Just in time

There was no time to rest. After the short flight (from Amsterdam to Paris), a stop in Paris and the connecting flight to Abidjan I arrived in my hotel late Sunday evening. I was able to negotiate a chef salad with the two remaining servers in the empty restaurant where the lights had already dimmed. I think they were willing to serve me because there were two giant screens with football (soccer) matches going on. They watched while I ate the leftover meats and cheeses from breakfast and lunch served on a bed of iceberg lettuce. The best part of the meal was the mustard mayonnaise, which I ate right out of the bowl.

I was picked up at 6:30AM by our driver to take me to a regional capital some 100 KM to the north of Abidjan, to arrive just in time for the training of trainers’ workshop that would start at 8:30AM. Getting out of the city at this time of the day requires navigating endless traffic jams. We arrived about 8:30AM and found the team at breakfast.

Luckily I knew most of the 12 or so people in the group. I had trained some of them several years ago and watched them perform earlier this year, to my great delight. I had effectively passed the baton, at least to some of them.

I had rearranged the two-day program earlier to consist mostly of un-programmed time so that we could practice simulate parts of the governance workshop and practice. This turned out to be good intuition and the facilitators grew in confidence in front of my eyes.

Our Cote d’Ivoire project team always arranges for a brief training of trainers before any event. They have done this for years, more so than in any other place I have worked. As a result there is now a considerable pool of confident and experienced facilitators who do the work I used to do. Now I limit myself to introducing new techniques and methodologies which they absorb like sponges.

The event for which we were preparing was a governance workshop for representatives of Community Management structures (COGES) tasked with the oversight of the district hospitals. The adoption of practices of good governance is something of great importance here. The challenge is to reduce the gap between words and deeds when it comes to good governance. The gap is big.

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