["This made Petra really angry"]
Wednesday May 25 Kamekwilu
8:40 pm: Claudia left last week. I think we all learnt so much from her. Petra and Ricardo were really sad to see her go, they said she was really great at programme design and a fantastic manager and really cleaned up a lot of things that should have been done a long time ago.
We got a visit from Richard the new Head of Mission. He is a bit more of a stronger leader. I think we have a pretty similar management style actually. He really doesn't like to get bogged down in details but likes to see results and let people figure out how to get the results themselves. I really admire his approach. It is a bit like Dick Darlington my boss from my InTech HiTech days. He always said "the customer is always right as long as he/she agree with you" and the same goes for decision making in a team if you are leader. Well Ricardo and Petra didn't really like this new approach.
Richard didn't really agree with this longer term approach of the project proposal that Claudia, Petra and Ricardo came up with. He said that he wanted some quick impact programmes. He also talked about more vertical programmes with more proximity. This was what was needed more than sustainability. He couldn't give any specifics of what he meant. I thought this guy was a breath of fresh air with all these new ideas and approaches.
Well he told Petra and Ricardo to come up with some new ideas for the programme proposal and that he would hold up the present proposal in Paris. He said that a lot of countries are doing HIV programmes with Antiretroviral drugs and this could get a lot of donor interest. This made Petra really angry. She said there isn't even a primary health care system in the area and we are expecting to do a complex HIV programme. She said in the present proposal there is awareness, education and prevention components on HIV and AIDS. I didn't really understand what Petra was talking about, but she obviously was getting bogged down in the details. At this point I saw that what was needed by Petra was a bit more vision and ambition in what could be achieved. I suppose I consider Richard a bit of a visionary and I know I am going to learn a lot from him.
Well only three more weeks left. I have started to think about my handover. There is so much I have learnt over the last nine months and it will be hard to share this with the new log in a three day handover. Talk to you all soon.
Dave (me) Claudia