June 17 Debt, Drugs and Pot Plants
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September 30 The beginning
October 1 Paris
October 2 Conakry
October 3 Freetown
October 4 Briefing
October 5 Laurent & Me
October 6 The field
October 7 Nearly in Charge
October 8 The phone
October 10 No Generator
October 11 My Life
October 14 How much Missing?
October 19 My Informants
October 22 Always do it yourself
October 27 Why an Evaluation?
November 9 The Donors
November 20 R&R was great!
November 21 Is this me?
November 27 No Project !!!
December 3 The Beach
December 10 The Office
December 17 Club Med
December 24 Tuscan Rendering
December 30 Sienna Cream
January 7 It's Personal
January 14 Caring!!
January 21 Getting to know You
January 28 Need Assesments
February 5 Closer
February 12 Police Harassment
February 22 Beyond Borders
March 1 Obsession
March 8 It's Time (nearly)
March 10 Radio Silence
March 18 Represntation
March 31 Assessments
April 10 Re-Assessment
April 20 Security Matters
April 30 You can never have too much!!
May 6 The Strong Leader
May 14 The Times They are a Changing
May 25 Richard the Third head of mission
June 2 Learning Opportunity
June 10 Indecent Proposal
June 13 The Handover
June 14 Evaluation Time
June 17 Debt, Drugs and Pot Plants
June 17 In Transit
June 24 Home Alone
June 29 Knowing Me Knowing You aha!
July 1 THE END

["He then said... she had 48 hours to pay up or ....... she would get hurt"]

Friday June 17 12000 metres above Kolkota

4:30 am Paris time or 9:00 am in Kolkota or 1:30 pm Sydney:  I left Paris about 8 hours ago. I arrived in Paris around 5:00 am yesterday. I left with Petra and Ricardo to the office from the airport and we had a nice breakfast in Bastille before the office opened. It only took us 40 minutes to get to the office from the airport, when I first arrived to start to work with Hope it took me 5 hours. I guess a lot has changed in the last nine months. I guess I am more worldly and count myself lucky that I am not living in grinding poverty.

A lot has happened in the last 48 hours. On Wednesday morning Veronique contacted me before I left and  said the principal of the primary school came past and said that the pot plants in our front yard belonged to the school, and did I know anything about it. Then about an hour later Veronique contacted Freetown again and said that someone saying they were the brother of Abdulai  was demanding that Veronique pay him $16,000 USD for outstanding invoices for the rehabilitation of the base. He then said that she had 48 hours to pay up or something nasty would happen like the office and guest house could burn down or she would get hurt. Richard thought that this was not too serious and Veronique should get in contact with him and explain about the role of Hope international and the life saving work that we do and then go onto explain we are a humanitarian organisation that supports his community with water and sanitation facilities as well as health care. Peter didn't agree with this and suggested Richard contact Paris and tell them of the incident. Peter wanted to get Veronique evacuated from Kamekwilu as soon as possible and he was pretty worried as he said that Abdulai and his brothers were all former RUF commanders and really dangerous. Everyone agreed that if it really was Abdulai's brother he was probably taking advantage of the fact that I, Petra and Ricardo had left the base and decided to claim money for the rehabilitation. Paris advised Richard to evacuate Veronique so just before we left Veronique was told to come back to Freetown and bring all the valuable equipment with her. I thought that I should tell  them about the extra invoices but in the end I thought this might complicate matters more and add to the confusion and plus could we be really sure that this was Abdulai's brother and even if it was could we guarantee the money would reach Abdulai. Even if the money did reach Abdulai what good would it do him if he is going to spend the next 30 years in gaol for human rights violations and war crimes.

Just before all the fuss happened with Kamekwilu, Peter asked Petra to look through the Drug order. She was really surprised that there seemed to be three times what she ordered, it was actually 2.75 times according to my figures. It is a real pity these drugs may not be used since the outreach programme will probably close down with Richard's new plans. She was really angry and wanted to know why Peter had let this order go through to Paris without checking with her. Peter told her that he did check with her and then they both looked at me, luckily the phone rang and Peter and Petra got involved in getting the details of the security incident with Veronique in Kamekwilu. Petra didn't talk to me at all on the Flight to Paris or at breakfast. I thought this was a bit immature, she would have been thanking me if the original programme had gone ahead and expanded a bit more than the original proposal and then maybe they could have used most of the drugs.

We heard in Paris yesterday morning that the brother of Abdulai had been arrested after Peter reported the incident to the police. So I guess alls well that ends well. Peter then went back with Veronique to help her get started in her new job or a week. I didn't have time in Freetown or Paris to write her handover, but I will write it up in Sydney. I am going to have a few hours sleep and then I will tell you about the debriefing.

 

 

 

 

Dave (me)  Claudia

 Angelina   Ricardo  

 Claude      Christian

 Jen             Petra

 Bono          Dick

  Anne         Peter

 Veronique   Richard