“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” This proverb is indeed universal and timeless. Among the busy schedule of the institute staff members, we strive to establish a culture of work-life balance. Working in research, teaching or projects, it is often that we have to sit for long hours on a daily basis. Hence, joint social activities with fellow colleagues is vital and enhancing our motivation.
Recently on Monday July 19th, we had our annual institute excursion to Blockhausen, about 35 km away from Tharandt. Some of our former institute staff members also joined us for the excursion; it is also nice to stay in contact with former staff. Blockhausen is known for its art in wooden carving using chainsaws. As if stepping into the world of folklore, we were mesmerized by the intricate details of the sculptures that are showcased open air, among the spruce forest.
We saw carvings of animal figures, Viking, and dragons. These sculptures were built by the participants of the international wood carving competition hosted by Blockhausen. After the nice stroll among the sculptures, we enjoyed our refreshment sitting at a long table, which originated from a 120-year-old spruce tree. The 39.80 m long table was awarded with the Guinness World Record in 2010.
Our joint social activities are not only limited for leisure purposes; some members are also involved in weekly sport and cooking activities. For instance, some scientific members of the Chair of Tropical Forestry participated at the “Rewe Team Challenge” in Dresden on May 29th 2019. With the team name “Tropical Tharandt”, we represented the institute among 25,000 other participants.
The team, consisting of Maxi Domke, Tran Van Hiep, La Thi Tham and Kendisha Soekardjo Hintz, finished at rank 1926 from the 2777 teams in the mixed-team category. We did not do it for the sake of competing, but rather for fun. Prior to the 5-km corporate run, the team has been training together at the Großer Garten in Dresden. Running is a fun activity when done together. We strive to maintain this healthy habit of exercising regularly.
Beside regular exercises, we have started to have joint lunch once a week together in the office since the beginning of 2019. As an alternative to having lunch at the Mensa, cooking together and by our own is not only fun, but also healthier. Half a year after institutionalizing this activity, we have had diverse cuisines from around the world: From Vietnamese summer rolls, Cameroonian dried fish, Indonesian gado-gado, Kenyan style jollof rice, to regional food like potatoes and quark. We surely look forward to try out other cuisines our team members can surprise us with!
By Kendisha S. Hintz