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Rain, Rain

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Hello again, everyone! So far this trip, Mama Lillian has been puzzled as to why we have not had more rain, which is the one thing that’s able to combat the heat from the sun. Well, she’s finally gotten her wish, as we’ve had two days of almost non-stop rain.The cooler temperatures have certainly been nice, but Cheetah, the Mulandos’ dog, is particularly dangerous in getting your clothes super dirty when it’s been raining outside, so I’ve had to take extra care as I approach the home each night. I can’t tell you how many items of my clothing have giant reddish-brown paw prints on them. 🙂

Other than fighting Cheetah away, it’s been a great day here. I spent yesterday afternoon and this morning working with Margaret to implement the new general ledger system that got me so excited yesterday. The more I think through it, the more I think that it will really be a great tool for the Hope team. I hope that it will help make their accounting and increasing their accountability an easy and painless process!

I’ve spent some time today working with the various office and school staff on a new financial/data report that Hope will begin to use this month. I’ve been hearing a lot of debate about how valuable it is for donors to focus on nonprofits’ management ratios (the amount spent on overhead vs. programs) as opposed to the impact that the organization has. While I agree that the impact is what matters, I also realize that it’s up to us nonprofits to identify, track and report the data on impact that actually matters. This new financial report will help us to do just that, with metrics for Hope’s financial position, the school’s scope and impact, the nutrition the students receive and much more. I’m glad that we’ll have these new and improved tools to help us tell the world about the great work being done for the kids here through Spark and Hope.

I just wrapped up a brief training with some of the office and school staff on Excel, which is basically one of my favorite things (a relic of my time as a management consultant). I can’t say it was the most scintillating training, but I saw some of the staff taking a few notes, which I hope means that at least some of the information I presented will be helpful. The find function really seemed to blow some minds, so I’m excited that that was a hit! 🙂

I’m wrapping up in the office for the day, and I’ll be spending tomorrow at the school for some final to-do’s before my departure for Lusaka on Sunday. It’s hard to believe that my trip is coming to a close soon, and I’m excited to squeeze every last bit of progress possible out of the next few days.

I’m off  to battle with Cheetah! Talk to you all again tomorrow!

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