After a brief hiatus from blogging as a result of a surge in busyness at work, I am back. The last few weeks have seen us organizing the successful First Agricultural Trade Fair – South Sudan and then I have been out in the bush of South Sudan (literally) carrying out surveys with very limited access to internet.
Organizing The First Agricultural Trade Fair – South Sudan was a major achievement in many ways. Organizing an even that big in any country requires a lot of time, energy and effort. However, for the new nation of South Sudan it was quite something. And although I say it myself, it was very successful.
But in the weeks leading up to the Fair there were frustrations – many frustrations. Not least because there are a whole host of things that cannot yet be produced in South Sudan itself and therefore you have to rely on vendors getting things from neighbouring countries, namely Kenya and Uganda. However, not as easy as it sounds. The amount of times I got a call at 11pm at night to say “Sooo we brought XX product to the bus station and we checked it in, but somehow we forgot to load it on the bus” or “Ooops the traffic made us miss the flight to Juba so XX product is still sitting in Nairobi.” Yes it was a genuine test of nerves and paticience.
On particular vendor who was always testing my boundaries and seeing how far he could push me, ended up not speaking to me for a while as he found it unacceptable to be chastised by a woman. That being said at the end of the trade fair, he sent me the following letter (of apology??):
**Please note the grammer is all in its original format**
“We still swollen our pride gently”
Astrid, your strong woman i have ever worked with along then clock and still longing work more with to build our capacity in time management and timely delivery “supper timer”.
Well, I guess my lesson failed to some extent. The Fair ended about 3 weeks ago, and I am still waiting for one of his products that is apparently still “just arriving.”