Blogs from Uganda, Africa

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Africa » Uganda February 25th 2022

Friday morning was our monthly meeting with all of the community leaders, mentor parents, and peer mentors. The updates started with Madam Abby who is a very impressive mentor parent. She gave a 4 page report on her group including details about each member and many of the goals that the women have in her group. This includes the saving group they have started so they can have capital for their business goals. After Abby we heard from another group that is still struggling with how they can engage with RWO. Most of her questions were related to what RWO would give her members once their lessons were completed. Before RWO could answer, Madam Abby answered for us: RWO is giving you the biggest gift you can ask for: an education. When you educate a women, ... read more
Oh Maria
Friday Meeting
African Dancing

Africa » Uganda February 24th 2022

On Wednesday morning we went and met with Alice who is a mentor parent in one of the groups that I have not been teaching, primarily because they are not as organized. Alice has 6 children and has been working at the stone quarry for 22 years. Her job is to brake the larger stones into smaller stone. She does this with her hands using a larger stone as a tool. This is an extremely hard and dangerous job. Not only can they hurt themselves, but they are also inhaling the stone dust that is around them. Through the years she has brought her children to work with her, which is not a good playground for children. Her 16 year old son is not in school so has started to work at the quarry with her, ... read more
Stone Quary - no machines!
Stone Quary - no machines!
Stone Quary - no machines!

Africa » Uganda February 24th 2022

One Thursday morning we had our final tailoring class that will be with me. On Monday they have a trainer from the area starting with the ladies. She will be with them 3 days a week for 6 months so I expect they will be very good seamstresses by the time the course is done. I had my first experience with paying off a police officer this morning. We were coming back from Entebbe to the office and we admittedly turned where we should not have. The police office took their ID and said they could come back later to pay their ticket. So instead they got out with 20,000 shillings (~$5 USD) and gave that to the officer. At that point he said just be more careful next time, returned the ID and we were ... read more
Last Sewing Class
One of my Students
Violet (the office maid) and my student

Africa » Uganda February 23rd 2022

Today was a very fun day at RWO! Josephine (of Jose House of Creations) who is a fashion designer in Kampala came to speak with our ladies. We had a combination of ladies form our young mother’s group as well as our women’s group. She was a very inspiring speaker. She started her career in the media. She said that while it seemed like a glamourous job she was paid very little and felt trapped in what she did. So after 8 years she quit her job with $500,000 Shillings ($150 USD) saved and started her fashion design company. She makes anything from dresses, to shoes, to stools, to lampshades. She said she had no back-up plan and no additional savings so she had to make it work. A one way ticket as she called it. ... read more
Josephine speaking  to the ladies
Some of my favorites!
Josephine’s creations!

Africa » Uganda February 21st 2022

Today was my last Monday morning meeting with the ladies. They have an additional volunteer, from the area, that joined the team this week. She is going to focus on results based reporting which will be helpful to Hope when she works on grant applications. The other volunteer, Kanifa has been helping with grants as well and just completed one related to the need for safe abortions. Uganda has high maternal mortality with unsafe abortions being one of the major causes. Young people are particularly vulnerable to unsafe abortion with the addition of sigma associated with premarital sex and pregnancy. Under current law, abortions are illegal unless the woman’s life is at risk, she has HIV, or a few other conditions. But, the laws and policies surrounding abortion in Uganda are unclear and are often interpreted ... read more
Monday Meeting

Africa » Uganda February 20th 2022

For my last weekend trip I decided to head back to Murchison Falls. Mostly for the giraffes, but I also love the plentiful elephants as well as the unique landscape. We got there in enough time to see the falls for a second time, just as impressive as the first time. As well as an evening game drive before dinner. I ended up staying at the same hotel I stayed at the first time. They have a great view, nice food, and sometimes cold drinks. On Saturday we had a morning game drive, a rest during the heat of the day, and then back out for an evening drive. As I had hoped we saw lots of giraffes as well many herds of elephants in addition to the other animals. The giraffes here are called Rothschild’s ... read more
This hippo got in a fight!
So Majestic
The Jolly Wort Hog

Africa » Uganda February 18th 2022

On Thursday morning the women were back for their tailoring class. Their new trainer starts the first of March and since they have been enjoying knitting so much we decided to stick with it. The group has created a great bond with each other, they vary in age from ~16 years old to late 50s so there is great conversations that happen. There is a lot of laughter such as one of the women laughing at me when I told her she was doing a great job even though she did not agree with me 😊 I can pick up bits of their conversation when they throw in English words or someone translates for me. They can be talking about anything from managing their husbands to business ideas that they have. Thursday afternoon was my last ... read more
Last Young Mother’s Class
Last Young Mother’s Class
In the Office With Rhita and Kanifa

Africa » Uganda February 16th 2022

In the morning our knitting class continued. The women have really got into knitting so I have extended the classes we focus on it. One of the students: Violet who is also the cleaner at the office and the mother of Maria, has become a co-teacher. I will teach her a stitch and once she has it mastered she will then help the women who have limited English as it is easier for her to explain it to them. I think it has given her some great self confidence that she is learning so quickly and then can teach others. The women have lots of interesting conversations that I get parts of from English words thrown in and Rhita translating for me. But, I do wish I had one of those headsets they use in UN ... read more
Rhita my translator for Knitting Class
Sonia one of my favorite women
Adrian: Sonia's best friend and also a badass

Africa » Uganda February 15th 2022

I previously shared that being a twin in Uganda comes with a lot of tradition so I thought I would share a little more about it. When twins are born in additional to their given name they have a word added so people know they are a twin. As the younger girl twin I would be Nakato Sarah. Emily would be called Babirye Emily. Then the parents also have a word added in front of their name so people know they have twins. Nalongo is the mother of twins and Salongo is a father of twins. Sibiligs of a twin are also given a word in front of their name based on birth order. The main reason for this naming structure is so that others know they are or related to a twin. It is believed ... read more

Africa » Uganda February 14th 2022

I just got back from a weekend of Gorilla Trekking on the border of Uganda, Rwanda, and the Congo. It was a solid 10+ hour drive from Entebbe, without any flat tires, so I opted to take a bush plane instead. The plane left at 7:30am on Friday and it was just a short 1.25 hour flight. The landscape is very different here and much cooler. We were about 2000 meters above sea level in the mountains which is also why it is cooler. My first day was a bit of confusing as my tour guide was sick and he sent his brother who did not know much English or what the plan for the day was. We had about a 1.5 hour drive down to Lake Bunyonyi where I took a boat ride to several ... read more
Zebra on one of the islands
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