Friday, January 6, 2012

First few days in Bukavu.

Since four days I'm in the Congo and - as expected - they have been busy. Together with Neelan we hired three enumerators and we have been in training for the last four days - discussing the material, doing simulations, etc. We did the necessary printing and paperwork (contracts, survey material, ordre de mission, etc.). I opened a bank-account so that we don't have to carry 1000s of dollars around in the field. We met security folks in order to stay up-to-date (we about the situation, they about us) in the weeks to come. I met lots of people that I hadn't seen for a while (the last time in the Congo was eight months ago). And we did a million other small things.

Neelan!? Indeed, last Wednesday friend and colleague Neelan arrived - in one piece - from India via Nairobi and Kigali. It is his first time in Africa, so he choose the easiest African country to work in. :). And... he took my bag with him! So all those people who bet against me: pay up. We plan to leave for the field this Sunday; while several days later than expected, I'm much looking forward!

Yesterday evening we had a get-together with part of the Sud Kivu and Maniema enumerators of our TUUNGANE evaluation (the other part is still in the field). One of the things I still had to do (see picture) was distributing certificates of the training we did in the summer of 2010. Needless to say, we also had our fair share of Primus beer. It was good being together again.

Primus. Neelan is integrating well.

This is how we have spent most of the last four days. Training, training, training. From left to right: Desire, Jean-Jacques and Eustache: a power-team!

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