No sooner than I returned from the Middle East, than it was time to dive deep into WaterCredit and prepare for initial strategy, business development and outreach trips. In less than a month I was (am!) back on the road — this time in east Africa for MFI meetings, followed by Stockholm for World Water Week later this month. (I’ve got at least one significant international trip every month for the rest of this year which keeps me busy, happy and my passport in good form. Next: India in mid-September.)
My time in Africa is going extraordinarily well so far; we’ve worked our way through Kenya (Nairobi) and Uganda, with time in rural Nyanza province, western Kenya (where Water.org has its regional office for Africa) and Ethiopia still to come. The response received from MFIs about WaterCredit is both very encouraging and exciting — there is no shortage of interest! I’ve also had opportunities to see water and sanitation (watsan) projects on the ground; a very eye-opening experience, not least given the oftentimes dire water circumstances to be reckoned with. Being able to provide small-scale finance to individuals and groups to take ownership of, and accountability for, their own water needs through WaterCredit is tremendously rewarding; the amount of demand is astounding, however, every drop counts!
Other favorite trip experiences so far include flying over Lake Victoria, meeting up with dear IDLO friends in Kampala, receiving an amazing massage from a strong Congolese woman (hearing her tale from Goma was truly inspiring), eating ugali na sukumawiki and fresh mandaazi, and visiting hippo pools. There’s not a lot of non-working time, but somehow each day brings adventures and explorations that could keep up with the best of my travelogues anyway…
As usual, the best way to follow my day-to-day observations, impressions and Notes From The Road is on Twitter. I’ve been tweeting up a storm on this trip, so hope you will find it fun to track me there. I’ll be sure to safari njema!