Finally, today, I got it all together and the other part of my trip has come together. All my flights have been booked and rebooked where they needed to be, the credit card is potentially maxed out and I am happy. In a week from today, I will be in the middle of the Delta in the central reserve called Moremi. Then I will go to the northern part of the delta near the Namibian border to another reserve called Linyanti. In each area there are different concentrations of different animals, reflecting different water levels, different topography and different progressions in the rainy season and of the water flow. Then I will also go to Zambia on the Zimbabwe border to Victoria Falls.
Staff keeps coming to me with more issues to raise and the pot gets fuller and fuller. Now thrown out into the mix is the issue of some staff hijacking WAR property for themselves and leaving their colleagues, who may need to use it, scrambling for the one remaining piece of equipment while another is locked away idle, but unavailable. It all seems to be about trust and transparency. When I asked why no one raised this the reply again was fear of creating trouble for themselves.
I am feeling relatively more useful than before because people seem to be calling on me more and seeking out my experience and perspective. I spent a lot of time today with an education officer discussing different ways to reach different target groups whether it be by age, socio- economic status or type of alienation. This was good for both of us as it is something that we have been discussing and struggling with at BCPWA. In fact, there is an online research project originating in my department, going on right now. Many options were discussed and I was able to show the work on the BCPWA and YouthCo websites. The education staff focus here is youth outreach programs and so we discussed programs in Canada and lessons we have learned in trying to reach out to different demographic, age and cultural groups with HIV / AIDS information and education. Performance arts, art works and peer involvement were discussed and seen as some of the more successful approaches to reaching youth.
Later yet when I came back from booking the trips, I was requested to spend time with another staff member seeking personal financial problem counseling, i.e. “I cannot seem to save any money”. The philosophy of saving was discussed and the reasons why we might save. He wants to start a community focused business in the future which seemed like a good reason for saving to me.
Expenditures are tallied and put alongside aside the income column. There is a big difference giving a hint of potential savings. The next assignment is to track every outlay of pula, record that in a book and note if it was a basic need or not. The tough part will be to create the self discipline to carry on with this. With not a very big salary, he has two young children and a girlfriend to support as well as supplementing the parents who live 400+ kilometers away on a cattle station where they have some land and grow much of their own food. Here is another instance of an individual living in two very different eras simultaneously. I promise to help with this from Vancouver over the next three months.
Writing a business plan is the next project and one I worked on with a client yesterday.
But that is for later. Now it’s time to get some food and cool down.