Bills

Tanzanians

Last week I was paying our monthly water bill. I line up in this sort of dog’s breakfast queue in the dust while I increase my melanoma risks as the sun beats down upon my bald white head because I forgot my hat (again). The solo man behind the rusty bars gradually wades manually through all the books and paperwork to cross each customer off and issue a barely readable receipt. After what seems an eternity, I finally reach the bars. I politely hand over my bill and money whilst thinking how efficient it all could be if they had reliable electricity and a computer or two to run a computerised billing system. Just at that moment, another man walks into the pokey payment office. The first man turns to the second man and starts to talk about who knows what ‘cause I can only catch a word or two here and there. They were laughing and carrying on so I assume it was social. Ten minutes later, I’m still there staring through the bars at them babbling away together. I'm glad that I'm a patient person……..TIA

This afternoon, I went into town to pay the electricity at the electricity place. I don’t get a bill anymore and no-one can inform me as to why not. I just go there now before end of month and tell them my meter number. Anyway, when I arrived, the rusty gate to the premises was closed. Luckily I had my mate Max with me and he managed to project his Swahili far enough into the compound to get a response from someone. Apparently, they had all gone out for a while and would be back at 2:00pm. I went to get some much needed Diesel fuel and a few other survival essentials then returned to the electricity place at 2:10pm…..no-one there. Half an hour later, just before I was about to leave, someone came. Great. I get inside only to get told, ironically, that there is no electricity at the moment so I have to come back tomorrow. I guess a paper only system might have its benefits…..TIA

Saskia and friendThis morning, I was analyzing the logistics, documentation, data collection and reporting of patient records at the hospital. Their current systems are not capable of efficiently producing the reports required by the Government or the management of the hospital. It takes a while to understand the business processes of a Tanzanian rural hospital especially when discussing in “Swanglish”. After a meeting with the General Secretary of the hospital, it was agreed that a team of us should visit a Hospital in Karagwe to investigate their processes as I am led to believe their reporting capabilities meet all requirements.

Saskia’s little friend loves to hold her hand. We love hanging out with the local kids. This evening, we had a stack of little girls and boys chucking the Frisbee back and forwards. They have no idea how to throw it but the laughter and giggling goes on for hours. Sas and Jake played soccer with the older kids. I had to go home to help Vithalis scan some photos for the Diocese and also to fix a computer that had been attacked by viruses. I had already put virus control on to this computer but they had some new virus arrive on a USB flash drive and wreak havoc. It even damaged the Master Boot Record. All fixed now though (until next time).

 

Time Difference

It is always a relief to believe what is pleasant, but it is more important to believe what is true.~

Hilaire Belloc
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