We gather it is still snowing back home. We watched the rugby match at Twickenham yesterday with an Irish friend and as we sat in the warmth listening to a live band it was strange to watch the snow falling and see everyone huddled in their anoraks! Anyway to more serious matters. The week has been full as always. Joanna has been delivering the training at UTH alongside Monica who is completing her Training as a trainer. It is a large and varied group and as we are delivering it in a new structure over 2 weeks instead of 6 there are always adaptations to be made along the way. The group are very involved and the responses have been interesting and thought provoking.
Lesley's focus has been on the M and E, organising follow up interviews with the trainee trainers and contacting MHUNZA about the experiences of those involved in Taster Session last year. Another focus for both of us has been exploring the opportunities for further training venues, this is an important part of our ongoing Training of Trainers programme as well as of embedding the practice. We have also had a lot of support in arranging a stakeholders meeting where we can feedback and start the process of exploring the issues around sustainability. The plan is to follow this up later in June/July with a full stakeholders meeting to present the results of our Feasibility Study in full and move on with the next step.
To our friends in the UK we offer sympathy about the return of winter and please get rid of it quickly!
So finally given so many varied hurdles Lesley and Joanna are back safely at Gossner. The awful cholera outbreak was clearly the main reason for not being here any earlier and it is good to find that it is easing though there are still many issues around it to be worked through. Our departure was rendered a bit nerve wracking given the extraordinary blast of extreme winter conditions that struck the UK generally. But we made it!
We discovered just as we were leaving that our arrival coincided with a 3 day holiday period and we are very grateful to our colleagues from UTH who agreed to meet us despite this so we were able to confirm the practicalities for the training starting next week.
We do seem to have exchanged the heavy snow for some dramatic rain and thunder which as always has knock on effects on power and internet connection (hence delayed posting!) but everything is looking very green and lush. We are also delighted to announce the publication of the first collaborative article about our work in The Health Press. Zambia.