July has been a busy month for me. But the highlight was a business trip to Malawi. I was asked to undertake a site assessment for a colleague, and grabbed the opportunity.
The trip took me to a relatively remote area of the country, located in the southern region of the Rift Valley on the Shiré River. The assignment was to visit a large industrial facility and conduct a site assessment and verification of an Environmental Aspects and Impacts register.
Over a period of three days, I visited every aspect of the facility, from water abstraction and treatment, raw materials handling and processing, to final product. Without a significant language barrier (Malawi became independent from Britain in 1964), it was a matter of moving through the process and obtaining the necessary information and observations. I was well looked after, having three well-prepared meals a day, transport and accommodation provided, and the support of some great people along the way.
By the end of the week, I had gained insight into a new industry, made some great contacts, and seen part of a new country. And despite the usual African travel hiccups (long ques at passport control, flat tyres, etc), it was a wonderful and successful trip all round.