In The Philippines, the mysterious island of Siquijor is known for it’s mystical legends of black magic and witchcraft. This seemingly spooky reputation precedes the real beauty of its pristine white shoreline, clear blue sea, and untouched natural wonders. So, it’s quite apt that the Caresharing founders and leaders chose this place to hold their 2013 end-of-year strategy meetings. Maybe, just maybe, like powerful wizards, they can cook up the greatest magical potion (or software because it’s already 2013) that will change the future of healthcare.
Finally waiting for the fastcraft to Siquijor! Our leadership team from left: CPO Harm, COO Jos, CSO Tijs and CEO Mark. From Amsterdam, Tijs and Jos travelled to Cebu where they met with Harm and Mark at the CS-Cebu Office in Cebu I.T. Park. From Cebu, they hit the road and cross the ocean to Dumaguete, and again brave the waves of the open sea to reach Siquijor.
Travelling far clears one’s head because it opens it up for new ideas. Aside from riding buses and boats, they also ride the tricycle, the FIlipino version of the tuktuk.
Then, finally, they prepare for the strategy meeting in a relaxing place with a pool and a beautiful view.
About a week before the leadership team visited the place, the Engineering goal owners who are based in Cebu, stayed in Coco Grove Beach Resort. They met here to conjure some spellbinding codes and stuff.
The Engineering team leaders: Franee, Paolo, Dioni, Ador. Not in photo is Mark, Norlan, Sho, and Wagee.
The meetings can last until sundown!
Hey Guys, meet Anthony. Caresharing‘s Junior UI Engineer!
Hi, Anthony is the name. Yes, I am that isolated boy by the door who some may find weird and unfriendly. Just keep this a secret, I don’t bite.
I’ve been with Caresharing for more than a year now as a Junior UI Engineer(thanks to Odina for this part). To be honest, I am not the one who creates the UI per se. I just pimp other people’s work with my UI enhancement skills. To think of an analogy, probably I could compare my role to an interior designer-slash-decorator. After the engineers constructed the building and ensured it’s safety, it’s my turn to make sure that the people can see everything that the building has to offer. I make sure that this building is where people can envision themselves living in comfort and using the available facilities for their desired purpose.
My love for art is directly proportional to my love for order, which I guess, is the very nature of programming: love, art and order. I didn’t really become a full blown artist, and honestly, I haven’t enhanced my strokes for a very long time. BUT, I sure do love designing and pimping my fellow programmers’ work with my UI enhancement skills.
If you happen to pass by my table, feel free to write your regards/scribbles/doodles on the drawing book at my lefthand side. Just beside the random doodles a.k.a. the uncontrollable thoughts that escaped from my mind. It would be awesome!
How do the Dutch start their holiday season? Here’s a taste of their tradition, from our project manager in Holland, Jeroen.
The Netherlands, where Holland is, is a small country that is located in the west of Europe adjacent to the North Sea and two neighbors, Belgium and Germany. We only have a population of 16 million people so we are not really a big country in this enormous world. But, yessir, we have our own traditions and culture.
Every year in mid-November our Sinterklaas Feest starts. I think this is one of the nicest Dutch traditions we have. To explain what Sinterklaas is, I think the best way is to compare it with the American version of Santa Claus.
Every year, this old man with a long beard (Sinterklaas) together with his helpers (Zwarte pieten) travel from Spain to Holland in his boats that’s full of presents!
When Sinterklaas arrives in Holland, it’s a big party and all children sing songs to welcome Sinterklaas and his Zwarte pieten. They all get candies, and Pepernoten, a small cookie that tastes really yummy!
It starts on the eve of the 5th of December until the morning of the 6th. There are a lot of small and big parties all over the country. All children put their shoes next to the fire place. This is because Sinterklaas and his Zwarte Pieten will come into houses through the fire place to bring presents and candies to the children. The children would position their shoes next to the fire place, they put inside some drawings, and carrots too for Sinterklaas’ horse. On the 5th of December the real big party starts– and we call in Pakjes Avond. All children get nice presents from Sinterklaas, and they sing songs.
I think this sounds really crazy but it is a real Dutch tradition. Maybe you want to join us some time?
***All photos in this post are from http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/.
Our costumer support team leader in Holland, Evelien, shares her delightful travel story about California and Las Vegas, USA.
Guys, ever wanted to travel but never had the money for it? I have the solution!
I traveled to California for 3 weeks with a 1500 euro budget. Okay, that sounds like a lot of money, but not if you have to include the airfare as well. You want this too, huh? Well, I could just imagine. Then, you should. It is a beautiful state. Lots of sun, nice free-spirited people (like hippies) and oh, the beaches. Now, we do have beaches in Holland too, but there’s no sun. So to me this is very, very, special. Hehehe
I started in Los Angeles and traveled via Santa Barbara and San Louis Obispo to Mountain View, THE Google town! From there, I also went to San Francisco, and to wrap up this vacation, I took a plane to Las Vegas. It was simply the best. Especially, Las Vegas! How I did it? Oh well, couchsurfing.org! I stayed at peoples places! I made a lot of friends and are still in contact with them until now.
I actually kept a journal for my travels in California. For those of you who can read Dutch, you might find this post helpful.
But especially for my friends in Cebu, Philippines, I translated my travel story on my trip to “sin city”. . . Las Vegas! Here it goes:
In the middle of the desert lies a city surrounded by sand. That will run out all water supply in 2021, but has more then enough alcohol to keep the businesses going. It is where they spend more money at the gambling tables than on education. No wonder they have the least law students. Don’t be surprise to find more wedding chapels than successful marriages, grownup men dress like Elvis, and feel a temperature that rises higher than your chances to win anything.
Here, nothing is really forbidden and parents waste there children’s tuition money. Even hotels have floors with toys for children to keep them busy, full of gambling machines, and a nanny.
This is a place where more losers than winners roam. The air smells like dice, money, and chips. How magical!
The one hotel even bigger than the other, containing lions, tigers, gold nuggets, roller coasters, even rain forests!
You will find it here in Vegas!
No matter how keen you look around, you will not find any clockwork on the walls nor any exit signs to keep you from going to those slot machines. The light is always on, so you don’t know that it is already dark outside and your free drinks will keep coming to your table so you don’t have to get up.
And just to remind you again, this is all in the middle of the f***ing desert!!! Where adventurers go to find out in the end that all that could have made them happy after all, have already been sold.
But hey, this is a great place to end my vacation perhaps. Every place I visited these past weeks, I’ve left in there a little piece of my heart. I might not be able to buy those pieces back here where everything is for sale, where you leave you conscience at the hotel room while the devil takes over on the lobby.
But first, let’s explore the surroundings here. Hiken, Hooverdam, THE Grand Canyon. Just before I go to damnation and never want to go back again. Because here, you would ask if everything is real, even if you can order girls with your golden Mastercard.
Vegas has it all! The big question is, after this trip: ‘Will I be the winner or the loser?’ I, alone will decide. Oh wait, I just found a quarter… be back in a sec…
***All photos in this post by http://www.pachd.com/.