Monday, October 22, 2007

Day 1 and Logistical challenges

My suitcase arrived this afternoon, delivered all the way from Entebbe by a British Airways person (it’s about a 2-1/2 hour drive). Because the Save the Children staff in Kampala didn’t believe that BA would actually deliver my suitcase in a reasonable timeframe to a destination that far away, they had kept my lost-baggage official form. When the delivery guy asked me for the form and learned I did not have it, I thought he was going to leave and take my bag with him. Fortunately, instead he took a written statement from me and let me keep the suitcase. What was I most happy to see? My sandals, underwear, pants, flash drive, and train whistle that I use to call a group back into session.

It’s clear we’re in Africa and not another region of the world. The staff are far more experienced in management and emergency response. They are just wrapping up their work for the day at this late hour of 8:45 p.m. We are all managing through multiple logistical challenges: off-and-on electricity, off-and-on water, all kinds of problems with our communications equipment, especially the hand-held radios, etc. There are flying bugs of various sizes and types, geckos, huge cockroaches, and bats inside the hotel. We are trying to avoid getting diarrhea or malaria. But we keep our sense of humor, which is one of the rules we gave the participants today, Day 1. Overall, Day 1 went very well and I'm tired but pleased.

That’s the news for now.


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