Monday, December 14, 2009

Day 2

Transport has become a problem.

The logistics of this survey are a nightmare. We have to visit 95 communities from throughout the district. We have 5 teams, and we optimistically hoped that each team could visit about 4 villages a day, finishing up in 5 days.

We’ve got five cars to do this: 3 decent, but not great, 4WD cars we hired in Lilongwe, 1 Land Cruiser that belongs to my organization, and the shoddy little pickup truck from the government I told you about yesterday. And we need every little set of wheels we’ve got.

Last night, I got a call at 9 PM from the office manager, saying he needed one of the cars to go to a meeting an hour away. I tried to explain that there really are no cars to spare, and he got very angry with me. We ended up giving him a lift to the meeting this morning, setting us back a couple hours.

Yesterday, one of the cars blew out a tire going up a hilly, rocky mountain road. It’s beyond repair, so that car is now out in the bush without a spare.

This morning, the government driver called in sick. It took 5 hours to find a replacement.

Our IT guy is here from the head office, and he needs to go to Blantyre (3 hours away) this week to buy computer supplies.

We are seriously one flat tire or busted shock away from this being a total disaster.

Only a few more days to go…only a few more days to go…only a few more days to go…