Finding the Homeward Bounders in Ushuaia was a joy! For so long we had been collaborating and communicating from different continents, finally, everyone was here!! We had a group dinner in Ushuaia the night before the ship’s departure, and were introduced to the film crew, the faculty and a new social media campaign #MotherNaturesDaughters.
After leaving Ushuaia Friday night and entering the Drake Passage around midnight, we woke to a beautifully calm day in the Southern Ocean. It was so calm today that we had our first HB learning session for about 4 hrs in the afternoon. The first 2 days were set aside for being flung across the Drake Passage, but it was more like the Drake Millpond. We had superb bird viewing, I was swooning over the Black-browed Albatrosses, Fulmars, Prions and Wilson’s storm petrels flying close to the stern and over the deck.
It was a good settling in day, a few people were still finding their sea legs, but it doesn’t appear we had anyone completely disabled from chronic seasickness. which is truly amazing out of 90 people including the faculty and film crew.
I loved seeing people help each other, looking out for each other, being kind to one another. The first session was active, fast moving and addressed “Why do I want to be a leader?” and “Why Homeward Bound”.
I had fun connecting with Belinda from Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, Fern from Victoria, and Wynet from Ottawa in the exercises. We walked around the deck in pairs, talking about other families, about fire management, about our journeys from our agencies to HB. Wynet very skilfully drew from me why I want to lead. She is a wise and gentle soul.
It was a good session to crystallise the 2 years of thinking and wondering about what I wanted to get out of HB. After initially looking forward to a couple of days down time for bird watching while we crossed the Drake, I was instead happy that we got out of the blocks early and tackled the purpose of our journey.
Another important message in the first session, from Fabian – we must learn to take the knocks, failure, and bounce back. Leadership is not about confidence, it is about being courageous. AND vulnerable.