I am really beginning to understand the phrase “Meeting Fatigue” for the first time.

Now that the Chief of Emergency post is vacant, that leaves just my colleague and I in our whole section to attend meetings that happen all over Dar es Salaam.  There are so many in fact, it’s hard to get any regular work done.

However, there are some things I have come to like about meetings (I won’t get into the things I don’t):

1) I have come to really enjoy the refreshments they serve here in meetings. In almost every long meeting (3-4 hours) you are given a selection of meat (meat balls, fried chicken, samosas), usually some recently roasted cashews, and of course, tea and coffee. It was really hard to get used to eating so much meat so early in the morning, but given that I usually skip breakfast it is definitely something to look forward to.  (I really resisted to make a meating pun) (oops).

2) I really like the silent hum of people talking and reviewing notes before a meeting. Call me crazy but it’s almost meditative. I keep thinking that if I had one of those radios that made sleeping sounds, I would consider picking “People quietly talking before a meeting” setting.

3) Sometimes you get to meet great new contacts in meetings, and see what other people are doing that are related to your field.  For instance, last week I met a colleague in a meeting and was able to tag along on his field trip the next day.

About this trip:

The trip was to Morogoro to evaluate recent activities UNICEF WASH-EPR (Water Hygiene and Sanitation – Emergency Preparedness and Response) team had in the region to contain a seemingly on going cholera outbreak. The main activity in the region was setting up a cholera centre and training staff to manage it.  We were there to see how it was progressing and do a bit of a “informal evaluation” of the project, as it was due to be launched in a few other regions by the end of this year.  Below are a few pictures:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The rest of the journey had its ups and downs. Going out with people from the government proves to be eventful, to say the least. Everyone goes out really late here, so when I got in at night, I would go straight to bed and set my alarm for 12:00am so I could go out with them. Something I will only do once in awhile.

On Saturday, Kheri (seen above) invited me on a safari with him and some colleagues at Mikumi National Park. It was really awesome to get to see all the animals, I think I would have regretted coming to Tanzania again without seeing them. And, it was free!

I cannot insert another gallery, but this link has a few pictures from the safari. I was using UNICEF’s camera, so the zoom is quite terrible.