled and live the lives that they talk about.
Their clients include government, multi-nationals and corporates in South Africa, Namibia, UK, China and USA.
They have positively  impacted the lives 1000’s of people through their diversity/ team building programmes.
Arthie Moore
Arthie Moore – General Manager – Celebrating Humanity International
Unique in her way and manner, in bringing about and project managing positive change, International facilitator, writer and project manager Arthie Moore is a multi-faceted gem.
With over a decade in building leadership, respect and accountability within teams and companies she is well known, liked and respected as a powerful and intuitive leader.
Arthie is one of the Inspirational Women at Work-  in the book by that name and has been recognized, for developing leadership amongst women, by Former 1st Lady of Mozambique Mrs Graca Machel-Mandela.
She is currently writing a book on how to build great relationships and is the co-author of the Celebrating Humanity series of diversity, team building and teamconflict resolution programmes.
 Brian V Moore – Managing Director – Celebrating HumanityInternational
Author, speaker, facilitator and change agent – Brian V Moore has a unique ability to engage, involve and unite people from any background. His skills in switching language, greetings and body language swiftly build relationships across diversity.
Known as the Peacemaker on the Dusi Canoe Marathon – for his work in bringing peace – between canoeists and rural communities, during the 1990s.  He was recognized by Archbishop Desmond Tutu with a Sanlam – Sunday Tribune Community Builder Award.

He has assisted communities to build classrooms and clinics as the Chairperson of the KZN Canoe Union Valley Assistance Fund. Brian was awarded Provincial Colours for this work.
Brian speaks English, isiZulu, Afrikaans fluently and gets by in the various Nguni languages.
With over 25 years of experience in his field, Brian has spoken at numerous functions around South Africa, Namibia, UK, China and USA.
  •  He chaired the 2009 Learning World Conference, in Hong Kong, and presented on Transformational Team Building methodologies.
  • Presented, and a sponsor of, the London Diversity Conference – in 2008.
  •  Presented to Post Graduates at Quinniapac University, Connecticut – USA.
Websites:
http://www.africa-dreams.com
http://www.celebrating-humanity-projects.com
Blogs:
http://transformdiverseteams.blogspot.com
http://wayswelearn.blogspot.com

Email us

Request a Team Building, Diversity Training
or Team Conflict Resolution proposal –
on http://www.celebrating-humanity-projects.com
or email: brian@africa-dreams.com
or call +27 79 643 4457

Fazal’s Food. An exercise in respect for culture and religion.

Fazal stood before the delegates, at the end of the Celebrating Humanity© session.
The Diversity Training facilitator’s voice trembled with emotion as he spoke.

“I have been deeply touched, by your giving and humanness. The lengths to which you have gone, to ensure that we have been fed, goes beyond anything that I have ever experienced.” As he spoke, tears and smiles began to fill the room.

Our story begins in our offices, during November 2007, and takes us about about 120 miles to an industrial harbor city.

Our company had been contracted to run a 2 day Celebrating Humanity Foundation© session, over 2 consecutive weekends, for a Shipping Agency. In order to get the finer details correct, I got in my car and drove to a meeting with the branch manager – Clint Evans.

We sat down and chatted about his team’s needs, the venue and the make up of our teams. One of the immediate challenges was the fact that there were two people, who had specific dietary requirements – based on their religion.

One was Fazal, from our team and another, a member of the client’s team. (It is critical when facilitating transformational team building that one gets the food right – and even more important, when running work functions.)

After I left, Clint  had his organiser check the various venues and settled on a hotel that promised halaal food.

A week or so later, Fazal and I arrived on site, to find that the hotel did not serve halaal food, as it served alcohol and pork, on the premises. The wonderfully humble, Fazal – told me not to worry. He would eat bread and fruit, and that his family had packed some food for him.

During the programme we covered food diversity – as a way to build relationships. And even though Fazal had urged me not to, I told the Clint about the lack of halaal food for him.

Clint later told me that the hotel team had promised to collect a halaal meal, if their offerings were not acceptable. I asked Fazal to arrange this with the hotel. And yet, at lunch-time he sat with some bread and fruit. I asked him what the challenge was. “No problem. The hotel did not have transport available. Don’t worry bhaya (brother), I have eaten my full.”

As we all know, food is one of the cornerstones of relationship building. And one of the easiest to mess up.

When I related the story to the team, against Fazal’s wishes, they were shocked. They had done everything they knew how, to get the right thing done. Again Fazal spoke, “Please don’t worry. I am quite used to it. I will bring some home food next week.

During the following week, Clint contacted me. “I have found a small Muslim restaurant in Richard’s bay. I have made contact with them and will bring a menu for Fazal to choose from. They have promised to deliver.”

On the next Saturday, Fazal was given the menu. He spoke to me, and said, “I don’t want to impose, bhaya. They mustn’t worry, we have brought some food from home. And we don’t need much.”

I said to him, “Fazal, this is not your choice. This is their journey. And you know the biggest gift, that you can offer right now, is to receive gracefully.”

“Ok bhaya, sorry”, he said with a gentle smile. He placed his order and we left it at that.

At lunch Fazal and his partner sat together and enjoyed a perfect halaal meal. They were obviously touched, by the actions of this amazing group.

Little did we know that Clint and his team had physically gone to check the local halaal food providers. They had found one perfect place, in a small far-away suburb, collected the menu and brought it to Fazal.

As we drove home, that evening, Fazal spoke at length, of how they had honoured his uniqueness, respected him, his upbringing and his religion. In all of his 46 years, this had never happened.

He has experienced the wonder of the human spirit. And the depth of caring, will stay with him forever.

In this story, we honour the people of the shipping agency, for the extent to which they have gone, to show their wonderful humanness and respect for humanity. They have brought a great lesson, to us all.

I am a lucky man!

I am a very lucky man!

After a very long time as a very self-sufficient bachelor, a beautiful lady came into my life and in a moment I was married to her. I was notoriously slow and fearful in matters of love. Arthie, bless her active spirit, arranged a birthday party for me on my 45th birthday, bought a ring and on bended knee proposed to me! She then waited for me to set the date for the wedding.

After a brief time she asked me for some time on Valentine’s day – her birthday. I was hoping to take her on a helicopter, a yacht and a train ride on the day. I knew Arthie did not particularly like being up early – so I jokingly said, “Ok. How about 2 hours, between 7 am and 9 am. On the 13th we both participated in a fire walk, once more proving the resilience of our relationship. 
That evening Arthie sent me to the local pub, for a business meeting. Lo and behold, all of my friends were there and I began to put 2 and 2 together! It was my stag party! I felt a an amazing rush of excitement – I was getting married the next day!
We arrived early the next morning, at the beautiful Botanic Gardens. I was guided down to the tranquil bird-filled, tree-lined lake to await my beautiful bride. About 30 members of the family and our friends had gathered to witness our wedding. Arthie had arranged for the ceremony to be officiated by a marriage officer. He in turn had gathered as many hymn books as possible and handed them out to our pre-dominantly Hindi guests. 

My heart skipped a beat as my beautifully smiling bride appeared, flanked by her family. She glided stunningly towards me in her beautiful white wedding gown. Her image was reflected on the walkway in the pools of rainwater, as she stepped into my life and into my spirit. 

The ceremony was incredible and many scenes stand out for me. My mother sang “The best things in life are free.” The marriage officer, as a lay pastor, decided to carry out a full Christian ceremony. He even had our Hindu families and friends singing Christian hymns! I later found out that he was unsure that I would agree to this “surprise” wedding! 

I remember the beautiful birds gliding across the lake and a tiny one-legged bird scrounging for insects as we took our vows. In terms of South African law we had to sign the registration forms under a roof and we all squeezed tightly into a tiny office at the garden’s restaurant to do so. 

4 yr old Lliam & Dad in London

I will always take with me the special love and beauty of my incredible friend, guide and wife – Arthie. She is so much to me and to our little boy Lliam. She is a nurturer and a leader. She is a doer and designer. She is humble, yet she is strong. She is firm and yet she is sensitive. She is loving and forgiving.

 

And on top of all this she is a great daughter and daughter-in-law, a marvellous business person, an excellent sister and friend, a teacher and a listener, a shining star and a forward-focused wunderkind who lives in the now, whilst building her legacy for the future! 

One of the greatest leadership lessons that I have learnt from Arthie is that of standing back. I am a very strong person and often I take over when something needs to be done. My way gets results but no-one learns from it. Arthie takes a different tack, she shares some wisdom and leaves others to do complete the task. In this way the work gets done and someone else grows. A prime example is our son Lliam. 

When he first began to totter around our home, I went onto Daddy standby. The moment he stumbled, I would rush to catch him. My cool and calm guide said, “ He learns by falling. Let him fall.” I struggled against my protecting nature. And now Lliam falls, dusts himself off and carries on at full tilt into his next adventure. When he really hurts himself Arthie is always there for him, but she knows the difference between falling and hurting. 

When Lliam picked up a sharp knife, I nearly had a heart attack and Arthie showed him how to use it. When he made a mess, Arthie bought him a small broom and a mop. “I am not going to raise a man so that I have to clean up after him.” He is now 2 years and 8 months old and is an accomplished sweeper and mopper and even makes his own peanut butter sandwiches! 

Making sandwiches at his age may sound like a great achievement but that is not the half of it. The peanut butter and syrup are on a shelf more than two metres above the ground. The butter is high up in the fridge. Lliam pushes a bar stool to the high places, takes what he needs and makes a perfect sandwich! To top it all he returns each item to it’s rightful place! 

And two weeks ago he suddenly began washing the dishes. He kneels on his bar stool at the sink and washes away quite merrily. He then stacks the clean items in the correct places. This all started by being allowed to experience life without being affected by a bigger person taking over the task or by the unreasonable fears of a parent. “Get down! You will hurt yourself.” or, “Don’t touch that knife! You will cut yourself.” 

Standing back takes a lot of courage and selflessness. It is often selfish to take over when helping people and it takes bravery to allow a child to walk down stairs for the first time! Arthie has taught me that managers create controlled and limited results and that leaders create leaders who create brilliant results.Our little boy is fast becoming a leader who comfortably speaks English and Zulu and greets in 12 languages.

Lliam climbed into his gran’s car recently, released the brake, took it out of gear and  “drove” it down our gently inclined driveway until it came to a stop. Arthie and I arrived at the car at the same time. Arthie gently asked, “What are you doing Lliam?” Our little boy firmly stated, “I drive my car!” And we smiled and kept quiet. 

 Later he told, all who would listen, how he had parked “his” car. Indeed he had! He then asked for the car keys so that he could reverse the car back to where it came from. We didn’t give him the keys. Sometimes a leader understands when his student is just too short to reach the pedals or to see over the dashboard! 

Lliam is also offered choices. If he is doing something that we are not comfortable with he is offered a choice of other activities. Instead of wresting a knife out of his hand he may be offered a ride on his pushbike, or a paintbrush and paper. No attention is drawn to the knife, which he hands over without fuss, as Arthie draws attention to a fun and safe activity. I was raised with a strong focus on what I did wrong. Arthie always focusses our son on good activities and praises him on what he does well. Within 1 week of moving out of the diaper stage, Lliam was getting out of bed saying, “Look mommy, I am dry! Yeah! Yeahhhh!” Within a few weeks he is a “dry” baby, who notifies us when he needs the toilet. Arthie’s praise had created pride and she was rewarded with good behaviour – another great lesson for leaders.

Yes! I am a lucky man. Not only has Arthie helped our child to grow, she does that for everyone, including myself. She has taught me that I can “unite or be right.” A great lesson for those of us who have “all the answers”, or who try to manage every situation. Often when we over control, we lose control and break relationships. She has taught me that very few situations require my input. That I have greater value by allowing people to be and to do.
She is a great speaker and a guiding light in our transformational team-building business, where our focus is on uniting diverse people through their uniquenesses and their actions. She always intuitively knows when to move on to a new process. And if the group needs something special or something different, she knows and makes the change in pace and direction. Arthie is in tune with herself and with people and has saved many failing relationships, with her ability to listen and  gently help people move from being victims to becoming leaders.
She has taught me the value of giving and the sheer freedom in personal forgiveness. She has taught me that humanness far out-weighs “winning”. She has taught me about the power of “us” and the value of family. She has taught me that the world rewards action and not thought.
And she is so incredibly beautiful in every possible way! Yes! I am indeed a very lucky man!
Brian V Moore©
Durban – South Africa. 3 November 2003
Update
I am still a lucky man
Sitting here this morning in September 2006 and reflecting upon where we were, when I wrote the first part of our story makes me smile. 
Our little business was struggling, we owed hundreds of thousands – to banks and suppliers.
In reality we were in deep trouble, financially and our fledgling business was on it knees. The luckiest man in the world was days away from losing his home. And yet I had never felt so lucky! Days after sending out the Lucky Man newsletter, work came pouring in. 
Within 8 months we had cleared our debt. Our business took its first leaps into surrounding countries. We spent time at the beautiful Lake Kariba, – bordering Zambia and Zimbabwe.
And now we are firmly a strongly and international company. Our program – Celebrating Humanity© – changes lives and the world in wonderful and positive ways. Our life’s work will take us to Namibia, Tanzania, Ghana and Mocambique in the near future. And hopefully – the USA and the UK.
But more importantly – Arthie is still a wonderful loving wife and mother, a wonderful friend and an incredible agent for universal transformation.
Lliam is now a wonderful big brother! 
2 yr old Kailash, in Namibia

Young Kailash is 2 months old. He is cute, happy, bubbly and smiley. He is a reflection of his family’s love and contentment. He bubbles with joy when his 5 year old brother burps him, baths him or holds him.

We are now 4. And I am still the luckiest and happiest man in the world. What a wonderful journey life can be, if we simply choose to focus on our happiness.
Brian Moore – September 2006.Update

Kailash, Myself, Lliam & Arthie
On our smallholding – 2010

My beautiful gift Arthie, has delivered 2 beautiful, loving, intelligent and of course naughty boys into our lives. I would not trade any of them for anything!

Young, bright and fun Kailash, is now almost 5 years old and has started school. He bakes with me and cooks with his mother and he is an absolute delight!

Lliam has moved from home school to a public school. He is excelling and is showing his genius at every turn. He too is brilliant in the kitchen and technically. And has upgraded to a vacuum cleaner!

Arthie and I have been married to each other 7 different ways now! Including a Hindu weddng, a Shamanic wedding in the Drakensburg mountains, a Scottish wedding in Gretna Green – in Scotland, a Las Vegas wedding and we retook our vows in a hot air balloon over the Magaliesberg mountains of South Africa.
Our journey has taken us to Namibia, USA, UK, Europe, Zambia and Hong Kong where we have delivered talks, presentations, team building, team conflict resolution and diversity training. Without the wonderful impact of Arthie on my life none of this would have been possible.
I will always be lucky and always be in awe of her incredible care, brilliance, humanness and laughter.
April 2011
Brian MooreThe luckiest man in the World!
Durban – South Africa.
Request a Team Building, Diversity Training
or Team Conflict Resolution proposal –
on http://www.celebrating-humanity-projects.com
or email: brian@africa-dreams.com
or call +27 79 643 4457

Latest feedback

From Sue Hall – 9/3/2010.
Brian and Arthie have worked with me on numerous occasions building teams through gaining greater understanding and acceptance of one another on a holistic level.

There were times when attitudes were so hard and fast that I thought it would be an impossible task to create teams within groups of people that we were working with but Brian and Arthie with incredible insight and genuine humanity was able to find the chink in the armour and break down barriers that had been built and protected for decades. From those tenuous and fragile beginnings, many teams soared to great heights achieving outstanding results.

I am forever indebted to their excellent work.”
Service Category: Business Consultant
Year first hired: 1990 (hired more than once)
Top Qualities: Great Results, Expert, High Integrity

Request a Team Building, Diversity Training
or Team Conflict Resolution proposal –
on http://www.celebrating-humanity-projects.com
or email: brian@africa-dreams.com
or call +27 79 643 4457

Recent Sayings


My Recent Sayings (Please feel free to add your own)

Brian V Moore 1 9 2009

We have a choice to be condemners, confirmers or co-builders. The 1st is a destroyer, the 2nd seeks friendship by hiding truth through cowardice and the 3rd focuses on building from a platform of truth, openness and candid observation and contribution.

Most people run from the 1st and the 3rd, whilst finding comfort with the confirmers.

Seek out your co-builders, take the input and grow, phenomenally!

Brian V Moore – 30 8 2009 FB.

When we all stop classifying ourselves by colours, races, religions, nations, genders, languages and tribes and only see ourselves and others, as members of the human race, we will set ourselves and the World free of selfishness, prejudice and war. http://celebratinghumanity.ning.com

Brian V Moore – 30 8 2009 FB.

It is our simple faculties and skills, or our ability to find another way, that set us free from mediocrity – the ability to see, hear, feel and the skills to read, write, type, drive, to walk and to talk all open us up to incredible freedom. We have so much to be grateful for.

For team building, team conflict resolution and diversity training please contact us.

Brian V Moore



Brian V Moore, International Speaker and Facilitator Extraordinaire!

Brian V Moore, international speaker and facilitator, is the founder and MD of 20 year-old Mthimkhulu International.

He is a Zambian born South African , of Irish descent , brought up in Port Shepstone and adopted by a Zulu Tribe.

He speaks several languages fluently, especially Zulu. He currently greets in more than 60 other languages. He received a Community Builder Award from Archbishop Desmond Tutu for his contribution to bringing peace to the once troubled Dusi Canoe Marathon.

Brian is the key founder and creator of the Celebrating Humanity Programmes. His vision, focus and commitment toward Transformational Team Building has transformed lives across the board and instills a new sense of hope for all who attend his courses and presentations. Known traditionally as “Hadebe, Mthimkhulu or Bungane”, in the Zulu community, he has lived an incredibly full South African life – and is filled with passion for Africa and its peoples.

He is the author of an e-book, titled, “Team Conflict Resolution Strategies”, which is currently used locally and internationally i.e. USA, UK, Australia and South Africa. He has a great depth of knowledge and experience in business, customer care, conflict resolution, communication, diversity, relationships, traditions and traditional proverbs.

Brian was recently the guest speaker and Chairman of the World Learning Summit in Hong Kong in February 2009. He was also the Business Sponsor and Speaker at the Annual Diversity Conference held in London.

He has spoken and facilitated change with thousands of people in Zambia, Namibia, Hong Kong, Rhode Island – USA, Connecticut – USA and across South Africa.

Brian’s storytelling, ability to involve his audiences and his tremendously human touch will delight, wow and entice multi-diverse audiences to see diversity at a much different and deeper level.

Brian is willing and able to travel anywhere in the World, to enchant your people! Experience the Moore Magic!

Brian Moore – Speaker



Brian V Moore, International Speaker and Facilitator Extraordinaire! Brian V Moore, international speaker and facilitator, is the  Managing Director of Celebrating Humanity International (formerly Mthimkhulu International.

He is a Zambian born South African , of Irish descent , brought up in Port Shepstone and adopted by a Zulu Tribe.

He speaks several languages fluently, including English, Zulu and Afrikaans. He currently greets in more than 60 other languages.He received a Community Builder Award from Archbishop Desmond Tutu for his contribution to bringing peace to the once troubled Dusi Canoe Marathon.

Brian is the key founder and co-creator of the Celebrating Humanity Diversity Training, Team Building and Team Conflict Resolution Programmes. His vision, focus and commitment toward Transformational Team Building has transformed lives across the board and instills a new sense of hope for all who attend his courses and presentations. Known traditionally as “Mthimkhulu, or Bhungane”, in the Zulu community, he has lived an incredibly full South African and African life – and is filled with passion for Africa and its peoples.

He is the author of an e-book, titled, “Team Conflict Resolution Strategies”, which is currently used locally and internationally i.e. USA, UK, Australia and South Africa. He has a great depth of knowledge and experience in business, customer care, conflict resolution, communication, cultures, diversity, relationships, traditions and traditional proverbs.

Brian was recently the guest speaker and Chairman of the World Learning Summit in Hong Kong in February 2009. He was also the Business Sponsor and Speaker at the Annual Diversity Conference held in London.

He has spoken and facilitated change with thousands of people in Zambia, Namibia, Swaziland, Hong Kong, Rhode Island – USA, Connecticut – USA and across South Africa.

Brian’s storytelling, ability to involve his audiences and his tremendously human touch will delight, wow and entice multi-diverse audiences to see diversity at a much different and deeper level.

Brian is willing and able to travel anywhere in the World, to enchant your people!

Experience the Magic!

 

I want that medal! Achieving against all odds!

The full Umgeni river thundered and surged around and over the mighty rocks in Graveyard rapid, as we paddled hard for the finish of 1986 Dusi Canoe Marathon. The rear cockpit of our blue racing K2 kayak was cracked from an earlier spill in the tricky uMzinyathi rapid. Suddenly the brown water threw our craft towards the Graveyard’s final obstacle a huge, partially submerged rock.

We pulled hard, Mother Nature laughed at our puny efforts and within an instant we were facing each other. Our weakened canoe was wrapped around the rock. As I fought to push off the rock, Terry elected to roll out into the current. As he did the old blue Foxbat lifted up its tail and sank into the pool below the rapid.

As we pulled the kayak to the bank Terry said in a matter-of-fact way, “Oh well Moore, that’s it.”I looked up from the boat, and said, “I haven’t come this far not to finish this race. I want that medal!.” He looked thoughtfully at me and, in his tough way, said “Ja, you’re right! Let’s fix this … thing!”

As he spoke, my old VW Kombi came winding around the corner loaded with our seconders and patching materials. It was a miracle that we met at this critical time on the 120km race. This merely proved to me that when we total commit to a goal, the necessary resources will miraculously be there for us. The kayak was broken in half, held together by a token strip of fibreglass and resin.

Dusi Canoe Marathon

Achieving against all odds. Brian and Terry Moore

 

As we began patching it with tree branches, duct tape and fibreglass, I reflected on the events of the past three days. This was my third attempt at the Dusi canoe marathon – an epic journey from Pietermaritzburg to Durban. I was ill-prepared on the first attempt and narrowly missed cut-off on a very dry river on the 2nd day of the following attempt.
Terry and I were known as the “Heavyweight Champions” of the Dusi – based only on our weight and little else! We weighed a combined 210kgs which we packed, tightly into a 45kg canoe. This excluded drinking water, wet life-jackets and paddles! We had already covered about 100kms in the intensely oppressive January heat in sub-tropical Natal (KwaZulu Natal) and had according to our growing tradition and a lack of training, just made cut-off on each of the previous days.

We had the strength and skills to negotiate rapids and the mental fortitude to handle long paddling sessions but distinctly disliked the many steep portage sections. In a full river portaging was the safest option, but we ignored the easy way – in pursuit of exciting paddling experiences.Now 20kms of paddle and portage lay ahead of us. There was plenty time left if the canoe was in good condition, but the need to carry the craft would make it difficult to get to the finish before the cut-off.

As soon as we had finished applying the wet resin, fibreglass and branches we picked up the misshapen craft and set-off. Good wishes of our crew and some local residents rang in our ears as we set off on our mission improbable. W

e laughed at the fact that we, of all people, were carrying a canoe next to a perfectly flowing river. We occasionally forded the river, climbed hills and forced our way through “wag ‘n bietjie” (wait-a-bit) thorn bushes. I carried the front of the boat. Behind me Terry was beginning to stumble. Suddenly he and the Foxbat hit the deck. The canoe took on a definite and permanent banana shape! “Are you ok?”, I asked. “Ja.” came the response, “Just a little bit goofed!” Unbeknown to me the resin and catalyst were beginning to gel and the Terry was breathing in the hot fumes. He had never been that high in his life!

After breathing in un-polluted oxygen for awhile we once more headed for the finish. Terry must have become accustomed to the fumes, or begun to enjoy the effects, as he never complained again.Eventually the repairs to our “banana boat” had set and we took to the water below the last rapids and paddled and emptied, paddled and emptied our way towards Durban.

We ran out of drinking water and at times a severely dehydrated Terry seemed a little delirious. We met a group who gave us ice-cold drinking water, just when we needed it most.The news of the pending arrival of the “Heavyweight champions” had preceded us.

Many hours later, with just 14 minutes to spare, we paddled our sinking canoe past hundreds of cheering spectators. We were stone last. As we crossed the line I silently began to cry tears of tiredness, elation and relief. This was my first Dusi finish. We had done it!

Terry still talks today of the steely look in my eyes when I refused to give up, saying, “I want that medal.” He says that knew then that we would definitely finish the race. Often in our lives we make choices. We go with the flow and the naysayers, or we say, “I have come this far… there is NO way that I will give up!”
It is at these points in our lives that our destiny is determined. And it is then, when the Universe celebrates our commitment, and brings to us all the necessary resources to attain our goals. In the power of a decision lies huge opportunity. It is at times like this that we need to honour not only the people who receive the awards, but those who made it possible. To our supporters – the unsung heroes – thanks it is your giving and caring that makes all of life’s successes possible.

Brian V Moore©brian@africa-dreams.com

PS… My Lessons

Whatever stress you are under now – there is a still another “medal” to be won.Live in gratitude for the people who love you, believe in you and support you! Set your goal, patch up your “canoe”, and head for your next critical stage in your life. Together, you can do it!

PPS.

The annual South Africa Dusi Canoe marathon covers approximately 120kms of mountainous terrain and the courses of the Umsundusi and Umgeni rivers. The Kwa-Zulu Natal based race starts in Pietermaritzburg, and ends in Durban – 3 days later.

Request a Team Building quotation, Diversity Training quotation
or Team Conflict Resolution proposal

“Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead.

Brian V Moore Website

Diversity Training in South Africa

Africa Dreams Website – Celebrating Humanity International

Celebrating Humanity Projects

Team Building in South Africa

Celebrating Humanity Blog

Celebrating Humanity on Facebook

Contact

Mobile: +27 (0)79 643 4457

Fax: +27 866 746 310