The Workshop

When we were in Moshi yesterday so VanHoan could meet with growers to talk about their warehouse practices, he queried too hard when it was apparent their understanding was not clear about use of pesticides and fumigation  and the grading of maize. If he had stopped two questions sooner it would have been okay or if he had deflected some of his questions to others in the room. I remember whispering ‘ask someone else.’ I think the chairman felt criticism and blame where none was due.  I scrambled to point out that this savings and loan society had been selected because it was successful and hence the focus of the workshop this coming week.  Clapping.
But damm to hell if they hadn’t  been informed. Several weeks of planning and they did  not know they were to host  in four days, all 15 other groups at their warehouse and new office in which, though not finished, we were now sitting.  Clearly it is not just the farmer who has something to learn. I was  angry  and  one of the farmers came up to me to tell me quietly not to take it so hard, that it was okay. Is it okay? No. But I appreciated his efforts. We couldn’t really speak to each other but we understood.
                                       The work shop is not my idea but I support
it. I get to try to stimulate this workshop into being. I plan, I
phone, I get participants together and then there are all sorts of
communication breakdowns and plan changes and I get to keep working
through these too. I won’t go into it more.  Let’s just say a ton more
money, time and effort is going into a 4 day ‘technical review panel’
conflab in Arusha  – it’s sort of like the World board of
directors – is coming to town and get the best hotel and chauffeurs
and  they just happen to need to visit a particular school
(for food) that is on the far side of the world famous Ngorongoro
Crater so they  get a  safaris into the big event.
To bring farmers together for one day is not high on the agenda. At the moment it seems to me they  barely count but everyone really wants to help them…they must need
help surely.

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4 Responses to The Workshop

  1. louise says:

    bonjour tony, je lis avec interet tes commentaires. ca semble difficile… tu dois essayer de fonctionner et etre efficace dans un contexte qui ne l’est pas,,, bonne chance. oui, ici, c’est le paradis… ca sent tellement bon dehors ce matin et tout est si paisible. je pense a toi, xx louise

    • wadawson says:

      Ça devient moins difficile (pour le moment en tout cas) Louise. J’ai eu une semaine productive. Le Work Shop était un succès jeudi passé et aujourd’hui une rendez-vous de producteurs ici au bureau aussi. Je travaillais avec un Tanzanian très fin et sagace. Un homme avec un sense d’humeur et une grande capacité de communiquer sincèrement avec les producteurs.
      J’ai même parlé un peut en Kiswahili aujourd’hui! Bien difficile pour moi.
      Demain soir je vais voir un film à Alliance française.
      Merci d’avoir m’écrire Louise.
      Bonne nuit,

  2. Susan says:

    Allo, Tony. C’est bien que tu parle Kiswahili de temps en temps. Por favor, continues tes commentaires. Ca fait deja dix jours. Je les lis avec beaucoup d’interet.


    • William Anthony Dawson says:

      It takes me along time to write and I’ve also been away in country on a successful trip which included the workshop. It is always on my mind to keep at the blog, but I can spend hours on it. Plan to this weekend add another ‘story’. I’ve a date on Saturday night. I’m going to make popcorn and sit with the two night watchmen and try to talk in Kis… Trust your trip to Point Pl was ‘super safie’ i.e. really great in Kis…. Thanks for writing Susan,


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