["She was..... shocked at first, she had never seen people living in mud brick houses ...."]
Friday March 18 Kamekwilu
9:45 pm: I lost a bit of motivation after the Angelina visit. Petra and Ricardo have been pretty supportive of me and realise this was a big disappointment to me. I guess in this business you get used to suffering and disappointment it is just usually other peoples you have to deal with. Things got back to normal. We put the finishing touches off on the Mother and Child Health clinic. So pretty much all the rehabilitation work has been done. We had two visitors from headquarters come on Monday and Tuesday to see the programmes. One was a Personal Advisor from Paris Dominique and the other was and Mercedes head of communications in the London office.
They had a really good time here and it was a real pleasure to have them around. It was a lot different kind o visit than we normally get from the capital or the one we got from the donors where they ask lots of questions and ask for reports and receipts etc. etc. But Dominique and Mercedes were different. Petra and Ricardo suggested that I show them around the town as they rightly conceded that I am better at representation activities. Although Mercedes had worked for Hope for 3 years she had never visited a war torn country like Sierra Leone. It was really a great visit for her to finally see poor people. She was a bit shocked at first, she had never seen people living in mud brick houses. She spoke a bit like Princess Diana I thought and was a bit hard to understand. She knew everyone in London and had even met Bono at a party. She really was well connected. She said that a lot of her friends had got into charity work as it was very popular a few years back and had decided to do the same.
We briefly looked in at the Mother and Child Health clinic for a few minutes. One of the midwives was delivering a child so although Petra said we can stay and help if we wanted, I sensed that Dominique and Mercedes wanted to go. We all agreed to give Ricardo's Latrine programme a miss as not really that interesting for them. Pretty much if you've seen one latrine you seen them all. We then went to the market and they really enjoyed the friendly atmosphere and bought lots of gara the local cloth and we spent hours just buying loads of anything and having tea in the market.
Ricardo was a bit rude at dinner I thought and suggested at the end of the day that Dominique conduct some interviews with the national staff and to get opinions on the work, the staff conditions manual and training policy. I thought this was a bit much of Ricardo after all Mercedes and Dominique were our guests. It was decided that there wouldn't really be enough time the next day to do the job properly with regard to the interviews, so it would be better to go for a swim in the river near the town which has a sandy beach.
That night we had a few beers and Dominique and Mercedes had some great stories. Ricardo and Petra went early to be bed. We went off into town and had quite a few more beers at the local pub.
We had a nice day swimming in the river the next day and I was pretty happy to be taking it easy for a day as I had a bit of a hangover. Then Dominique and Mercedes left in the afternoon for Freetown. Well it was a really fun visit and they really enjoyed themselves.
Till next time.
Dave (me) Claudia