Hurry

The big event was to attend a Farm Concern International field day in Manyire, on the immediate outskirts of Arusha.  Arusha is a world of safaris and the UN International War Crimes Tribunal and a place where I can find delicious mashed potatoes and watch French films.  On the immediate outskirts, there is farm country where people walk and where they cook with charcoal.

The field day was big because, as with the World Food Programme, Farm Concern receives funding from the Gates Foundation and its representative was visiting – she was the focal point.

It was pouring as I prepared to leave Arusha to participate. The road, though flat, was slick and trenched on either side. We slipped off.  Magid, the driver, got out of the jeep and into the mud to assess, then, at least outwardly calm, took his shoes off as he climbed up and back in and gunned in reverse and out we came – the marvel of this vehicle and its driver.

I was told to arrive at about 8am which I did.  The event actually started at 2pm.  There is just no point in even commenting . . .   I set about trying to talk with farmers and they were accommodating but there is only so much anyone can take of the language barrier.

Alysha Blake, from Seattle, arrived and was received by singing and ululating woman in their best.  There was a certain amount of protocol and pageantry involved and I sense people enjoy this as there is ceremony and colour, a chance for people to dress up and get a break from work.

Some people spoke and people listened attentively.  After a demonstration of nutritious cooking over open hibachis and closing speeches, there was this food.  I was taking photos with the children and missed the eating.

It’s difficult.  Are donors led to what they want to see or what they need to see?   How  will Alysha Blake assess the trickle down effect?  How do I?

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4 Responses to Hurry

  1. Karen says:

    Maybe Tony, it is faith… that as the Sufi saying implies, when one person steps towards their life mission, we make way for 10,000 more to do so… it is about the heart and the act of doing, not the outcome.

  2. bobparkhurst says:

    The children in the photograph all look happy Tony, + Alysha Blake looks relatively happy to be there. Perhaps donors see what they are comfortable in seeing? I think Karen’s comment says it well – it is about your heart and what you are doing, maybe not so much about assessing the trickle down effect?

    • William Anthony Dawson says:

      Bob, Karen, Others, I’m under the impression donors very much want results and these aren’t easily quantifiable. Surely Alysha Blake was touring to verify this, why else would she be here? Aid is big business so why not make certain, as much as possible, that aid be businesslike, keep transparent records and show results? Sortalike what MicroSoft would expect… xxT

  3. Susan says:

    I think you are right, Tony. Donors would like to see positive outcomes.

    I laughed at your arriving 7 hours ahead of time. Tanzanian time, like
    Nigerian time, is quite different. That happened to me once. And as far as
    ceremony goes, the British colonial influence persists, I see.

    The Nigerians really loved the formality of meetings of any kind. One time
    there was a harvest festival and I was asked to be the “lady chairman”.
    There was also a chairman and speakers etc. The person who introduced me
    was confused by the X in my name as there is no X in Yoruba. I was
    introduced as Mrs. Sessie Bestox, a name that persists to this day
    among certain circles.

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