Friday, August 14, 2009

I brought Mama Africa back from Mwanza yesterday, but somehow managed to break a tie rod just as we came through our gate. No A/C compressor in Mwanza, will have to have one shipped from Japan in about a month. Working on the broken tie rod today. Francis can fix it if I can get the parts here in Bunda. Bwana Masele has been sick all week--will be sending some medicine to him today. Also, have some staff difficulties to work out. One of the men working on the filters showed up drunk two days ago, screaming and out of control. I will have to fire him, of course, but he is the son of a good friend, so it will have to be done tactfully but firmly. Lusi, one of our inside workers, had her house robbed and lost all of her clothes and plates and eating and cooking utensils on Monday. She was devastated. She was out four days trying to find her stuff, crying almost all the time. The police said they could only help if she knew who did it. She found a neighbor with some of her stuff, but the neighbor denied knowing anything and Lusi couldn't prove it was hers. We gave her some money for new clothes and kitchen stuff. I suggested we get her a lock for her door, but, of course, she doesn't even have a door! None of the staff have doors on their homes, just the openings with a cloth hanging down. Another instance of my American culture not comprehending the problem or the solution. It would be nice if we could build all our workers a nice, fenced compound where they would all be safe, but we can't--and probably shouldn't. It is frustrating to have to deal with alcoholism and theft, but those are both really common in poor countries. There is no AA here, no treatment centers, no support groups, no one to help except family and friends, and, as anyone who has had to deal with alcoholism knows, these cannot do the job alone. Just a little sad today at the state of our world.
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