The paperwork I came here on said that I would be working In Batticaloa (lots of Non Governmental Organisations, NGOs there) with Oxfam GB on VSO’s exit strategy and learning Sinhala which doesn’t make sense now. By Friday the current state of play is that I will be working in Batticaloa in the office of Oxfam GB. Most NGOs have left post tsunami. I will be looking at how the District Development Plan is being implemented, sub-heading Agriculture and Livestock in Ampara District! The English guy who finished the plan last June was apparently a top civil servant, but did a lot of interviews! It’s all about standards of rice seed, organic farming and the improvement of yields, difficulties in inseminating buffalo and cattle, getting chickens, market access, irrigation and drainage, increased salinity in the water because of climate change etc. I am utterly clueless about any of it, but it could be fascinating! My warning buzzer is saying all men, no female names in the plan. Will they use the same tactic as in Cameroon where the language of work should have been French and they marginalised me by using Fulfulde – only here they may use Tamil rather than English? I thought, ‘I mustn’t jump to conclusions and be fearful’. Then the other volunteers told me this top civil servant guy was TOTALLY ignored! I go to the Oxfam HQ in Colombo on Monday.