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Water, Coffee, Money

December 7, 2009

It seems La Chica’s networking endeavours are bearing fruit. She recently met with Simon, a Tanzanian civil engineer who has been working on water projects for six years, and for three of those years he’s been assisting an Italian NGO. His experience covers bore holes, gravity schemes, solar powered pumps, dams and wells made from locally available material, so he is well placed to provide La Chica with some help and guidance. He has promised La Chica he will come and assess the Lukumahi water source and also the Longido District Water Board topography reports, surveys and costings and remove the excess costings buffer which is apparently a normal part of government contracts. He spoke about ensuring that the water team which is set up in Longido to support the project comprises equal representation of both men and women, as the women are more likely to ensure that pressure is put on the locals to complete their part of the project, and that the purchased parts are properly protected from local pilfering (go women!).

La Chica also has a meeting tonight with Isabella, an Italian water technician, to talk about her experiences in implementing a water project in a local village. They are meeting at a local Japanese restaurant, which has raised La Chica’s curiosity. Apparently fresh seafood is flown over from Dar es Salaam on a daily basis. No doubt a restaurant review will follow shortly.

La Chica had a girly chat on Saturday afternoon with her new best friend Julie, an Aussie girl from Perth who’s teaching at the Australian run school St Judes. They met at the Blue Heron Café – a delightful oasis of green lawn, old colonial style house and wonderful café lattes. La Chica likes living on the edge, courting danger, so she’s been forgoing her usual decaf lattes for the real thing! A tall glass of frothy milk with a dash of espresso and La Chica is in heaven, or at least Blue Heron. La Chica did most of the talking, at top speed, mainly gossiping about herself!

La Chica is excited! Testigo Africa’s first sponsorship in kind came from CameraPro Australia at http://www.camerapro.net.au/. Jesse, the wonderful owner, gave her a substantial discount on top end consumer camera equipment so she could keep filming her documentary. Now the Mitcham (Vic.) Rotary Club has agreed to contribute A$1,500. As La Chica’s friend Leonie likes to sing – ‘from little things big things grow’ (for the non-Aussies out there, this song by Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody became an anthem for Australian Aboriginal land rights – not a bad analogy to the plight of the Masai) – watch this space!

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