Posted by Admin after a long debrief with Chau…
The group has spent the last two weeks in Uganda. It was a very busy time with lots going on, lots of travel, and times when people were completely out of cell range (hence the blackout period). Here’s what the group was up to.
Well over a week ago the group went rafting on the Nile River. It was a full-day trip on rapids as big as Class V. Whew! They went down river in two boats, having put in at Jinja. It was an amazing time. The water was gorgeous. (They went swimming.) The scenery along the banks was breathtaking — jungle and farms interspersed.
After the Nile trip the group spent two days with SoftPower, a Ugandan NGO, and during that time they painted two classrooms for a village primary school.
Next it was off to Kampala, but just for a day, to get ready for what was to come. It wasn’t just a prep day though. The group hooked up with Devin Hibbard, a former Global Routes leader, who with her husband Mark Jordahl (also a former leader of ours) has lived in Uganda for many years now. Devin founded an organization called Bead for Life, which works with Ugandan women on education, organizing and income generation through the manufacture of hand-made beads that are sold in the US and elsewhere. Devin hosted the group for a few hours and connected them up with women currently in the Bead for Life program. Lots of dancing, singing and bead purchasing later, the group moved on to the African Hospitality Institute (AHI).
AHI is yet another NGO that exists to train Ugandans to work in the hospitality industry, which is a source of good-paying jobs, if you can get them. And there’s the rub. Historically most of those jobs have gone to Kenyans. AHI is hoping to change that somewhat by providing Ugandans with the skills they need to get such work. At AHI, where the group was most definitely out of cell range, everyone engaged in two additional service projects, mudding the walls of an elderly man’s home and those of a nearby nursery school as well. They also had dinner one evening at an all-boys boarding school in the area, sharing stories with the students there.
Finally, it was off to Murchinson Falls and the safari. We’ll be receiving a post written by one of the group members soon describing these days.