Report by Rob - Part 2

The 2nd week in Nyaigando has passed smoothly and I now feel totally at home and comfortable here. We have now fully explored the small town of Bukoba and regularly bump into familiar faces on trips to the market or down to the lake shore. Indeed, I even met with the family of a good friend from university who is from Bukoba and I've been invited to join them for Christmas Day. Small world! I have also got to know many who live in the villages of Kashozi and Kibengwe, close to Nyaigando, as I am playing football at the local school with the 30 or so who play their every day. Of those I know in Kashozi, one is now a very good friend, the fantastically named Papa Perfect, who seems to know everyone in the area. Of course, it's always more fun having a wider circle of friends to meet, but it's also interesting to get different perspectives on the lives of the local people, both here close to Nyaigando as well as in Bukoba.

This week has also signalled the beginning of my project work. I have had meetings with the Sisters to introduce my proposals and these were well received. With regard to the soap project, I am undertaking a full-scale review of operations in order to try and improve the financial performance. This would enable us to further safeguard the sustainability of the organisation and to invest the profits either into the VTCs or the school scholarships. It appears that there are already a number of clear ways in which we can optimise the activity and I will go into further detail on this as and when the work is completed over the coming weeks. It was great to receive the support and understanding of the Sisters for this project.

Furthermore, I have begun to conduct an analysis of alternative, newly proposed business activities into which we could enter. Sister Redempta was eager to inform me of some of the ideas which the Sisters have considered recently and I already have 14 different proposals to investigate. I think some form of prioritisation must take place here! I'll also benefit from taking a trip to Musaka, Uganda and to Mwanza where the Sisters were aware of similar projects which I should research. I'm hoping to schedule this in for mid-January.

I wish you all a fantastic Christmas period and I'm looking forward to settling down to some more of the local specialities on Christmas Day; matoke (a boiled savoury banana dish), matunda ya Bukoba (fruit of the region) and the fried grasshoppers, which I'm assured are "very nutritious".

Merry Christmas.