Thursday, October 31, 2013

Social functions a-plenty

In mid-October our company signed a seven-and-a-half year contract with the Client, and it fell to Grant to treat the employees to an evening of eats and refreshments.  New machines were already en route and it was up to Grant to convey the figures and facts to the 300 employees in his team. 

The first occasion was a Mongolian BBQ held for the [20] expats at the Guest House. As always, it went down very well  and after supper, Grant made his speech and thanked everyone for their contribution towards keeping the company profitable and helping to ensure that the contract was renewed. 

 The expat function held at the Guest House 

The next night - Saturday - it was the turn of all the workshop staff (several expats who get on very well with the Tanzanians, were there as well!), and the production people who work in teams of three shifts; this was the first shift that was off. The Guest House and other bachelor accommodation staff as well as Grant's administration staff was at this function.
 Top right and bottom left: Grant giving his speech with Touro translating. Bottom right, Grant's front-of-office lady (left), Nsia and Marina a housekeeper at the bachelors' accommodation. Standing is a lady operator (more about that below) 

When I first arrived in Africa (West Africa, 2000), I was surprised to see ladies driving the huge trucks and machines used in earth moving. Grant explained that once a woman is trained, she is indispensable for several reasons: she treats the machine with kid-gloves; she is never late for work; she is never absent and she is clear-headed (read sober) at all times. In short, she is serious about her job! 
 Top photos: the ladies (in mustard and blue dresses respectively) are both excellent machine operators in Thys' (Production manager) team. In the bottom right photo, Grant poses with a mechanic from the workshop
 Top right is Steve (new workshop foreman from the UK), Grant and Thys.  Bottom left Plant Manager, Johan chatting to people from his workshop: the man in navy is known as the Tire Man! 

Top photos: Grant and Johan with some of the workshop employees; bottom left:  Chefs Paulo and Michael assisted by local restaurant owner, Ailina serving dinner; bottom right: The people love chicken and chips and Grant made sure there were samosas to augment the meal too

Apart from being the official photographer, I enjoyed chatting to the people and the fact that I could dress up in my bling! 

On Tuesday we attended the third function, also at the Pool Bar. This time the askaris and about 60 pit and production employees (the next shift) were present. Moremi, the chief accountant was also there and was surprised that he and I had never met.  I mean, I deal with the Guest House finances and subsequent cash reconciliation every single week which Grant takes back to the office. So it was rather strange that we'd never actually met until now! 
 Mr Moremi,  (chief accountant) in the beige golf shirt and jeans is surrounded by pit operators. The young lad in the red shirt, sitting next to Moremi,  is Isaac who is one of my kitchen assistants here in our Guest House 

Our askaris: Fabian at No 8, down the road, Michael (in yellow shirt) our home askari, my gardener and the cats' favorite person and Zechariah, Guest House night guard

Grant delivers his speech with Touro translating. 

Michael gives me a big smile while waiting in the dinner queue. Directly behind him is another excellent operator driver, Lucy. Bottom right corner is Helena, second housekeeper for the bachelors' houses. The tall lad in the top right photo at the head of the queue, is Jackson, second assistant kitchen helper at the Guest House. 

Babu and Bibi looking rather serious at such a fun outing!

As you know, Grant had to visit the dentist in Mwanza on Thursday. Thys warned him to be back on time for the final function to be held at the Pool Bar again. The dentist was totally professional and before Grant knew it, he had extracted the offending tooth. Grant made another appointment for the first week of November so we'll be going to Mwanza for that. Meanwhile, we were back in Mwadui in good time to attend the occasion of treating the final production shift workers. 

The man second from left is Frank, one of our three company drivers. He is also, like the other three, a pit (machine) operator

 These three men were adamant that I know they work in production for Mr Thys and nowhere else! 

A few months ago, when the situation became vacant, Grant nominated Touro be promoted to Pit Supervisor. This was granted by HO and since then the positive improvement in the pit vibes and production, has been incredible. On Thursday night Touro showed his maturity and worthiness in this position. He asked Grant to use the next-in-charge pit boss, Aloise as interpreter!

 Grant's speech being interpreted by next-in-charge pit boss, Aloise

After a dinner of (you guessed it) chicken, chips and samosas, we left the Pool Bar to allow the rest of the employees to enjoy themselves.  
Me and Grant at the last function held on Thursday night

I've linked this post to Our World Tuesday which you can access by clicking here



  1. What a fantastic celebration! I am sure everyone was joyous about being included, along with all the great food and companionship. I think this is so important.
    (P.S. I'm glad to hear you have a great dentist! Those are real treasures.)

  2. Loooks like you've been doing a lot of photographing and socializing lately. I'll bet the food was delicious and the people were interesting, too.

  3. Wow ! what a social life you have ! It seems to me that Grant has put some weight on which suits him very well !
    You both look great !

  4. Great pictures, looks and sounds like fun get-togethers! :)

  5. My, oh my what a social life you have! Just watch that bundle of emotional padding ballooning out of your beloved.

  6. I wish our bosses will do a function or two to try and get staff morale up


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