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Happiness Is a Great Accounting System

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Hello again, everyone! I’m not sure how to describe just how excited I am about the work that has been done over the last 24 hours. In the afternoon yesterday, I had a fantastic and unbelievably productive conversation with Margaret, who is co-Executive Director of Hope Ministries, and Lucy, who is Hope’s new accounting staff member. We talked through some of the existing accounting procedures, including the tracking of expenses, the tracking of income and the reconciliation of their finances. I got a pretty good handle on their current processes, and then we worked together to define new expense and income categories that will make their accounting system more complete, robust and accurate. I am likely revealing just how big of a nerd I am right now, but it was exhilarating. 🙂 I am SO happy with the progress that we made yesterday, and now the ball’s in my court to put together some reporting templates for Hope to use going forward. I’m really looking forward to this challenge, which will make Hope a stronger and more accountable organization. As Charles mentioned today in a conversation about these processes, building Hope’s capacity in accountability helps create a solid foundation on which they can grow their organization, particularly as the poultry farm launches and as they receive the profits to invest in the child programs. Very exciting!

The day ended with dinner back at the host home, and Mama Lillian and her niece Susan made an amazing dinner, as they never fail to do. I think everyone was a bit tired and loopy because at some point during dinner, half the table burst into a 5-minute fit of giggles over how to pronounce “mackerel,” which was one of our dinner dishes. Dinner preparation was a riot as well because while we were preparing the food, a drunken former neighbor of the Mulandos’ showed up asking for corn meal that Mama Lillian suspected he would sell to buy more liquor. Mama Lillian, without showing an ounce of fear or hesitation, roughly escorted the man off her property. Just another example of the strength, tenacity and courage of the amazing women I’ve met here. (If you’re wondering, I was walking a ways behind Mama Lillian as she dragged the man out of her yard, giggling at the sight.) 🙂

And if all that isn’t enough progress for you, today has continued the streak, and I’ve been able to observe the classrooms and have a few discussions with the teachers about the operation of the school (as well as a great side conversation with Teacher Ng’oma about local beliefs in witchcraft). I was then able to have a meeting with all the teachers regarding the flow of the clinic that the North Park students will be running for all the Hope students from Wednesday to Friday. (I’m hoping to ensure that while one class is going through the clinic, the rest will be able to continue their lessons without disturbance.) And now I’ve managed to get to the office to work on a few of the reporting templates that I’ll be working with the staff here to implement and have a conversation with Charles about the discussions and trainings for the couple weeks ahead.

Here’s to two more weeks of progress made from working together!

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