C – Diary #3

Diary 3, 26-7-12
The meeting

Yesterday: “we will have our meeting at 8.30 tomorrow”.
Today: 9.30, one by one the participants arrive, bits of news print are prepared for the brainstorm, let’s start, but nothing to stick the paper to the crumbling walls, ensuing masking tape sortie, hour later ready. Start? 11.30 am. Not that anyone notices.
Not enough chairs, well actually not enough room in the office for the chairs, I get the master chair reserved for visitors, an office chair with no back.
In the end a great brainstorm with MTCEA staff and “interns”. Now we have a plan to evaluate what the 153 farmers are doing their oxen. First one in 3 years. Thank god I brought jo ann’s old laptop; I and Ayubu will be designing the database and evaluation form and I’m the data entry officer. Everyone has to have an official title. 4 “Field officers” will collect the data. Problems? Only one little motorbike available, no funds for fuel, stationary, lunches, water and most importantly “koha” (a word I introduced and which they love) for the families we’re helping. Favorite Koha apparently are “air time” for their phones and petrol. In my last Confidential file I mentioned how cash strapped this programme is. It really is.
I’m loving this. Peter had so many plans and he’s achieving them, slowly but surely. A very likeable and competent man. He told me about the ferry boats that transport people back and forth between mainland Uganda and the hundreds of islands in Lake Victoria. Every few months another of these over loaded boats sinks without life jackets and dozens drown. He has been discussing with private investors a cunning scheme to build and operate a 60 Seat ferry, with all the Safety features. One step at a time…
Then I bought a bike. Everything here is very, very cheap except vehicles and that of course includes bikes. But it’s a dear thing and takes 15 instead of 45 mins to get to and from “work”. I’ve got used to strange looks from locals while walking; now the game is up a notch!
I also bought a kettle, 4 mugs,a packet of tea bags, sugar and a little packet of chocolate biscuits which I cycled back to the office to introduce a little English gentility to operations. It went down very well, rave hit, high fives all round. Nice one bwana Sim. There’s a photo of it over on the left. 
Dinner, plate of wonderful fruit, mango, pineapple, water melon, bananas, then mataki (that nice boiled green banana mash), greens in ground nut sauce and sweet potatoes. Busy day tomorrow, all the team (9) hiring a van and going to Jinja for a big international agricultural show, jeepers…

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. amanda olley
    Jul 27, 2012 @ 01:17:20

    Yay!!! Sim you are there and already immersed by the sounds of it. We are going to LOVE reading about the exploits of a man in Kampala. He He a teaparty.. lovely.

    Reply

  2. Lena
    Jul 28, 2012 @ 05:48:10

    wow it sounds fantastic and that food sounds soooooo good!!!!-lena

    Reply

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