It is dawn again and I can hear a distant crow signaling a new day. I wake up, take a quick shower, prepare breakfast, and head out. The sun is rising in the distant horizon sending its bright rays to the day.
The aroma emanating from the ground is intoxicating. Children are rushing to school clutching their plastic bags as mothers run helter skelter to make sure their children and husbands are ready to tackle their daily chores.
I take the 10 minute walk to the office a walk I have taken for almost a year since relocating to Kitale in Trans Nzoia County where we currently operate. Slowly my mind drifts away from the walk to a reverie.
The Village Enterprise logo appears in the distance a woman gazing into the horizon with a child clutching on her dress. There is a tree in the background which typifies the African savannah grassland. It is a sign of hope, a dream of a better future captioned by our vision, world free of extreme poverty and chronic hunger. This is what we stand for and fight for because we believe.
Working with Village Enterprise for me has been mind-boggling if not an out of earth experience. I walk into the office; it all looks very informal with no official signs and plagues hanging on the door or desks, ubuntu. It is simply hard to tell who is who in the office. We work as a team but there are laid down structures with functional team leads and a country director in each office.
I sit at my desk, which is kind of Sheldon’s seat in the Big Bang theory a comical television series. The spot is ideal as it allows me to talk to everyone without any distractions and is a window, which allows a cool breeze all day with ambient temperatures and sunlight.
I settle down and power on my computer and check my mail and respond to the urgent ones and add to my to-do list those that have added tasks. I open my projects and pilots, templates and presentations and reports. I also sign in into Skype, which allows us to talk with our peers and heads on anything and even have calls across countries.
There is coffee brewing and a waft of doughnuts smell as the rest of colleagues settle at their desks check their mails and start their daily activities.
We argue about local politics, chat about field experiences, nag about the economic conditions and talk to each other with the occasional laughter to break the silence as the day progresses. They are the stunning colleagues, workmates, friends, partners and business associates; they are the people who give me a reason to go to work another day.
Soon it is lunch time and we take a break to eat sometimes our packed lunch or the chapati and beans stew from the local restaurant.
The afternoon heat is intense and almost lulls you into a siesta but the constant jokes and soft music playing in the background keeps you awake and focused hurrying to finish the due deliverables, attend Skype meetings, analyze data from the field to help you generate a report and fix the computers or phones to ensure that there is seamless running of events in both the field and office.
It’s 5 o’clock the end of another long day at the office and as I take the walk back home, I meditate on my day activities, decisions and innovations and hope that I have made a difference in someone’s life the difference I want to see in the world.
As I retire to bed I think about the woman and the child gazing into the hopeful future and hope to see the logo again.
Coming all the way from Kitale, Kenya, Melvin gives a glimpse into day to day life as he knows it.
Melvin standing in front of the Village Enterprise Office in Hoima, Uganda
Entrepreneurs after a SB disbursement!
Melvin Shisanya grew up in Kakamega County, Kenya and graduated with a degree in Technology: Telecommunications & Information Engineering from Technical University of Mombasa. Before joining Village Enterprise, Melvin worked as a technician with Solutions Generale in Kigali, Rwanda and was an intern with Chandaria Industries Limited in Nairobi, Kenya. Melvin spends his free time developing websites and programs, reading novels, listening to music and watching movies.