Monday, October 26, 2009

'Let's Give Them a Bigger Hand Clap'

So this past weekend I had the unique opportunity to go to a grand opening celebration of a ministry that eMi EA had done a project with a few years ago. As an intern it was pretty cool to be able to go and see a finished product. The project I am currently working on will take a few years to complete and hopefully I will get to see it but maybe not. So anyway it was just a great experience to see a finished project.

The project is Amigos International Kira Farm Training Center located about an hour outside of Kampala. They take orphans in from all over Uganda and train them in practical applications such as agriculture, poultry raising, fishing farming, etc. Tribes are a big part of Uganda and there is a lot of tribal tensions, so Amigos' goal is to bring together orphans who are from different tribes in order to slowly create a unified Uganda and to breach a lot of those tribal differences. So that is small background on the ministry.

So we were invited and we went and were treated as celebrities at the celebration. We saw dancing, singing, toured the compound, ate, and took pictures with those who wanted our picture. It was a lot of fun, and we even got to sort of meet Joss Stone (which I will do a later post on). So here are some pics from it:

Women singing a song of greeting in traditional Ugandan dress.

The event tents. The entire village of Kira was there as well as some organizations and businesses such as World Vision, British Airways, etc.

This is one of the students of the training center and wanted to take a picture with us interns, I mean celebrities.

One of the fish ponds as the sunlight fades.....A reminder of how beautiful Africa can be.

The title is a quote by the quite humorous MC of the event.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tree House, Tree Fort, Structure to Play On, Whatever....

Two weekends ago the interns in Kampala went to go visit our interns in Jinja. Which is about 2 hours east of Kampala. Jinja is located right where the Nile River begins at Lake Victoria. There are 4 guys interning with eMi living there. So anyway we decided to go and visit. It was a nice change from the chaos that can be and is Kampala. We left Friday October 9th (Ugnada's Independence Day) in the afternoon and got there Friday evening where we hung out with them for the evening. Saturday we went to what one of the Jinja interns (Danny) says is the best place to get coffee in Uganda for breakfast. Across the street is a bakery where an old British lady makes cinnamon rolls that are heavenly. Naturally we had to get some.

After getting full on coffee and cinnamon rolls, we went to an orphanage that houses kids who have AIDS. The orphanage is really close to where the Jinja guys live and they are in the process of building a tree house/fort for them. So we jumped in and helped. They had previously gotten the posts in and pretty much framed. So we decked about 2/3s of the fort and put the remainder framing up. The kids all wanted to help and they did. It was a lot of fun and we really enjoyed our time there. Here are some pics from the day:

The tree fort at the beginning of the day.

One of the orphans who borrowed Kyle's sunglasses. I think they look better on her.

Jocelyn holding one of the babies. I believe her name is Gloria.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Dung Beetle

The safari I went on at the end of September was pretty cool. We saw a ton of wildlife like Giraffes, crocodiles, hippos, elephants, and even lions! But the coolest thing I thought that we saw was the dung beetle.
We are riding in the safari van and all of a sudden our guide (Dennis) tells the driver to stop. We are all looking around not seeing anything except grass and some trees. Well Dennis tears out of the van and runs over and points out this little bug pushing this ball up the road. Turns out its a dung beetle pushing a piece of dung up the road. Fascinating! Anyway I got some of the interesting facts about Dung Beetles that Dennis told us on video. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Just Walking to the Grocery Store in Uganda.....

So just a typical walk to the grocery store.... There is a grocery store called Super Supermarket that is a fairly short walk if you take a short cut across this pipe that runs across a marsh. Not the safest way to go, but it is quicker! Got to have good balance too!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Project Trip

Our project trip lasted a week.  We left Kampala on a Wednesday and got back on a Wednesday.  The first day we got there we toured the site and had a programming meeting with the ministry where they explain what their vision is for the property and the buildings.  We listen, take notes, ask questions, and get a general idea about what we will be doing for the week.  Every night we had a devotion time at the hotel that the ministry put us up in.  The week consisted of 3 guys surveying - the two other interns and our surveyor, the civil engineers doing soil, water, and whatever else tests and coming up with plans for how water, waste water, power, and all the civil stuff will work.  The architects including me worked on site and building design.  So Thursday we designed pretty much all day on site in a partially finished guest house.  Friday we visited PAOS's Kibale Community Center in Kibale which was a lot of fun.  Check out the video of our greeting by the primary school there on an earlier post.  Saturday was some more designing.  Sunday we went to church where we greeted the congregation and one of our team members got to preach.  Monday we realized that due to grading of the site that some of our buildings would not work!  Panic!  Presentation to the ministry is Tuesday at lunch!  Crisis was adverted by changing the dormitory design.  We did work until like 2 in the morning getting ready for the presentation.  Felt like I was back in school.  Tuesday we presented to the ministry and it went pretty well and then we headed to Lake Nabugabu for our closing time.  Lake Nabugabu is right beside Lake Victoria and is separated by a 10 km piece of land.  So we had our closing time there and then Wednesday headed back to Kampala where for the next two months I will continue to work on the Timothy Centre.  Here are some pics from the week:

 Introducing myself to the church we went to on Sunday in Masaka.  Read Daniel 6:25-27.

The team trying to figure out how to make the site plan work with all of the buildings on it the day before the presentation!

 Doing the presentation on the computer after the power went out.

The team at the equator on our way back to Kampala.  I did not feel good that day.

But anyway enjoy.  I will post some more of Lake Nabugabu later.

God Bless 

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Programming Meeting and Designing a World of Hope

Designing a World of Hope.... Sounds pretty amazing and it really is, but there is so much more to it than just those words. Like a programming meeting pictured here:

The team pulled out a table and some chairs and we sat down and had a programming meeting! It was pretty nice to be able to look over the site as we listened to the vision that PAOS has for The Timothy Centre. They are currently building 3 guest houses that will initially be staff housing. They also have a work shop which is behind the camera.

Here are the architects talking about building design. Casey is the guy in the green who is an architect in Sacramento, I am in the middle, Kimberly is an architecture student from New Zealand, and then Ray whose head is turned is the director of PAOS. We are in one of the guest houses that is being built on the site.

A panorama of a piece of the site. It was really beautiful with a ton of birds and a great view of the surrounds.