Friday, September 10, 2010

This is what I do in my job

Lately, I've been spending a lot of time reading quarterly reports from our partners.  For example, last year OFDA (the office I work in) gave money to several NGOs (non-profits) to do projects in areas of Kenya that were affected by drought, to help people survive without hopefully having to migrate or sell off all their assets (mostly animals) to be able to buy food.  And now, every three months the partners have to send us reports telling us how the projects are going and what they've accomplished.  So I've been spending the last few weeks reading the reports, making sure that the partners are doing what we agreed they would do at the beginning, that the projects are more or less on track, and that overall US taxpayers' dollars are being well spent.

Also, I go to a lot of meetings.  Lately, a lot of the meetings have been about the weather and forecasts - for example, what regions have had good rains and therefore have had a good growing season for crops and subsequently the people are better nourished, and what areas haven't had good rains (or have had too much rain which caused flooding), leading to poor crops and malnourishment.  And then all this information helps us to figure out where people are in need and where we should be implementing projects.

So that's a snapshot of my life in the office.  I'll be going out on another project monitoring trip in a few weeks, inshallah.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, a few pictures from my trip last weekend to Lamu, an ancient Swahili town on the Kenyan coast:

You can see more pictures here.  Credit for all the best photos goes to Diana.