Toyota Hilux 2.4 double cab (long wide body) 4×4
KM: 281’000 (24/12/2012)
handover of car in serviced condition in Windhoek after full payment. Payment into Bank Windhoek or German/Swiss account (IBAN can be provided). NO instalment sale. Vehicle available first/second week of February.
- vehicle in pristine condition all components (engine, drive train, 4×4, air-con etc. are working 100%)
- serviced every ~5000km (or less in rainy season and after extensive off road driving)
- only qualified service provider: BZ Auto Electric (Windhoek), Ozzy’s Auto repair (Oshakati), Toyota Pukepwitz (Oshakati)
- major engine overhaul at Pupkewitz Toyota (KM: 272’000): new timing chain, oil pump, gasket kit, divers internal parts
- prop shafts overhauled (01/2012)
- diff, gear- and transmission box oils replaced (12/2012)
- starter and battery replaced (04/2012)
- windscreen replaced (PGGlass, orig. Toyota, 12/2012)
- 6x BFGoodrich All Terrain T/A KO Tires in excellent condition (4x original Toyota rims, 2x new standard rims (unused)
- ARB Emu Dakar Leaf Springs (added: 01/2011, KM: 248’000)
- ARB Nitrocharger Shock Absorbers (added: 01/2011, KM: 248’000)
divers accessories installed
Almost two years ago I had a small posting about ‘SchoolLink and the land of the workshops’: for the sake of the Namibian state of education – which many people say is going down every year despite the more money put in (Education receives with 23.6% (US$ 1,15 bn) the biggest share of this year’s budget) – I wish my pessimistic appreciation had been proven wrong and the project had been at least a partial success. But fairy-tales are scare here. The project had been a complete disaster in all the 4-O regions. Now the Ministry makes a second attempt to get things going together with Edupac, the South African supplier of the solution. Last week most of the Directors, numerous seniors education officers, IT staff members and the principals of the schools which are part of the initial roll-out had been in Windhoek for a SchoolLink Project ‘Workshop’. I rather refer to it as an information event: planing done at Head Office, execution in the Regions – as usual. Compared to the first roll out a fundamental (and hopefully match winning) change has been made: the web based software is now centrally hosted in Windhoek. No more vulnerable local (database and web server) installations at school PC’s scattered around the country. Only thing needed is Internet access, a running web browser on the PC and trained staff. Only? Despite the impressive progress the Namibian Telecom has done half of our project schools in the North have Internet coverage up to now. Biggest headache however is the training: the system is quite complicated having the IT (il-)literacy of some of our staff members in mind. With the current roll-out the biggest issues for all IT projects within the Namibian Government, and at the end the training issue, has not been addressed yet: lack of (technical) personnel involved in IT projects. To overcome this problem for the prestigious SchoolLink project it was decided at top-level in Windhoek that education and IT staff members who have been selected to train schools need to devote more than half of their working time for it till February 2013. Failure ahead: either SchoolLink or other duties will be neglected as most of the members of our regional SchoolLink team already cannot deal with their increasing workload. I really hope that my pessimism will be proven wrong this time.
What have economizing, management, PQA, price giving, RPIS and many other meetings or gatherings all in common? They usually take quite a while. In the western business world we are – of course not everywhere – used to quick and efficient meetings: in and out within an hour or so. As with many other things it is a bit different in the Namibian Government regardless if you are in the North or in Windhoek. You go in at 09:00 and you come out at 17:00. Sometimes without a single break except a walk to the toilet room. After two years I still have trouble to deal with it. Main causes for such ‘meeting marathons’ are the group and the agenda – both are usually way to big. Take 17 people, 23 new topics, another twenty resolutions to go through from the last meeting and you and your day is done. I admire some of my colleagues as they really stay focused at all times whilst I often space out after a couple of hours and a few ‘generic’ red-bulls. However recently some of them also criticized long meetings and the amount of them which keeps them away from their offices. Change takes time. Also in meeting culture. Until then unhealthy consumption of caffeine and lobbying it is: no matter how important your items are, if they are on the second half of the agenda you’re better off taking them of the list completely. People might not be as exhausted as you are. But at the end things always become rushed as everyone is keen for the knocking-off time.
During our last trip to the Government Park in Windhoek we were told that two ‘pilot computer laboratories’ sponsored by Bank Windhoek had been installed at schools in the country. One of the labs a few kilometers North of Ondangwa in the Oshikoto region at the Hans Daniel Namuhuya school.
Last week Gery, Jon and Lahja (the technicians from Ohangwena and Oshikoto), Gabes (our ICT education officer), Victor and I visited the school to see how things look in reality.
The Ministry plans to deploy more computer labs to the regions soon. The very same installations as the two pilot sites: basically state of the art Intel Classmate tablet netbooks running Windows 7 together with the Intel Learning Series Classroom Management software package. Besides the thirty netbooks each lab will be equipped with a server (so far idle), an WLAN router/access point, a network printer, a Smart Board and a projector. Who has read previous posts of this blog might guess what’s on the writers mind.
Last weekend a tooth which had been treated in January in Munich started to hurt. It became immediately clear that the only real choice would be Windhoek as the best treatment you can get in the 4-O-Region is a Cuban Doctor. Not a good idea having the former Soviet Union dental care standard in mind. On short notice I got an appointment with an widely recommended dentist in Windhoek tomorrow early morning. Next issue: transport. As I wasn’t able to ‘book’ a reliable government ride (=guaranteed on time at the destination) South and a ten hour ride in my Hilux supported by Ibuprofen had been out of the question (let alone the suicidal mini buses before a public holiday) the plane was the only choice left.
The aviation business, probably one of the most competitive in the world with airlines eager in optimizing their processes to bring down operation costs and satisfy customer needs. How does that fit in a country where the government still owns (the case of Air Namibia, Telecom, NamWater, Nampower) or has a substantial stake (MTC) of most companies in transportation, communication and energy (…and probably owns half of the cars and toilet paper rolls as well)?
Air Namibia: online booking would had only been an option three days before departure. So I sent an email with the inquire followed by an phone call a few minutes latter to the service center in Windhoek. Took the agent only a minute to transfer the email content into the booking system. Payment? The headache started. I asked the agent if I could use my credit card. Not on the phone, I would receive an email which would allow me to do so. I thought about a link to the booking system, fancy. Wishful thinking.
Please advise from which bank you will make payment. If using another bank either than standard bank, payment will only show after 3 working days. It will be advisable to either do a Cash deposit into Standard bank or, coming into our offices and making a payment
I am not with Standard bank and a Cash deposit before a public holiday (and after the 10% ‘Government kick-back-program’ on salaries) starts with a gigantic queue outside the bank. Therefore I ended up driving 150km to the airport in Ondangwa to a) wait for 45 minutes as the agents were swamped by the dispatch of the lunchtime flight and b) hear after it that the online payment system was not working. Hence, no credit card transaction = no ticket. Another 30 minutes and 30km later I had been back in Ongwediva to raid the ATM, take a shower and put down the car at the Fides Bank flat-sharing community (no secure parking at the airport). After it back to the airport with a cab to make the cash payment before 5.p.m otherwise I would have lost the reservation. Needless to say that the fully booked plane had an delay of an hour. Luckily I was picked up by Interteam‘s country coordinator and didn’t had to face another transport challenge (where to get a cab at 9.p.m. at the Eros Airport?). To sum up: I basically spent half a day to get my travel arrangement done. Inefficiency at it’s best and the prove that the country’s economy still has a long way to go.
Two weeks ago I had been in Windhoek to attend a technical briefing session at the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development (gov. slang: MRLGH) due to the ongoing decentralization process. The briefing session was really needed as the progress made so far with the technical integration of the Directorates of Education into the Regional Councils is way behind schedule. With efforts now taken we hopefully will be linked up with the Regional Council and able to benefit from access to several internal governmental services within the next two weeks. Coming to Windhoek, change of scene, usually a nice thing. Not in winter time. 6°C in the morning the time we went. Two days ago temperatures dropped down to -1°C. Nothing compared to a winter in Europe but bloody cold in Windhoek with virtually no insulation or heaters in the buildings. Warmest place is the car.
The ‘Telecom Namibia ICT Summit 2010’, the biggest event for the country’s ICT industry, took place from the 7th to the 8th. Thanks to our Director who officially approved the trip we were able to spent some interesting and intense days in Windhoek – on government expense of course.
Summits in Africa seems not to be different than in Europe: just a few interesting speakers but plenty of useless speeches. Networking, that is what’s counts – especially when you are operating somehow ‘detached’ from Namibia’s ICT world in Windhoek.
When speaking of detached: without Julia, a German couchsurfer, I would have missed the Jazz Encounter 2010, the biggest music event of the year, which took place the day after the Summit.
Before heading back to the North on Monday we bumped in the Head Ministry in Windhoek to see some people of the ICT department there. 850km back to Outapi, leaving Windhoek at 1:30 p.m. put us a bit under time pressure – and me into a my first argument with the traffic police. So much: my lucky, lucky day.