Friday, April 09, 2004

Have just finished the least-hard week I can remeber since I got here. First of Wednesday was 'Day of the Mozambican Woman' and thus a holiday. Certainly worthy of at least one day of celebration, in addition to 8th March (international women's day). Then friday afternoon was officiially 'ponto de tolerancia' for Catholics so that they can celebrate Holy Week. The practical effect of this was that many people developed mysterious colds and didn't show up to work on Thursday or today, and everyone else, Catholic or not, skived off home at midday. Though to be fair all of my team stayed to finish off the tasks they were doing rather than leaping out the door at noon on the doubt.

We took a leisurely drive home and stopped to eat on the way. Half the shops are closed and the place has an 'evacuated' feel about it as so many people leave the city to visit their 'machambas' (family farms in the rural areas). While we were eating one of the new managers in UTRAFE walked past and stopped to have a drink with us. Poor guy - he is a Mozambican just back from several years working in Australia, he has been thrown in at the deep-end full of sharks on this project. I think he is just beginning to realise how rough its going to get but I half-think he is too nice to survive this particular show. Darth Vader is the Kraken but he is not the only predatory fish by any means. Still, we will help him out if we can - we make a point of befriending all enemies of Darth and all the 'discarded people' who aren't important enough for him to treat decently. There are whole legions of them (anti-Darth rebels) in many government departments now so at some point there is going to be a reckoning, it is getting to the point where some Mozambican members of the state administration resist his initiatives simply because he suggested them.

Since he works for a key Bretton Woods institution who are really pushing this reform, at some point they will have to realise how unpopular is and ditch him if they want to have any hope of the whole show keeping the ligths on.

Sorry cryptic as usual but for the moment I'm still working here...

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