Wednesday, 1 February 2006


Hi Everyone,

I hope this email finds you all well and happy. I knew I would have my work cut out for me here it’s manic but I love it.


I thought I would show you a ‘normal’ day for me at SCANN…..My alarm goes off at 7am, earlier if I am required for outings (Filming etc). I have a shower and a hurried breakfast before I leave my ‘house’. By the time I am up most of the boys have left the site and are on route to school. I sign on duty and then see what needs doing. Part of my work here to is to set up stock monitoring, as they seem to loose a lot of things and refuse to touch others!!!!

I started the today in one store, the stockpile of donated ‘dated’ food stuffs was a shock, unfortunately, no-one will take the responsibility of stock handling the donated food stuffs, (that is until I got here). I have drawn up lists of stock and plan to start to distribute through to the kitchen for use there. My next job was to go to the kitchen store and look at their stock system……. Oops they don’t have one. I took one look at the state of the stock room and had a clear out. Someone please tell me ………. what are boxes of shoes, clothes, paints and brushes doing in the kitchen store????????? Any ideas............ me neither. I worked all morning with Sammy the store keeper, basic housekeeping!!! Food stuffs are now visible on the shelves on one side of the store whilst the kitchen utensils, crocks and pots, cleaning items etc on the other. How difficult was that, the store man was very pleased with the result – we also managed to make many cockroaches homeless I am pleased to say.

After grabbing a sandwich for lunch all staff then gathered for a staff meeting (first in a very long time) Yasmin, one of the Trustees of SCANN headed the meeting, all I can say was it was a ‘kick arse’ event. Things here have slid off the gauge as far as established guidelines are concerned, I have a lot of work to do to get the place back on track, unfortunately I think I will have a lot of problems with the staff, they have been used to a free-hand for so long now, changes wont be easily introduced. Another reason for the meeting was to outline what my role at the centre was… that was a tough one, I seem to be covering many things.

After the meeting I shot into town with Fabian (another short term volunteer) to sort out his laptop with my ‘computer man’, whilst out the heavens opened, you guessed, no sleeves, no jumper, jacket or umbrella, mad mwzungu (white person) on a boda boda in the pouring rain!

At 5.40pm I realised that I had to be back at SCANN for a meeting with the Salvation Army Captain, at 6pm, to discuss how we want him to handle counselling sessions. I managed to get back and change out of my clothes in nano seconds and still managed to get to the meeting and sound as if I knew what I was talking about! After the meeting, I went into the dining hall to oversee dinner and listen to the feedback to the boys about the meeting held today.

The boys weren’t too happy with being told that until after their evening meal they are now required to speak in English! It is to encourage the development of using the language most used here in business, many boys can only manage a couple of words in English and we are required to encourage them to use English wherever possible.

After sitting and being present for the boys while they were doing their homework, I decided to head ‘home’ it was now 9.30pm. No energy for dinner so a quick bowl of weetabix, a shower and fell into bed at 10pm. Another day done, totally exhausted…..

Ok as far as I see it my job is :-Create stock control systems and check being used.
Oversee mealtimes to ensure good distribution of food, good table manners (difficult with 140 boys),
Overall hygiene education.
Help coach boys who are falling behind.
Encourage ‘fun’ learning.
Monitor time keeping of all staff.
Ensuring the school timetable is adhered to.
Manage clothing repairs – sewing.
Medicine stock holder.Medic donations co-ordinator.
Ambassador for SCANN.
Shosho (Grandmother) to the boys and most importantly friend!

Oh, I am now a member of the Salvation Army!!!!! Apparently it is easier to get work permit approval if you are from a religious group, so the Salvation Army have said I am one of theirs from the UK. I asked if I would get a pristine white skirt, jacket and hat as the other ladies have, I was told NO! I won’t even get a tambourine, I am most disappointed. OK that’s all for now will write again soon.

Oh, you will be pleased to know it is pouring with rain here and has been since yesterday lunchtime. I am glad I have my rain jacket, although I loaned my umbrella to one of the teachers yesterday, hope I get it back (Linda it’s the one you gave me and comes in very useful if not for the rain for a sun brollie!) I haven’t been sending as many emails as last time as I don’t want to bore you all with my chatter. Will try and limit to things that might interest you. Oh, BIG hug to Martyn at First Drinks who makes me laugh with his emails…….. thank you.

Nathalie, I hope you wont freak out when you come here………. Still counting off the days now. Jean you are very quiet, hope all is going well with the ‘office’.

Nathalie please note: I haven't had rabies or the Meno.... cocus Meningitis (no idea how to spell it) we are not working on a wildlife reserve and having a lot of contact with animals and no mention was made re the other one when I contacted the travel clinic.

Sorry have been called for a meeting so will have to leg it across town..... problems, problems. Love you all, yes Martyn cant exclude you!!! he he he he.
Take care, it poured with rain today....... :-( wore my mac).

Love, kisses etc etc. Susannah

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