September 02

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A Malawian wedding and a construction projectšŸ 

Well I am so quickly into my first month here and in some respects it feels like I have been here forever and in others the time has passed so quickly! I can’t believe that I had to go to Blantyre on Thursday to the immigration office to extend my 30 day visa- seems like only yesterday I arrived! Very efficient they were too – 30mins from start to finish – I wonder if a visit to immigration in the U.K would be so quickšŸ˜€

Work is going well even though technology is conspiring against me! We all take high speed internet for granted at home yet here the internet often goes down and I have learnt I can only have my email and one other webpage open or else my lovely super fast GSK laptop collapses! It amazing how much you rely on internet without there is no email , no printer, no Skype etc and so having all documents in a Dropbox on my c drive is the best way to work I have been taught!

No blog last week sorry, as I was kindly invited to spend the weekend in Mulanji a beautiful part of Malawi about 3.5 hrs from Neno for a traditional Malawian wedding! Mulanji is famous for its tea plantations and the huge mountain – Mulanji Massif or Mount Mulanji.

 

Beth and Joe met here in Malawi and they were generous in inviting many of the PIH staff for a beautiful ceremony, also attended by many of Beth’s family and friends from America, at a beautiful place called Kara O’Mula lodge that had the most fantastic views – the title picture is from one Ā of their many viewing areas

I hope you can see a great time had by all – apart from the slight room challenge when we arrived that meant the two rooms we thought we had booked – was reduce to one room for 5 to share!

The other exciting event this week was the site visit by contractors to bid for building 2 guest houses for the district council. PIH have been asked to run the open bidding process and so I am helping Procurment work with the infrastructure team in the first everĀ joint construction project – a huge achievement and my first procurement construction project – but don’t tell anyone!!

IMG_0629Bids are due to be open on Tuesday when all the contractors and relevant people attend to see the bid box opened. We are ploughing ahead with procurement processes, policies and procedures, identifying contracts (and contract gaps) and working with the brilliant Faith and Ivy to really embed procurment in the purchasing process

It was Gary’s birthday last weekend and we agreed it was the first birthday we had not been together but we did FaceTime and Moonpig is a great invention! Happy birthday Gary Ā šŸŽ‰

Water and electricity continue to be intermittent ( 12 hour power cut is the record so far) and I am getting a dab hand at flushing the toilet with a cup of water, although my housemates might disagree with my aim – with the water I mean! But on the positive side here in Neno they have the most fabulous fabric and amazing tailors and so I am having a dress made to measure in 3 days for about Ā£6.00 – I’ll let you know how that goes next time