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I’m Home!!!

And I have been for several days! I’m so sorry that I haven’t posted since then – it’s been a whirl-wind since I got home. So much editing to do! Anyway, I will be posting more photos – hopefully today I’ll get a lot more photos up on the site. I’ve been editing a lot the last few days, so I’ve got a good set of pictures ready to go.

So, thanks for following along. I wish I had more time while I was there to keep updating things – but lack of regular internet access and lack of time (and sleep) kept me from being consistent…

Anyway, more posts to follow!

Update: Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Today was a much lower-key day for us. First we traveled out to the church that many of the farm workers and their families go to. When we got there, we were able to sit right up front.But very quickly, the building filled as people walked in to the service. A nice, heavy Ugandan rain fell as we worshiped with an unknown number of Ugandans. But I would guess over 150. It was standing room only, basically. It was a very neat experience, and I was just in love with the singing. In fact,today was a special day where the service was presented to the congregation and run by the women. So we got an extra special treat!

After the service, we gathered outside and played with the children and talked for a while.Then we got back in the trucks and went back to the food farm for those who hadn’t seen it yesterday.

After that we went back home to the hotel. I went out with Les Gutzwiller and a new friend, Herbert, and bought a few more clothes. $4 for a pair of jeans and $4 for a nice button down shirt. I’m sure I would have paid 2x that if I hadn’t had Herbert with me.

After a quick stop to the market, I went back and struggled to get onto the Internet so I could start making these posts. Another new friend, Joseph, has loaned me his USB hotspot, and it ended up being my laptop that was conflicting with the Ugandan service provider’s application. But I figured out what application was causing the problem and deleted it. So… Here we are!

Here are the pics for the day:

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Update: Saturday, July 12, 2014

Yesterday we visited the Coffee Farm and presented the workers with a special new stove that promises to help the workers use about 1/2 the firewood and cook in half the time. We started with a demonstration where we cooked a large pot of rice for everyone, and it only took 45 minutes. That might seem like a long time for us in the United States, but for them, it’s about 1/4 the time spent at a fire. Usually, to feed a family, it takes about 3 hours to heat up enough food. This is actually causing serious problem because it is causing the locals to devastate their local forests. Now they are having trouble even finding good firewood, and there aren’t many re-forestation programs that are active at the time. This is a really great new project that is connected with Ugandan Gold Coffee, through it’s parent organization, CEED.

After this, we were able to take a tour of the coffee farm. We looked at the different beans that they have, and talked about the ecology of the region. The beans are not really in season right now, so we weren’t able to see the workers picking, washing, or drying any of the beans, but we were given a great overview of the farm and how it works.

After that we went over to the food farm, a new experiment for CEED, in which they are trying to educate local farmers by showing them how simple farming methods, such as proper fertilization and crop rotation, can help them get better yield and encourage their soil to stay rich and fertile for far longer. At this time, they have soybeans, peanuts, and maize corn growing on their property. It also has an absolutely spectacular view of the valley and hills around it!

Here are some pictures from the day: Enjoy!

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Well, it’s been a VERY eventful last few days! My luggage never arrived at Entebbe before I needed to head out to Hoima, which is about 4 hours away. So Friday I left Entebbe with just the clothes on my back and all my camera gear. Despite the difficulties, it has been awesome here, though.

On the way to Hoima, we stopped in Kampala and bought a waste water pump for the drilling operation. The motor on the one they were using had died (smoking terribly, they tell me), so we stopped by one of the coolest stores. It had tools and power equipment galore! I was in heaven…

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I’ve Arrived!

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Well, it has been a very eventful last few days! I left Rochester on July 8th, 1 day before my 15th wedding anniversary, and then sat in the airport because of weather delays. Some of you might remember the weather we had that afternoon. But that delay meant that I missed my flight from Washington D.C. to Brussels. Which meant I had to get a whole new itinerary. So I ended up flying from D.C. to Frankfurt. Frankfurt to Ethiopia, and Ethopia to Uganda. It was a horribly long process, and it also means that I haven’t slept more than about 5-6 hours in the past three days. Because I cannot sleep on airplanes very well at all. So I’m actually falling asleep as I type this, and am debating whether I even go to dinner or just eat some granola bars and go to bed… Not sure which is more powerful right now – my need to eat or my need to sleep!

But I got to see the sun rise over the Horn of Africa from 30,000 feet, and I got to experience African bathrooms. I also got to have lots of conversations with different people from all over the world. I even sat next to a sweet little Japanese girl this morning, whose unabashed awe at the sight of the little trees and houses an clouds far far below us was very contagious.

So, anyway, I’m here. A day late. Oh, and my checked bag didn’t come either, so I don’t have any new clothes. But it should be here tomorrow. I hope.

Anyway, without boring you with too many details, here are some photos I took in the last three days. They’re all with my cell phone, because I didn’t want to get out my big cameras since they were both packed so well, and that would mean going through that process again.