So it’s my fifth day in Agok and I wish I had something exciting to report, but really all I’m doing is going through the files and making sure they have all the information in them and then copying the completed ones and taking them back to Khartoum with me; it’s a good thing that they haven’t completed many projects, because the files suck.
I’m sort of viewed as the anti-christ, becuase I deal in compliance. My predecessor had the attitude of “La, la, la, skipping through the tulips, we’re doing programs, la, la, la, helping people.” Unfortunately it’s US government money and they want receipts. But it’s like pulling teeth to get people to document their work. I would think they would want credit for it, but I guess they just really like the tulip field. I told my boss if after I’ve done all this work I come back and its a mess again he can look for a new Monitoring and Evaluation Manager.
I liken working here to cleaning out a goat pen after a long winter, you pull up one layer of shit and there’s a layer of shit beneath it, sometimes the layers went a foot down, the difference is here, you never reach the ground, it’s always just another layer of shit.
So last night I was determined to finish the current round of copying on the poultry houses we are building in three villages. Place the paper on the copier, copy, take the copy put it in the paper tray to copy the other side, stack original document in one place and copied document in another place, try not to lose track. I started copying again at 7:00 p.m. just as the generator went back on and what was suspicious was the lack of bugs, there had been flashes of lightening, but I didn’t think much about it, I wanted it to rain. Then it started coming down in torrents, in the tin shack with the Ops Manager he ran over to the “office” to make sure my computer was o.k. and came back drenched. But it was great for copying because there were no bugs, seriously not a one, a couple of frogs, but I could actually copy without worrying about getting a bug smashed on the glass.
Upon finishing the file the rain had slacked off a bit, so I put my freshly copied papers under my shirt and made a dash, well not really a very fast dash, my toe is still bugging me and at the end of the day my feet are a bit swollen and sore, but I made it with my copies intact and packed up my stuff to head back to my tent.
Hobbling back to my tent I got a little wet, but I’m a Portlander, what’s a little rain. I debated not taking a shower, but after a day working here, you just feel gross. So I threw on my Mountain Hardware jacket, a gift from my friend Kari, put on headlamp, which Kari helped me pick out, wrapped my travel towel around my waist, shoved my sore feet into my shower shoes and headed off.
It was the best shower ever! Why you ask? NO BUGS. A few frogs, but no bugs. It was actually warmer under the water and by the time I was done my quick absorbant travel towel wasn’t much use, but things dry out quickly here.
The best part of my day is the shower, so it’s 8:10 p.m. and I’m going to go take one.