This week started off rough. It is an emotional rollercoaster here, our project has a lot of visitors, and visitors always come from the capital with their own need to achieve interactive project results. Whether it be advising, assisting, or monitoring, it is always developmental, and always takes up our time. We have such limited resources that even the precious UHT milk running out ahead of time, or a particular treat being used up that maybe someone has waited to have for months, goes unnoticed by the visitor from the real world. Tensions are dealt with well, but the situation of potential insecurity is constantly in the background demanding vigilance and astuteness. Limits are imposed, too, on how much we are permitted to do, and this is my biggest difficulty.
Things have improved this week, though. My truck reappeared across the dusty plains with PlumpyNut which had been portaged 1km through the improbable swamp, at a cost of SDG1.50 (0.40 euros) per box. I have spent the week finishing the new Out-Patients Department, disciplining guards, trying to teach the Commissioner’s men how electricity works with the Market Borehole (again), all the usual challenges. Also, however, I have been negotiating cargo logistics between Nairobi, Loki, Bor and Lankien. This has been a bit more like the work I am used-to. A lot less complicated, but with a lot bigger rogue/ checkpoint ambush probablity.
This turned out with a good result, after a lot of negotiation, motive analysis, conversational acrobatics, and bated breath, but I found myself quietly infuriated by patronising congratulations – why do they think I came here? Does nobody ever read a CV? It was interesting to discover how my tolerance was affected by tensions and external factors. Normally, I’m on to the next job before I have a chance to think about it.