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in loco fellows’ blog series #3

Three months as a Fellow…

I am Madane Bataung, a graduate in civil engineering from Lerotholi Polytechnic in Lesotho. I am also the founder of @Nebulart Recycling Group. I am that nice guy who leaves his car unlocked to offer a safe haven for someone in case they encounter a polar bear! Old music and me…..same WhatsApp group. I would walk away from signing a million dollar contract if anyone offered me vinyls I don’t have already!

It has been such a change in environment these past three months. Let me just put this out there, I feel good to be part of the in loco fellowship. I know some people might ask what I’m doing here or maybe wondering if I have given up on my company, not a chance.

 

Trust me I have ulterior motives for being here. I get to make and test mud bricks that may be used in the construction. This was super exciting to do because building with mud has been a fantasy of mine.

That is why I have been building with waste cans, glass bottles and mud to build recycle bins (see Nebulart’s Facebook and other social media). So now I am about to get firsthand experience building a home, surely you can see the snowball effect with the mud bricks here. Plus I am also being given business training to improve my company.

 

 

 

We had a trip to Morija two months ago to study some vernacular architecture. I never knew Morija holds the record of having the oldest standing building in the country (Maeder House – built in 1843). That was like those high school trips that will forever get you smiling from ear to ear when they come to mind. For starters, I got the best view in the mini bus, “the back seat”.

I know for a fact that every fellow will not forget when the Boss Lady was on door duty and would shout out “Morija, Morija, phakisa, phakisa (hurry, hurry) at every stop, I think she took a wrong turn in profession, she would have made an awesome taxi driver assistant {hahaha….}

We have just been given feedback on our work so far, which was a nerve-racking moment before I could sit down with the coaches. The feedback was unexpected. I found out new things about myself, where I have been doing a good job and where I need to improve.

I can say it’s safe to say it was an eye opening session of constructive criticism which I have built a “lesaka” (fondness) for. Never thought I am that much of a hard worker, self driven or disciplined (not blowing my own trumpet here!

I had a conversation about music with the Boss Lady (she’s definitely not going to like that name) a few days back and wow! She’s got some dope hip-hop artists I’ve never heard of, can’t wait to hear what everyone else in the studio is listening to.

There have been times in the office when I would just be mind blown by the level of disinterest or reluctance from some of the fellows to take on tasks. In a way, I would be glad I don’t have to be that sick patient who would cut in line at the hospital just because my injury is more urgent. I had more options to choose which skills I would like to learn next without “competing,” but that was then. Now, now I think everyone has figured out, if they want to make it out alive and succeed after the fellowship, it is up to us to add on to our skills because no one can take away our talents.

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