Friday, July 31, 2015

Something Useful - Maybe!

Friday 31st July

Unusually I am writing this in the morning.

Yesterday I went to meet Pacheli at the Projects office. I had created a database a few years back to record the situation of some of the poorer households in Monze Diocese. I understood that Pacheli was using the database and I must confess some surprise. I have produced a lot of databases in the past for the people of Monze and wasn't aware that any were still in use!!

I did intend to bring a copy with me to his office, but power thwarted me at the last moment! We had a look at what he had on his system when power was restored, but it was not a lot and didn't relate to my database! Apparently Vincent – the guy I previously worked with -had the information on a laptop which was almost impossible to use because it was so slow. Instead of fetching that laptop I suggested we picked up my laptop where I was sure there was a copy of the database.

In fact there was a vast array of different copies of the database – but one seemed to be the final version. It was so long since I prepared it I couldn't remember much about it. In fact it was 2011 when I left it. It seems that Pacheli has very little good information about the baseline for the studies here in Mone Diocese. The idea was to capture information about the assets of each household – picks, hoes, ploughs etc and animals - chickens, goats, cattle etc. Action would be taken to bring about improvements and then another survey taken and the results compared.

I was pleased to see that I had at least captured the initial information. So for about 3,700 households I had recorded details of all the assets, animals etc. and produced results to group this information by community, parish etc. Hopefully this information will be useful. If additional surves are done, even if the information is captured in spreadsheets, I should be able to import it into my database and analyse the results. So maybe my time wasn't wasted after all!

Pacheli drove me home and, on the way, asked which part of the country I came from. I told him - but he wasn't familiar with Cheltenham. However he knew East Anglia because he studied for two years at the University there. As it happened I also studied at East Anglia University – so we compared a few memories of Norwich and the University campus. It is a small world!!

I had some computer work to catch up on in the afternoon. Jane returned having been busy with the children at PIZZ School.

In the evening Obert came around with his brother and I had also invited Fr. Raphael along. I felt guilty when Obert said that he would return on Friday. It was good to chat for a while with Fr. Raphael, but was a pity we couldn't have arranged to go out – perhaps with Fr. Clement as we did last year.

I rang Dilys in the evening. It is good to spend time here in Monze, but it can be hard being away from family and friends. At least the technology is available to keep in regular contact.

I miss getting along to morning mass. In Cheltenham we have mass at 9.30 most days. Here it is at 6.30 and there is a long walk to church. However today I made the effort. It happens to be the feast day of St. Ignatius of Loyola. He was the founder of the Society of Jesus – or Jesuits. In recent years the Jesuits and their spirituality has been very important to me. I have been on several retreats at their centre near Liverpool – now unfortunately closed. In particular a seven day retreat in 1996 had a major impact in my life and developed my relationship with God. I learnt many lessons that still influence my life daily. It was therefore very appropriate that, if I only managed one daily mass this time, it was today.

After mass I attempted to withdraw money from the ATM, not really expecting success and getting what I expected – nothing!!

I returned to the house to a somewhat surprised Deana who had realised something was different but couldn't quite make sense of it. I had a note to say what I was doing, but left it in my locked room!!


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