Ever since Alastair and I returned from our holiday break, at the beginning of January, we both have been extremely busy with work. The pace of the project continues increase and the days all seem to blur together. Meetings with community development committees have been occupying most of my time.
I’m also participating in a working group that runs planning sessions to formulate a model community development agreement for mining companies and affected communities in Sierra Leone to use in the future. It is exciting to have the opportunity to work with Government, the Ministries, and other international organizations to create something new that will, hopefully, facilitate stronger working relationships between companies and communities. Unfortunately, it means I have to drive to Freetown for whenever there is a planning session (I need my own helicopter).
A couple of weeks ago, our company had its first annual surface rent payment ceremonies for each of the chiefdoms in which we operate. This is a component now that the company holds a mining license. The ceremonies were a significant event and took a lot of planning on Alastair’s part. Thankfully, all went well and both ceremonies were well received. Alastair and I both even gave speeches :)
I don’t foresee work slowing down any time soon, and now with a wedding to plan, I may go a bit ‘bush-crazy’ after all :)