A world first

Gundingo explosion

Yesterday I became the world’s first female deminer in Manica Province in Mozambique!

 I was generally told during training that once in a while I should put myself ‘back at the coalface’ so to speak.

 I guess it can be the same in any job really, you do your training, learn the ropes then start climbing the hierarchical ladder. My job is part administrative but importantly part QA of the guys in the field. I climb the ladder too high and before I know it there is the fear I could become an ivory tower expat without realising it…always with another meeting to attend, another report to write or another monthly account to balance…so far removed from the work on the ground I slowly forget everything I’ve been taught.

Luckily my penchant is most definitely for time in the minefield (and also luckily for me I am my own boss up here) so I don’t have to worry about ever getting office cabin fever or losing my eyesight to staring at my laptop screen!. Even so there is ‘being in the field’ and there is ‘being in the field’!

Yesterday I was definitely of the italic version!

 If I ever want to remind myself just how tough the job of our deminers is then I get back on my hands and knees and demine for a while. So yesterday I took myself off to the field, plucked a (very happy) deminer out of his work lane and scratched round in the dirt for a while.

 Oh yes, then I found a mine and got to blow it up…a ‘perk’ of being the boss I suppose!

 To be fair there was method in my madness, the guys were complaining about the rocky ground they are currently demining on. As ever money is tight so it’s just not an option to just say ok yes, I will splash out on 15 pairs of knee pads because of a few bruised knees!

 However as an attractive shade of bluey-purple slowly forms around my knee caps I think I might sending a begging letter back to the big bosses to make a visit to their nearest skateboarding shop!

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