This blog is a recording of the Credit Union coaching assignment for the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) to consult with Credit Union Managers in Malawi Africa. This is the second year of a two year commitment. I am part of a team of six Credit Union Managers from Canada going to Malawi.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Day 3 at Fincoop

I know I kind of took the day off yesterday by just posting pictures but it was a holiday in Malawi and I am working on Malawi time. The one thing I want to go into a little more detail on was Adam my Caddie for the round of golf Bruce and I played yesterday. He helped me with my short game with a few tips on my stance and swing although my score sucked I was able to hit my irons with some consistency by the end of the round. Walking with him on the course I asked him how he got involved with golf. Adam stated that he grew up in the area and they would sneak on to the course when it was not busy with their home made golf balls or ones they found in the rough and the sticks they used for clubs. He said they could usually get in two to three holes before security found them and chased them off the course.

When he was a little older he got a job as a ball boy for the tennis court since the club also hosts a tennis court and swimming pool. Then he landed the job as a Caddie and the Pro at the time took an interest in Adam and taught him the game. He progressed enough to make the Malawi National Golf Team and he has travelled to most southern African Countries. He brought back memories for me when we said that he had golfed the Royal Harare Course since I golfed that course back in 2000 when I was there consulting for CCA for three weeks. So why do you ask is he still working as a Caddie well the National team is an armature team and he does not have the fund needed for travel to turn Pro. He is saving money and I hope Adam achieves his dream of becoming a Pro Golfer.
Adam on the course with Bruce in the background

Today (Thursday) was a productive day for us at the SACCO we finished our report for the Board, we are meeting with them tomorrow (Friday) and then we will join them for supper. The rest of our group Paul, Bobby, Dennis and Niki should all show up tomorrow and it will be good to swap stories with them. Any way back to Fincoop, we worked for part of the morning and then Blessings Kam'mambala the Finance and Administration Manager came in to where we were working and let us know it was time to go visit their Market Branch. We drove to the Branch and it is almost right in the middle of the market, we met the Branch Manager Mavis who has been with Fincoop since its inception. After visiting the Branch Blessings then took us on a driving tour of Lilongwe which was great to see. We have only really just seen the road from the airport to the hotel because the road coming in from Mzuzu is the same road as the airport road. We toured the Capital City Area, the Government buildings, the place where the first president Banda was buried. Malawi has made a shrine for Banda and it is quite impressive.

Blessings and Bruce at the Market Branch

The president Banda Memorial

                                                              President Banda Memorial

The people of Malawi are taught the four principals of being Malawian they are Unity; Discipline; Obedience and Loyalty. The words are written on the four cornerstones around the shrine. Those are good principles to live by and it puts how we have been treated by our Malawian friends, however I don't think the obedience principle would go over to well in Canada. We like to criticize our government way too much. From there Blessings took us to the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre where we saw a Lioness, some crocodiles a leopard and other animals.

on the road to the government offices

Back to old town where we are stationed we decided to take Blessings for lunch since her had been a good tour guide so with our confidence back with the Summer Park Restaurant we went there. Big mistake Bruce received his order within 10 minutes, I received my order 10 minutes later and Blessings received his order 15 minutes after me. So two bad experiences (one last year) we have decided to boycott the place.

After lunch we finished up our report and I got a preview of the new banking system from the vendor. It looks like it will fit their needs and has some good features they can add in the future. I am excited for Fincoop because once it is up and running it will solve a lot of the issues they have.

It started to rain again just before supper and I say again because last night it came down so hard I am glad we are staying on the second floor. The rain reminded me of last year in Karonga, I don't know if the soil is that sandy or they have a great drainage system but there was no water lying around this morning. We ate at Don Bryonies and the food was excellent, now that is a hopping place it was packed with people having a good time.

Got to go and put the finishing touches on our report for the Board catch you soon.


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