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More planning

Posted by on June 3, 2011

On Thursday we had to be home in the morning for the fundi to come back and finish fixing the toilet. That took a little while so we biked to work around 10 am. Although the temperature doesn’t change much from dawn to the heat of the day, 10 am seems much hotter than 8 am because the sun is very strong. It was an especially sweaty bike ride and the streets are more crowded at that time so we will try to go to work earlier from now on.

Two of the district supervisors were there when we arrived so the rest of the morning went by quickly with checking their paperwork, getting their salaries, and resupplying them with study documents.

Things calmed down after lunch and we were able to focus on planning our next mapping excursion. We decided to go on Saturday (even though neither of us wanted to work on the weekend) because next week Edmund Seto from UC Berkeley is coming to give some training on ArcGIS, the mapping software that we use. We’ll be busy with that training all next and only have two months to do all of the mapping so we decided to go to the field on Saturday and hope the mapping goes better.

On Tuesday we had made our data collection forms and found all of the names we could from the consent forms so we went through all the data we had to decide where we should go first to be most efficient. We decided on a health facility called Bumbwini Misufini, which is farther north, near the coast. We told Makame our plans and asked him to call the health facility and the Sheha to let them know we were coming. He told us that he already called a different health facility and told them we would be there on Saturday. He hadn’t consulted us at all about that decision and had not mentioned it. We were both so upset. We made him call and cancel that other one and plan to go to Bumbwini instead. Working with this man is very frustrating. He doesn’t listen and makes decisions on his own, which are most often the wrong decisions. He must be some relative of some important person to have gotten this job.

We finally got all of that sorted out and made our to do list for Friday so we were free to leave at 3:30.

We stopped at the Diplomatic supermarket on the way home and got some more milk and granola. The milk here is treated in a different way than in the US: it is completely bacteria free and can be stored at room temp until opened. Once it’s opened it has to be used within 4 days though, so it’s good to buy a small container.

From our successful market shopping on Tuesday, we had all the fixin’s for a good vegetable chili, so we made that for dinner. The power stayed on the whole time and we had a filling, spicy meal.

After dinner we got a taxi into town and met up with some of Tanya’s friends for a little bit. I had a great banana milkshake at this cafe. It was nice and cold and really hit the spot. I haven’t been eating much sweet stuff here because we don’t have dessert type things at home, so the milkshake seemed even sweeter than unusual. It was delicious.

Luckily, everyone wanted to go home at a reasonable hour and we were able to get a ride since Paulo lives just down the street from us. We got home around 11 and shortly after went to sleep.

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