Monday, August 31, 2009

Back to Belize, Back to Work

Six weeks in Europe have gone by in a flash. Caught up with 17 brothers and sisters (including those in-law), 22 nephews and nieces, 4 parents and more than 100 friends in five countries (Holland, Luxembourg, Belgium, France and Germany). I also gained at least 4 kilos, drank 12 different kinds of beer in over 30 bars and ate in more than 20 restaurants. Shopped in even more shops; buying 120 kilo of stuff packed over 5 suitcases. In short: had a great time but now I’m a little tired…

It is good to be back in Belize. With an 8-hour jet-lag and a need to readjust to the heat, it will take me a few days to get back into normal life rhythm. Not for Soleine, she has started school today. She is now in K-5; the second year of Kindergarten. She is happy to find her ‘old’ friends again. Michel has gone back to the everlasting fight to get things done in his EU project to support the sugar-sector. I am updating my blog and my inbox, taking it easy today because today is my last ‘lazy’ day…On the first of September I am starting to work. Yea!

I have found this perfect consultancy assignment, right up my alley. I am going to do an MTR for UNDAF as well as the M&E for the UNDP CPAP and AWP. Ha! Can you still follow me? In normal (non-UN) language: I am going to facilitate a mid-term review of a common program implemented by four United Nations agencies here in Belize. And I am going to measure the progress of the UNDP country program for Belize. The UNDP together with the government of Belize has set out to achieve certain goals such as to reduce poverty and to stop the spread of HIV/Aids. I am going to help them to find out how successful they are. I will be developing a system to collect the right information, quantitative (for example the current percentage of mother-to-child HIV/Aids transmission) but also qualitative (for example how micro-credits have improved the lives of women entrepreneurs). I will have to work with various ministries and organizations such as the Statistical Institute of Belize, NGOs working in development and all kinds of others. I will get to know a lot of people. It is a four-month job and the best thing is I can do it from home and with flexible hours. What more could I want?