Thursday 22 May by Frank Meijns
Everyone arrived for breakfast at the usual time between 7 and 8 am. The sky was clouded and the temperatures were considerably lower than the days before. With the WISA conference being only 4 days away the pressure was rising and the groups started working on their cases early. The schedule was empty so the entire day could be used to work on the cases.
Our team, ‘Team 2’, continued working on the case of providing water and sanitation in rural communities. There were some intense discussions during the morning but fortunately Nakampe came by to provide us with some new insights and a lunchbox. We are well taken care of by this man.
Later in the afternoon three senior members from Waterschap Groot-Salland (a Dutch water board) came by to have a look at the program and to meet the participants. They had a chat with most of the participants and were really interested in what solution everyone had come up with. They were most interested in Team 1 as they were working on the case that was provided by the Waterschap. So the pressure was on team 1 now who had to explain their ideas with regards to the ‘App’ they are developing. Of course this also provided a nice discussion on which possible directions to take.
Once the sun had set, work was halted as the plan was to go ‘somewhere’ at 6:30 pm. Nina decided to order snails, for some a great delicacy and for others not so much. After some serious peer pressure Anna and I joined in some sort of fear factor exercise and ate the snails without throwing up and being applauded loudly by the group. They weren’t so bad actually. Gao’s meal on the other hand had a mishap so she received a new plate. The food was studied with great care - even a pH meter was offered but did not turn out to be necessary.
After dinner we went ‘somewhere’ which turned out to be a difficult place to find. We first went to Nakampe’s hotel where we had to wait for him for a while for reasons yet to be known (somebody suggested he had to put on make-up). After that we visited a cement factory which was quite interesting to see by night, but not the place we were looking for. Fortunately Erin took over and brought us to the location we were actually aiming for, which was a bar near Crocodile River.
This bar turned out to have a rather homogeneous audience of middle aged men drinking and talking about their business. We shared drinks and had a good time, we were being hugged and got served beverages by the lovely waitress Chelsea. When the bar was closing we left and the bill was ‘taken care of’ by an unknown beneficiary. Part of the group went home right after that, another group went to a club which they could enter after performing some serious dance moves. Later on when the club closed they continued the party with a local DJ on the parking lot who played his set on the front of his car.
At about 1 am everyone went to bed after a long day filled with both hard work and great fun.