One Week Til Takeoff – Uganda Count Down

October 9 is the day! I've started gathering my "Uganda stuff:" power converter, Ugandan phone, passport, malaria medicine and other scrips, my travel blanket and pillow, my Uganda-only clothes (long shorts/capris, mainly). I've also been collecting all the things I'm taking over and leaving: flip flops and toothbrushes for the refugee camp, 1" elastic and beads and scissors and patterns for the new co-ops, makeup for my friend who lives there. ...

Day 1 in Namuwongo

Today I took video, not photos, so I don't have anything to upload. But I had a good day! I headed down to Namuwongo at 9am, arriving there a little before 10am. We headed down into the community and talked to a number of the ladies from Nawezakana in either their homes or at their stalls where they sell produce or cooked food. Mary, who we have helped since the beginning, is doing great. Her son Festo is in his first year at university, studying law; ...

Last Namuwongo day – where did the time go?!

I can't believe how fast this trip has gone! I have so enjoyed doing something almost every day, really visiting everyone at Ray of Hope, spending time talking about their needs in depth. Sigh. I guess there's never enough time... Today we saw Doreen, our other elderly lady. She makes beautiful paper beads, much better than the average, and she's making a lot of new and creative things. She's got a huge inventory though, so I don't think we'll give her a

May 11 – the long walk

Zeke went with me today, and we didn't know it, but we were going to see Jennifer. Now, we love Jennifer. Jennifer is one of the ladies who has been able to buy land, and she's doing well with her tailoring business (she received a grant last March). BUT, Jennifer lives way way way down the railroad tracks. WAY down. It's a half hour walk down there, at a pretty good clip, and that's if you don't stop. Which we did, several times. Not knowing we were going...

May 10 – Partying with the youngsters

Today we held a party for our basketball camp kids (although half the kids weren't at the basketball camp, and many who were weren't there!). It was GREAT! These are such great kids, and the Fathers House kids came down with us, plus Jack came and brought two other basketball players. We gave away lots and lots of great - and greatly needed - stuff: tee shirts, ground nut paste (like peanut butter), bread, washing bars, a kilo of sugar, friendship bracelet...

May 9 – visiting the community (slums) of Namuwongo

Today we visited with 7 women and discussed their business plan proposals. (I will update with the names later - I'm out of town and didn't bring that file! duh!) It looks like we'll be seeing around 20 ladies, so remembering who is doing what is going to be tricky! I've asked Christine to make me photocopies each day so that I can write notes to myself when I get back to Father's House, otherwise I'll never remember! I think half of the women we're seeing...