Today is the first day during this visit to Congo that I stand before a mirror when I am shaving. I see a pensioner in his best years, with a slightly pear-shaped body on two spindly legs. It is not exactly an aestethic experience, but it is alright. I have to accept reality as it is. Today, Gunnel boiled our porridge, on our request. It feels safe to start the day on that foundation.
At 8.00 am we began today´s classes. The power is turned on at that time. I had rigged the computer, the projector and the printer, and all the equipment started on time. Today we had 17 participants, plus the three extras from yesterday. How many will come tomorrow, day three? Today´s classes were dedicated to budgets. I showed two different budgets from projects that are already launched. Then, they got to work with their own budgets. As soon as they were ready, I entered the data into the computer, and they took turns in presenting their own budgets to the group. Judging from the atmosphere, they were very committed and their presentations showed that they had listened to our message. Superintendent Diafuanakana and deputy superintendent M. Matondo participated as well. In all, we had five hours of intense acquisition of knowledge today too, including a break with soft drinks and bisquits. We experienced a power failure at 11.15 am. The engineer who looks after the generator was out on coffee break, and obviously the generator thought it needed a break too. It is not good from an educational point of view, having to break in the middle of a presentation. Fortunately, the manager of the electric company is in the course. I asked him to go and start the generator. He was somewhat reluctant, and I think we will have to pay extra for disturbing the engineer´s coffee break. For tomorrow, I have ordered power without failure. We´ll se if my request can be satisfied.
This afternoon, workshop owner Daniel Bimpe came, and we discussed production of wood stoves. We visited a manioc factory that he had delivered the equipment to, and then we went to his workshop. He had been experimenting with two different types of stoves. One is very simple, it reminded me of an old iron tripod that you place in the fire, and then put a pot upon. The other one was a more elaborate, traditional stove with some clever solutions. We will continue with the development of our ideas, and meet again at the end of the month.
Tonight, the CEC Church School manager, Keto Clement came to see us. We put forward our ideas about an entrepreneurial program for the Baobab Church Secondary School. He thought it was a brilliant idea, and we will continue working together with the idea when we get to Matadi. Keto said that practically everybody is occupied with various commercial activities, and he meant that it is a sign of a society in crisis. A program for entrepreneurs could be very beneficial in teaching young people to plan their economy.