Monday, March 23, 2009

a little chat about Liberia

8:48 AM Mustafa: hey stranger
happy new year
me: hello!
Mustafa: Hi :)
Mustafa: sorry... we keep falling off the earth.
8:52 AM me: hey - how are you guys doing?
9:04 AM Mustafa:
we're good
how areyou?
me: I'm good, overall. miss you guys!
9:05 AM Mustafa: we miss you too
sorry that last weekend didn't work out
did you go to the wedding?
me: no worries
no - long story, but basically I ended up being sick!
Mustafa: oh I'm sorry
Mustafa: hey...a question
9:06 AM Mustafa: would you like to go to Liberia as a project manager?
me: sure!
for how long?
Mustafa: it's a two year project though
me: ahhh
what would I be doing?
Mustafa: it is a school feeding program
me: wow
9:07 AM Mustafa: our portion is the renovation of 100 schools
9:08 AM me: wow
so what kind of person are you looking for?
Mustafa: a good project manager, skills in managing/leading people
group of maybe 5-10
organized and plan-oriented
9:10 AM the PM will work with our partner agency, IRD, to 1) select the schools 2) lead the construction supervisor team to assess the rate of repair 3) work with the logistics peron to get the proper material
4) be the face of rep of SFL in the country
9:11 AM and reporting
me: wow, sounds amazing
Mustafa: well...if you want to do it, I can make it happen
9:12 AM even though you don't have constructio management experience... that sholdn't be a hurdle
but the two-year
me: would there be fundraising?
Mustafa: the project will pay but not a full salary that I had initially budgeted for
I'm in the process of negotiation and will know exactly how much can the project pay
Mustafa: and you can add more support to it
me: what languages would I be working in?
Mustafa: even a circle of praying friends
9:14 AM Liberian English
me: definitely!!
Mustafa: it's old American slave English
oooooo Whiteman can lie-ooo
me: I would seriously consider it - where would I find more info, and what do you need to know by when?
Mustafa: is a Liberian phrase
9:15 AM me: very true
Mustafa: let me send you the link
the last in the list
the person will also bear the title of Country Director
9:16 AM me: wow
(I know, I keep saying that)
Mustafa: :)
9:17 AM Jen too thinks you'll do a great job
me: she's always getting me into situations!
9:18 AM so what would happen with the fact that I know little about construction?
Mustafa: hahaha Jen's screaming from the bathroom
saying that if she gets laid off she'll join you
me: awesome!
9:19 AM Mustafa: the construction will be a plus but the main responsibility will not be construction quality control
it's directing/managing people
making sure the corruption doesn't take over
representing in the government offices, working with the Minister of Education
and even the president's office
the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia
9:20 AM so lots of connectiong building, accountability
and so on
me: really sounds cool
I know nothing about the country so I'm reading about it right now...
Mustafa: ok.... let me know, seriously, what you think
9:21 AM
me: wow, so crazy
so you must need somebody pretty bad at this point, huh?
9:22 AM Mustafa: my contact in the country is a theologian who will be part of the program
he's a great guy
Mustafa: so all to say that there is familiar faces
9:23 AM me: what kind of dress do western women wear there?
Mustafa: it's a secular christian nation
and Monrovia in 70s was a modern city
but no restriction that you'd expect in many muslim countries
their president is a woman
9:24 AM Johnson
maybe your sibs
me: :)
Mustafa: :)
me: must be!
Mustafa: she's a harvard grad
me: wow
Mustafa: give it some serious thoughts
and send me a resume :)
as if it's only serious if you say yes
9:25 AM me: send you a resume as if I'm serious, you mean?
:) I think I can manage that
Mustafa: :)
me: thanks for thinking of me!
Mustafa: you're welcome... it'll be a beautiful opportunity.... I would personally love to spend a yr or two in West Africa
9:26 AM extremely different from the East
me: yeah
Mustafa: or Central, for that matter
me: it would really be an amazing opportunity
9:28 AM alright friend, back to study
let me know what you think
me: one more quick question
Mustafa: ok
me: it says report to Director of Field Operations
who's that?
Mustafa: it's our Op director at HQ
he's an architect and a very cool guy
9:29 AM me: where is he based?
Mustafa: just came back from a two+ years in Pakistan
me: dang, so I don't get to report to you?
Mustafa: I'm telling you... you'll be the chief
your first boss will be in the US
on the operations you'll work with the ops
me: just crazy to think about... but I'm thinking!
Mustafa: but because you'll bear the CD title
9:30 AM you'll have to work with me too
to develop new program activities
me: cool!
Mustafa: basically, besides project management, doing some basic statistics and ethnographics studies of needs assessment and best solutions
9:31 AM if we get more funding your income will go up :)
Mustafa: but it doesn't seem to be approved by our prime
me: prime?
Mustafa: it's a consortium of the organizations
9:32 AM the prime = the main recipient of the funding
me: ahh
Mustafa: does the feeding and food processing
we do the school renovation
9:33 AM me: good to know!