This could be my last blog for a while. Having felt the weight of the bag I am lugging on the bus to Bolga, I've decided not to take my laptop. All my protective clothing is very heavy. Unless I have access to someone else's I shall probably not write until I return home on April 17th.
I returned early from the office having participated in some interesting conversations with a variety of colleagues. I have learned so much in the last 5 weeks even though I don't feel I've achieved much. As I listen to them all and ask pertinent questions I am learning more about the politics of the office and what makes things tick. Who is prepared to say what they think and who knows it is not worth it. The Boss is away on business and, as I know from experience, everything that can boil over chooses now to bubble!
This is exam week. All schools had papers delivered last week for P3,4,5 & 6. The big surprise was that the schools needed to pay for them from an extremely meager budget. Some asked parents to pay, others didn't. Emotions ran high. The tests were earlier than usual and the pupils haven't been taught all the relevant curriculum. A few schools returned their papers to the office on Monday, boycotting the tests. Lots of officers were rather twitchy, needless to say. I wonder where I have heard all that before?
A senior representative from an NGO arrived unexpectedly yesterday to talk with all staff at the office. She needed to complete a questionnaire about the value of the implementation of a local language literacy programme over the last 2 years and the use of the funding for it. She expected evidence too! Difficult questions, harder answers and an incredibly astute lady. I admired her tremendously for her forthright comments and advice to the group as a whole. I wonder what recommendations will be in her report?
On Friday, I have my Joint Introductory Meeting not a moment too soon. VSO send a rep from Accra and I choose people I wish to attend from here. By the end of the meeting, we will have drawn up an action plan for my work and they will all understand, hopefully, why I am here. I need to organise lunch and drinks. Nothing happens unless you can provide everyone with lunch and refreshments. All meetings and training have to include lunch or nobody will turn up. It is the biggest expense. Luckily, I don't have to pay anyone to come to this meeting! I look forward to being able to get my teeth into something worthwhile following my JIM and the Easter holidays.
On my return to the house I was greeted by the largest pig I have met yet, peering at me from over the edge of her swimming pool, my shower outflow. She had enlarged the pool considerably since yesterday and could now invite a couple of friends to join her. I had had enough and reached for the shovel. I surveyed the area and decided the best route for an escape channel. Within 10 minutes the pool was empty. I am hoping that now we have a new tap in the kitchen sink, the pigs will relocate back to the kitchen and away from my bathroom. By the time I return from Bolga I shall expect to find a diving board, flume and toddler pool for the numerous piglets!
I took this a week ago. The pool is now 4 times this size!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'll be back in 11 days with my motorcycle diaries! Bye