The Communications team recently sat down with Performance Management & Employee Relations Manager, Tanweer Rahimun and Accounts Officer, Ali Ghurbal to talk about their recent trip to Djibouti.
The dynamic duo teamed up to deliver the first ever LIFO session across borders, as featured in the November 30 issue of Missing Links. But we wanted to hear more about their experience overseas and what made this visit so “special”.
This was Tan’s second time to Djibouti, but she mentioned how this time around, things were different. She got to experience the true Djiboutian culture, something she will cherish for years to come. Ali, on the other hand, was excited to be visiting the country for the first time, and it “will not be his last” either!
When asked what the highlight for the both was, without hesitation, they mentioned the “people”! “They treated me like a prince and were very welcoming. It was as if I had known them my whole life,” said Ali. “The culture was great but it is the people of the country that make it. They’re always smiling and always happy!” Tan added that Ali wanted to join the Djibouti team and he felt right at home, as “part of the same big family”.
Other than coming back to Bahrain with 29kg of Djiboutian stones in her suitcase, Tan also came back with a smile she says she “will never forget. I feel like we were part of their family. They took care of us and showed us a good time. We got to see many sites in Djibouti and on our last day we visited Lacassal, which is the salt lake. It was a great bonding experience!.”
Amine Legroun Ahmar, Customer Service employee, borrowed Country Manager David Hanse’s 4-wheeler to take the two to the Salt Lake on their last day. After Amine got distracted on the road and got lost, they ended up over an ancient volcanic eruption. A thermal river at this site caught Ali’s attention and he thought he could walk over the water bare foot…to his surprise – he couldn’t! The river was at 90 degrees and after a few steps, he ran back and put his shoes back on! “It was so hot!”
Once they finally made it to the lake with Amine and his two friends, the five of them drove right up to the edge of water and had a great day out.
“Walking on the salt is like walking on ice…it’s 200 times denser than the Dead Sea and the percentage of salt to water is unimaginable. We always heard of the Salt Lake, but you won’t be able to imagine it until you go,” said Tan. “This is an experience I will never forget, we made so many memories and so many friends.”
Ali was in agreement. “It was amazing. This was my first time to conduct training and I was so nervous but they made me feel so comfortable and it couldn’t have gone any better than it did. They were smiling throughout. The night of BBQ I no longer felt like a guest, but more like a friend, and I helped them grill up the meats…I just wanted them to know that I was one of them!”