May 6 The Strong Leader
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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

["It really confirmed that my hands off directorial style of management is the right one"]

Friday May 6 Paris

6:45 pm: Bonsoir from beautiful Paris. In a little while all the guys from the course are going to go for a drink in Bastille. It has been a really great and intense week. Every evening a fair few of us have gone out for a few beers, well sometimes this turned into a lot. I think the earliest I have been to bed this week has been 3:00 am. I have nearly needed an intravenous supply of coffee to keep me awake in the lectures. We have been staying in a great little suburb called Pernety in Paris.

Well we learnt some really important concepts in the logistics course. Like orders should be based on things people need. This concept took quite a long time to explain in fact about 4 hours on the first day. A lot of the people in the course could come up with examples where this wasn't really true, like in an emergency. So in the end I am not sure if this was such a good point. We also got shown the supply circle. We spent two days discussing this. It is a really important circle in Logistics.







Orders have to travel around the circle if you do it right. I didn't really understand why the order has to travel all the way back to the beginning again.

There was so much material covered in the course that to get through it all we couldn't really ask questions until the end of a session, but by then because of the intensity of the course we usually didn't have enough time anyway for questions. When any questions were asked it was usually Peter doing the asking. I think most people saw that Peter was just drawing attention to himself. I didn't know he spoke French as well, which made him look pretty good. He didn't usually come out for a beer with us instead preferring to save his per diem. They also wanted to offered him a few LogCo jobs in other countries. I thought this was a bit cruel building up his hopes like this.

We did one session on different management styles. We learnt that depending on the level of the staff you have, you have to manage them in a different way. It really confirmed that my hands off directorial style of management is the right one for Kamekwilu and that Petra and Ricardo are wasting there time with all this capacity building and lots of team meetings. We have all these different meetings all the time in Kamekwilu where we have to take minutes and make action points etc. It really is just a waste of time and I am sure everyone would be happier if we just told them what to do.

Today we finally finished the course. We had to throw a ball to each other and say what we liked best about the course and what we thought could be improved. I said that I thought it was great to meet Logisticians working in all these different counties and to hear their experiences. I thought what could be improved was some longer morning tea and afternoon tea breaks as well as finishing a bit earlier so we could get to know each other and build up contacts. Like Dick Darlington always said "it's not what you know but who you know and what you know about them".

I have learnt so many things I can now implement back in Kamekwilu. Well I will talk to you all back in Sierra Leone.



Dave (me)  Claudia

 Angelina   Ricardo  

 Claude      Christian

 Jen             Petra

 Bono          Dick

  Anne         Peter

 Veronique   Richard