Yes, you read it here first. The game, is over. Over the past three months, I’ve been sending out bi-weekly updates (that’s one every two weeks) to ICCO, reporting on the goings on at the SRC. Last week, I wrote a pretty damning evaluation with the suggestion of extending my stay a couple of months, to allow for an overlap with the expected IT officer which was supposed to become my counterpart.
ICCO, however, decided letting me stay on for a couple of months didn’t serve any real purpose and wasn’t justified by what has happened over the past months. In two weeks time, my contract ends. I. Am. Out. Of. Here.
I appreciate the extension. It allows for us to go on a Hash trip to Kariba in two weeks time. After that, our course of action will depend on how much money we’ll have in the banks. If nothing, we’ll fly back immediately, if a bit, we’ll stop by Nampula in Mozambique before heading to Malawi and possibly flying back home from there. If a lot, we’ll visit South Africa before going to Mozambique and Malawi.
Although I never really expected the project to get extended to a two year assignment, the fact that it didn’t even get extended for a couple of months did surprise me. No one within the SRC has even a mild understanding of IT, so after investing 30 million (US$5000) in a network, they’ll have a very hard time operating it within no one there to maintain it. A bit of a bummer for these people, but then again, it’s also largely their own fault.
Almost on a daily basis, I was asked what needed to be done next in relation to the SRC’s IT ‘strategy’. Every time, I had to tell them I wrote it down in a report that detailed all the necessary steps to grow from a collection of stand alone PCs to a networked environment with shared Internet access and an information system accessible from within and without the organization. I wrote the document two months ago and it was supposedly read by management (and they are the ones who mostly ask me what’s next). Then, I go on to tell them what it is that needs to be done next. Every time, nothing happened.
Yesterday, after hooking up a PC onto the network, minutes later, the owner walked into my office. If I could put some music on the network. Today, another individual did the same thing. Surprising how that’s the first thing they thought about when being able to connect to each others PCs over the network.
Yeah, and then what? Well, nothing’s certain, but ICCO is looking into posting me somewhere else. There are two projects, so it seems, which currently loosely fit my profile, but both projects still have to be approved by ICCO. One is in Honduras. One is in… Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, Betsy and I are looking into buying hand made arts and crafts here in Zimbabwe, shipping it out to the Netherlands and selling it over there, at, of course, huge profits. To keep us busy, you know. And since I have no more clients back in the Netherlands (remember, I was supposed to stay here for two years), I probably will need the money badly.