Building a team is much like building a house.

You need good support for the house/team to stand strong, strong walls/companions to help you stay warm in even the coldest situations, windows for light/fun and many other things. That is why a team has to be built slowly and with great care. If you just throw all of these things together you will not get a house, but a pile of rubble. A house/ team built too fast and carelessly will fall and collapse. But if you go slow and put the pieces together brick by brick, you can build something that will last your whole life.

Becoming a team has been difficult, with ups and downs comparable to a massive roller-coaster in an amusement park.

When we all first came together there were more of us. Over time our group has grown smaller but we have also grown closer. We have come to know each other as people not just as fellow students or volunteers. We have seen the different sides of our teammates, many of whom we can now call friends.

Being together for these last 5 months as an actual team has been challenging to say the least. There have been harder and easier times. Arguments, shouting and insults. But also forgiveness, apologies and many hours spent in fun and interesting discussions.

Managing and working as a team is all about balance. Balancing tasks and work, your teammates and even yourself.

Many times you hear the sentence: “There is no I in team”, meaning you can’t focus too much on yourself when you are working as a part of an unit. You have to let your ego go and focus on what would be good for the team as a whole. But of course, we are human and because of that flawed. It is very hard for us to let go of our egos and just focus on others. That is why we fight. Our opinions clash and arguments that can start as innocent conversations can turn ugly quite quickly.

But it’s not all bad. Far from it. After every rainstorm, there’s a rainbow. Meaning good things can come after a bad period in time. These arguments present a great learning opportunity to all of us. While we fight, we are letting go of our anger, resentments maybe even fears. And so, after the fight the so called “playing field” is cleared. The rain has stopped. Now it’s time to look for the rainbow. Time to make up and find out what caused the conflict really in the first place. It’s not always easy. Sometimes things accumulate and in the end, it’s the smallest thing that pushes you over the edge.

But the good thing in this is that we have grown as people. We have tried, and still do, to improve ourselves. Yes we fight, but all of our conflicts just bring us closer together, because from every one of them, we learn more about our teammates and ourselves.

So like I said in the beginning, a team is like a house. In the end we are the architects, the builders, the owners and the inhabitants. And although the building process was hard and at times difficult we are proud of what we have done and how far we have come.

It’s not much, but we made it ourselves, so it’s good.
By Marje Sepp, May Team 2015