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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Gaborone, Botswana: Brrrrrr – very cold!!!!

I am trying to send some files today but it’s not working. The files are large and the internet is not cooperating. I made a template for some business cards. A set of cards were created but they are printed at the centre one at a time and with the choice of colours, it’s very expensive with the cost of ink. The new design is simple – the logo of the centre which is a well and black text which is easy enough to reproduce. We could get bulk printing at a printer but the cost is still expensive. I’ll have to shop around to see what I can get.

Last week we had a great start to the employment preparation workshop but it is till not complete because of other commitments last week. I was trying to see if I could bring one student at a time to work on their CV’s but the kitchen is short staffed and all the hands are needed. Eleven catering students graduated on July 20th and two of them got jobs at Gaborone Sun (Hotel). The workshop was for the ones who have no found jobs so are continuing to volunteer their time at the centre’s kitchen. There are about 6 or 7 students rather than the 11 so it means that I help out when I can. I can easily do the typing of the resumes but I feel that if the students prepare it themselves, they can take ownership of it and they’ll be able to modify it whenever they need to.

I had to recreate a new database on one of the computers in the lab because the one in the office is so old that it doesn’t work very well. I created the first one the day after I arrived and didn’t know at that time that the computer was so inefficient. Jayanthi has started inputting the data so that should not take too long.

On Monday, I was talking to Maggie and Thandi (floral design and catering teachers) on how we can utilize the restaurant to market some of our services better. One of the very simple things is to include business cards with the floral arrangements that we sell or the catering orders that we deliver. It seems like a “no brainer” but many people still don’t know about the centre’s services and this would be one simple and cost effective way to get our name out there. We are also going to make small floral arrangements for the dining room tables with a small “for purchase” sign on them. One minor detail that I forgot to mention – we don’t have business cards. Tomorrow I’ll call around to find out the cost of some cards.

I got a ride home today with Jayanthi and Jim even though they don’t really live anywhere close to where I live. They said they were going to the mall near where I live so I was glad for the ride. It’s been such a cold day – the coldest since I’ve been here. The temperature dropped to -2C last night and today the high was 7C. That doesn’t sound too cold but the centre does not have heating except for the computer room so many of the students were huddled in the kitchen where it was war from the cooking and baking and some of them were huddled around a 100 cup coffee maker filled with ht water for the serving trays at lunch time. I haven’t been this cold for a long time. Jim explained that in Lesotho, many people wear woollen blankets around them in the winter instead of coats and they sometimes wear them in the summer too. I did see some people in the mall wearing the blankets but I don’t know if that was what he was referring to and he only mentioned it on the way home so I couldn’t ask him if that’s what he was talking about. A couple of the students Karim and Choloe are in Ghanzi and it’s desert there where it gets cold at night. They’re probably colder there. It’s supposed to be snowing in Jo’burg where it never snows. I went home and made a large pot of spaghetti sauce for dinner on Friday. Kathy is having a casual dinner for the new interns – much like I was last month. It’ll be an early night tonight.

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