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Friday, 28 January 2011

Ghana Bound in 26 Hours

Bye bye palm trees...hello palm oil

Meetings, meetings, meetings, work, work, work, and soon the time for boarding another aeroplane.

Week one in Atlanta left little time to draw breath between meeting everyone from the senior vice president of global programmes to the lead for agriculture strategy. CARE is one complex organisation with an extremely broad range of projects covering multiple global issues affecting world poverty.

As always, the need to work at the pace of the client prevails, and in this case speed is of the essence, because there just isn't the money to work in any other way. If an assessment isn't done within two weeks, this doesn't just mean scoring an amber or red on the project status report. It means another barrier to improving the lives of 10 million women and girls and helping them gain the skills and independence to raise themselves and their families above the poverty line by 2015. There is no time to lose.

Not only is this a humbling thought; it is a powerful catalyst and motivator. Why am I worrying about getting to the gym to work out, or annoyed that the cafe below the office doesn't have the kind of potato chips I like? What on earth was I thinking?

Charmed life in Naples, Florida the week before leaving for Ghana (even the car parks have lovely sculptures outside them)

After two weeks working on the program we have now produced a lot of work, based on detailed research and yes, meetings galore, but when I start to pack for Ghana later today (okay then, tomorrow morning) I'll be packing bags of motivation and attitude to have a chance of giving the client what they need to be able to help their beneficiaries - their own 'clients' - to prosper.

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