After more than 3 decades in existence, traditions have become entrenched within the Sabi Sabi family. One of the Christmas traditions that the staff most look forward to every year, is the annual role swap Christmas Lunch. For this event the management and senior staff become the servers, and the trackers, kitchen crew, chambermaids, gardeners and other invaluable ‘back of house’ staff members become the valued guests. Even the Johannesburg management team joins in to make this meal a very special occasion. The lunch this year was hosted at Bush Lodge. On a glorious summer’s day under a beautiful clear sky, long tables were festively laid out and staff took their seats awaiting their delicious meal.
The celebration was a wonderful mix of African and European Christmas customs punctuated by laughter, banter and shared stories. There was praise singing, followed by a speech of thanks to the loyal workers by Sabi Sabi owners Jacqui and Hilton Loon. At this lunch there is also a time honoured tradition of the presentation of long service awards. The number of staff receiving these is testament to the devotion and dedication of our Sabi Sabi family. Christine Ndubane (one of our chambermaids at Earth Lodge), has served Sabi Sabi for an amazing 30 years, while there were six staff members for 20 years and another six for 10 years.
It was a happy and relaxed occasion ahead of the inevitable whirlwind that comes with running a world class lodge over the festive season.
The management teams from both the head office in Johannesburg and those from the lodges also used the opportunity to plan their marketing and operational strategy going forward, and outline their vision and mission for the coming year. And while they enjoyed a relaxed and convivial evening the next night at Bush Lodge, the highlight of their time together was undoubtedly the annual staff Christmas lunch and the coming together of the Sabi Sabi family.