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Waltons in Malawi

Phil (CIMA) & Natalia
SolarAid Malawi, Malawi

Departure

We treated ourselves yesterday to an afternoon in London and night at a fancy hotel near Marble Arch. This represents the last traces of corporate life as we used a bunch of hotel points that were about to expire. If we weren’t already aware that this luxury was behind us the hotel alarm went off as we were about to leave and we were evacuated (down 7 flights of stairs behind a very pleasant chap from Korea who also wanted to save his 3 over-sized suitcases). It felt like the curtain drop at the end of a show; glad you enjoyed it but get out. OK, got it – no more extra pillows and turn down service. Time to toughen up.
 
First stop today was to visiting Accounting for International Development (AfID). These were the folks that connected us to SunnyMoney and have been guiding us to our destination like traffic controllers landing a plane with one engine on fire. We were late (due to the hotel fiasco) but just in time for lunch and to meet the whole team. Special thanks to Apeksha and Leah who have been so patient with us and whose professionalism and passion for AfID filled us with the confidence to do this.
 
Next stop was to visit the headquarters of SolarAid, and Lorraine Hammond who manages the Finance organization and one of the reasons we wanted to join the team. I got a 100-mph overview of the reporting process but it was priceless. Also, it was great to meet (via Skype) the SolarAid CEO, Nick Sireau, and to encounter the issue which will become a major part our lives for the next 6+ months: poor WiFi and warped audio on Internet calls/video.
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