The normal working week has resumed over here after the weekend.
During Saturday and Sunday we were able to spend some time reflecting on what has been achieved over the first week of our visit and what our next priorities need to be, particularly whilst Sarah is still out here.
When we travel out on these trips we are very much aware that there is much required in the form of investigation into, and understanding of, what the team here need from us in the UK. It is also good to spend time absorbing their culture and seeing how we fit together and where we need to be aware of differences that can lead to misunderstandings when operating at a distance from each other. Some trips do require a real “hands on” experience particularly if a particular project is being undertaken, but there is always the need for both.
Now that we have the Community Based Organisation set up out here, we need to ensure that it is operating in a legal and efficient basis. We have been spending time over the weekend looking into employment law and such things to ensure that we understand how these things work, alongside the tax and “national insurance” equivalents that operate over here. Boring stuff in many ways, but very necessary for us to understand if we are to be able to support the guys from back in the UK as we move forward.
On Sunday we went with them to their church service in the morning. This meant that we all piled into a tuctuc for a short journey up to Pipeline and then along some very bumpy lanes to the site of the church. The church they usually attend in town is in the process of building their own building up there and so currently meet in a large marquee. It was actually very pleasant sitting there with one side removed so that we benefitted from a gentle breeze, and certainly more safe from a Covid perspective. The service itself was a noisy, colourful African one, with plenty of clapping and dancing.
After the service we popped into a local café for soda and some samosa. Later in the afternoon we were able to set up a Zoom call with our Mum back home, something which nearly blew her mind, ie that she could sit in her sitting room and see us and talk to us 4000 miles away!
This morning – Monday – we were up on the early alarm to be down in time for the breakfast run. Today they were served with mandazi and big chunks of sweet potato, along with the usual mug of chai. Kim usually cooks the sweet potato the night before in his own home but they ran out of gas so he had to get up and be in the office at 4am to finish cooking it. That boy is really dedicated to what they do!!
After serving the usual 60+ children, we all went back to our homes for our breakfasts and to freshen up. We were back down to the office by 11 to meet someone and discuss some options for future development plans and then Kim, Billy and us headed into town. David was off out to check on some more water filters. The objective off the trip was to make an appointment with the lawyer to take advice on bits and pieces.
After that Sarah was after a few bits and pieces from the market which needed Kim’s bartering skills before we headed back to complete other tasks back at base. Monday is supposed to be the day off for Kim and the team, but there didn’t appear to be much evidence of that happening.
It has been cooler this afternoon and rain is forecast, so we will wait and see what comes along, hopefully not just as we move up to get our food!