greens, orange and reds

The MSH Lesotho office is the only MSH office I know of that color-coordinated its interior with the MSH brand colors (two types of green and orange). These folks know about congruence!

We visited the director of the department we have been asked to assist. She and I have a thing or two in common: we are both veterans with the agency we currently work for and we are both from related professional fields: social work and family therapy. On top of that she was dressed in our (Dutch) national color: orange (I was not).

My colleague took me along to the weekly Rotary Club lunch where I found myself in the company of an interesting group of people, including the US ambassador, a representiative from Kick4Live, a youth empowerment group that uses sports as the medium for growth and a variety of nationalities, private and public sector folks from all over (southern) Africa and beyond. I talked about my dad who was a devoted Rotarian, my friend DJ in Rockport, Razia jan in Kabul. It’s a powerful network that has spread itself into every nook and cranny of the world.

We met with a UNICEF consultant who is like an executive coach for the most senior manager. We talked about alignment of our work, much like last week we aligned ourselves in Namibia with another agency that works on management and leadership strengthening. It is refreshing to see this kind of cooperation and collaboration here. It isn’t always like that.

The assignments for my two weeks here are slowly beginning to develop an outline – one is about developing an executive leadership development program for the permanent secretary, the other requires a trip to at least two districts, to follow up on work done some 9 months ago on leadership develop. I am like the midwife coming to see whether the baby has arrived…and if not, to do some gentle massages.

One of my colleagues is actually about to have a baby, or rather his wife has. The baby is due any time but they hope it is not tomorrow, on February 29. It does tend to complicate the birthday celebration.

While I was learning and we were exploring the work to be done a parliamentary crisis was happening outside. I was glad this is a peaceful place because things like political parties breaking in two, transforming the governing party into the opposition just like that, could be nerve wrecking and a call to militant action in many other places I know.

While we were having an after-action pint of draught we watched red-clad women chanting and shouting on their way to some political gathering. I was happy to spot few young men in the crowd and no guns. The complication of the break-up is that the name of the new party has the same words as the old party, just re-arranged in a different order, and the same party color (red) – even the new party’s platform is the same I was told. While we finished our glasses cars with blue blinking lights went this way and that, all with high level politicians in it on their way to sort out the mess.

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February 2012
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