Thursday, August 30, 2012

Employee of the Month

Once again it's time for me to honour the Employee of the Month at our company Guest House. I initiated this motivation to encourage all involved in their daily work here. Although I use the expression Guest House,  all the staff under my supervision don't only work at that establishment. Regina and Pendo, cleaners start their day by "doing" for me and then cleaning Marnitz' little cottage next door. Regina hangs our laundry out after I've washed it in the automatic machine and later in the afternoon she irons it with a new steam iron which I bought for her last month. 

At about 9.30, both these ladies walk over to the Guest House where they clean the single men's rooms and the relevant bathrooms. Later on in the morning, Regina prepares a garden salad for lunch and then makes a fruit salad for dessert. Pendo meanwhile, will help with drying dishes which Chefs Paul and James have used while making the lunch and which Armani has washed by hand (no dishwasher yet, *sigh*). After lunch Pendo goes into the garden and picks spinach-like greens called mboga boga which the locals love, adds it to the vegetables, meat/fish which I buy for the staff lunch and cooks their midday meal. She also cooks a pot of ugali/maize meal or rice to go with it.

Chefs Paul and James are going on so well together. Not only do they follow menu instructions and recipes and cook well; they've also assumed authority (which I encouraged them to do) in and around the Guest House. A month ago Grant sent me a new akari/gate guard, Armani. Within days I realized that this lad, who speaks perfect English, is young and eager to learn, is utterly wasted opening and shutting the garden gate for the expats vehicles. He still does a little gate duty at lunch time (which is rush hour in Mwadui, LOL) but at the same time, Grant has allowed me to start training him up in the kitchen. As soon as we can replace him as askari, he'll be transferred to the indoor staff.  BTW Armani has an identical twin brother who works in Grant's office as cleaner/tea boy.


Chef James

Chef Paul

Last month, Salome, cleaner and cook (ladies like to be known as cooks not chefs!) was our Employee of the Month. Salome is also seven months pregnant with her first child, so I don't let her do any heavy housework anymore. She sits and irons the expat clothes in the laundry; when she helps prepare baked goods (bread, rolls, chapati, donuts, samosas) which the chefs complete, she sits at the kitchen table to do the job.

Salome, cook and cleaner


The last (but not least) person I'm posting about today is Edward, my house and garden askari. Over the months since I arrived here, I've built up quite a strong relationship with Edward. He speaks a little English and understands much more. While sitting in his gate-house waiting to open gates, he cleans shoes, washes bedside mats for me. He feeds the two dogs and the chickens. He attends to the water supply (we have water tanks outside our house) and he also sweeps the leaves and generally keeps the garden clean. Edward also helps the Guest House by peeling a weekly 5kg bag of carrots and a monthly 10kg of green beans. Later the kitchen staff (Regina, Pendo, Armani and chefs) cut these vegetables into strip and freeze them as I've taught them to do. 

Edward is also available to buy provisions for me as I need them: fresh eggs - 8 dozen or more; fresh bread from the local bakery (I buy them in tens!) air time, and any item that we may have run out of and which can be procured here in Mwadui town. In short, Edward is a gem and this month I have chosen him as Employee of the Month. I 'm only doing the presentation this afternoon at a meeting with the staff. As this is secret until I actually call him up  it's a good thing none of the staff read my blog!
 Edward - askari - and much more! 

 The poster depicting all the staff with Employee of the Month in the center is displayed in the kitchen for that entire period

Apart from the holding the title for the month, the winner also receives a hamper of foodstuffs and an  envelope of shillingi which I collect from the Expats. So for the month of August, it's congratulations to Edward!

I must apologize for not visiting your blogs much this past week. We are going out on leave tomorrow (Friday) and will be home in South Africa on Saturday for a three-week break. So until I blog again from SA soil, you all keep well, safe and have a wonderful weekend. 




  1. It was interesting reading about all the staff and the different jobs they have. You missed the gardeners but I was able to identify their positions on your larger poster with all the staff.

    I see it takes a well oiled machine and good training to run the GH. I applaud you and your staff. Safe travels to SA.

  2. It is a great idea to have Employee of the month. I think it is important to help make the employees know they are doing great jobs and are appreciated. Great post! Enjoy your trip home, Jo.

  3. Congratulations to Edward!! All of this is hard work...
    Safe travels Jo!

  4. The employee of the week is a nice reward.
    Have fun on your vacation!

  5. Your employee of the month award is an inspirational idea. I'm sure it increases moral.

    Have fun in SA. Hope you get to see lots of family and friends.

  6. It sounds like you have a fantastic staff there at the Guest House, Jo! It's nice that you know you've left things in good hands while you are gone for three weeks. I hope you have a wonderful time back home in SA catching up with friends and family!


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo