Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Tales from the Office: Staff Meeting

I learned that there would be a Life in Africa staff meeting Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. and asked if I could come. Peter, the center administrator, said sure! Was he wondering why someone would volunteer to come to a staff meeting?

On Tuesday I arrived at 9:30 or so so that I could check my email, a more arduous process than you might think. Luckily, one of the other staff members hadn't arrived and so the meeting didn't start at 10. Or at 10:30. Or at 11. Or 11:30. Or 12. Finally, a bit after 12, one of the staff members told me, "Meeting's starting," and I trooped into the office.

To my surprise, the meeting started with a prayer. Not to my surprise, the meeting required much discussion. It also required some concentration on my part not to lose focus what with the accents and the hunger. I thought I did fairly well, given how cranky I usually get by lunchtime.

At about 3, Grace, who coordinates the programs, said, "We should probably stop. Some of us are probably hungry." I think that was entirely for my benefit because as the meeting broke up, I asked if anyone was going to get some lunch. The six staff members just laughed and continued working and discussing business plans.

I have decided to introduce the American custom of donuts at staff meeting.

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