20 Jan 2020

“I am privileged to see the African Missions in action”

Martin Blake works for the English Province of Sisters Hospitallers as Assistant Bursar. At the end of last year, he went to Africa to do some back-office accounting. He wanted to share his memories.

This was the third time I have been privileged to see the African Missions in action. The purpose of my attendance at each Centre was slightly different, but in essence accounting/auditing was at the core.  I’m pictured below with some professional and talented guys each of whom are faced with challenges very different to our average working day in Europe.

Without the time these guys set aside to talk and explain things, my visit would have been pretty fruitless.  As it was, the trip went OK…other than running out of time in Monrovia.

John, Accountant in Dompoase…..apologies for missing you Patrick prior to departure.
Mikel, Health Program Manager in Monrovia, Ato, Mental Health Nurse and Emmanda, Music Activities.
Ken, Accountant in Foso and his assistant Michael.

Highlights? Well, apart from enjoying doing the sums of course:

  • Sr Margaret’s day of Celebrations.
  • The above boys afternoon out in Monrovia by the sea.
  • Bumping into Foso Pharmacist Benedicta again (we met in Rome for the 21st Provincial Chapter)…..pictured below with Sr Margaret…..you can see why normally other people use my phone for selfies!

And…as usual…I take my hat off to many of the Sisters who are doing some very big roles, in tough circumstances. Also, my boss Sr Encarna, who returned to the office after a 24 (TWENTY FOUR) hour gruelling journey home, according to my colleague Steven, “as if she’d just been to the shops”. The writer was fast asleep tucked up in bed.