Long time no post

With my sister at the Vegetable Market Stall

I’ve been very busy.  The Q4 and annual report was hellacious and as soon as it was over I flew to Agok and spent two weeks training a new M & E Officer.  I also went to Abyei for the first time, the accomodation there is so hot, buildings, no air conditioning and straw roofs.  We were supposed to go to a community meeting but due to logistics issues we got there 3 hours and 45 minutes late.  It was so embarrassing. I love meeting beneficiaires it is really why we are here; however, I hate failing them. 

As we near the referendum we are preparing to pull our people out of the field, they will pull everyone out of the South soon and then in early January pull them out of the North.  After spending two weeks in Agok/Abyei, I spent a weekend in Juba, then flew to Upper Nile, Malakal to train antother new M & E Officer.  I had asked them to book me extra kilos on the flight and they failed to do so, so when I got to the airport I had to beg everyone going to take some of my luggage.  It was mainly stationary for my team.  I spent a little over a week there and then I had to come back to Juba for meetings.  We only have one year left in the program with no extenstion and so we have to plan.  In addition there was an HR trianing.

So, I’m still in Juba – I will fly to Khartoum on Monday, Monday night meet with USAID and then fly to Blue Nile on the 14th.  I will drive back to Khartoum on the 20th and then leave on the 23rd for France.  Things are difficult here, but my team is great.  There are also issues back home.  I agreed to allow my upstairs “neighbors” to put a garden box outside on my side.  When I was home we surveyed the area and I told them where I was comfortable having it.  I specifically said, “I do not want it in front of my porch.”  I just received my appraisal because I’m refinancing my home and in the photos it shows the garden box right in front of my porch.  I was livid.  I’ve told them to move it to the agreed upon spot and if it is still there when I come home, I’m getting out my hammar and crowbar.

They don’t understand why I’m upset.  They lie to me, put the garden box exactly where I asked them not too and then said they did it for asthetics.  Well asthetics are in the eye of the beholder.  It’s extremely difficult to concentrate on what I have to do here, when my condo is being run by dishonest people.  So on the verge of a civil war in Sudan and in Portland, isn’t life grand.

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