As many of you already know, a few weeks back I had the opportunity to take a small work trip to Uganda. I was working with a group from Orphan Justice Mission, an organization from Portage, Michigan. Kyle Douglass, the executive director, was a former coworker of mine. Over the years we’ve kept in touch every so often and in January I was invited to work with him on his current trip. After pulling a few strings and making last second appointments, I was able get my vaccines, medication and update my passport allowing me to go.
I had an amazing trip! It was defiantly a life changer for me. I have been overseas many times and traveled all over the world. I’ve been to first-world countries and third-world countries. But this trip was a little different. This was almost “forth-world”, but like I said before, it was defiantly a life changer. Over the next few days I will be posting pictures from my trip and showing you my experiences. If you’d like to follow you can check back here weekly or subscribe to our newsletter.
I guess I should start this off with introductions. Kyle, pictured on the left, is the Executive Director at Orphan Justice Mission (OJM). Seruwagi Paul is Kyle’s counterpart in Uganda. Paul oversees all operation in Uganda. He was kind enough to let us stay at his house during the first part of our trip. And like everyone in Uganda his hospitality was something that’s not common here in the US. Even after picking us up at the airport at 2am and only knowing him for a few short minutes, I could tell that he was a sincere fellow.
At Paul’s house I was given my own room. The first thing you’ll notice is a mosquito net. Every place we stayed had one. Malaria is quite common in Uganda and even though I was on anti-malaria meds, its always good to play it safe. Kyle had is own room, so I used the other bed as my dresser. It was nice having that there to lay things out and get organized for our trip to the villages. It was also nice to let my clothes dry off from the exploding shampoo and conditioner that ravaged my suitcase.
The next day was filled with meetings and errands. We had a quick planning meeting at a popular Muzungu coffee house, 1000 Cups. The picture of Kyle and Paul was taken there. Pictured below was from Day two of our trip. I woke up early to write in my journal and do a little exploring around Paul’s place. The sun was just starting to rise and the public taking part of their daily activities. I figured I’d grab a quick photo of the golden rays from Paul’s porch.
Paul had an indoor kitchen and an outdoor one. This is a photo of their outdoor kitchen and pantry.
Here’s a picture of their outdoor bathroom and rain catcher. These rain catchers are quite common in other countries. It’s simple science really. Fresh rain is captured in the barrel. Later with the help of gravity, the water falls down the pipes to its final destination, the sink. The building to the right of the tower is the outdoor bathroom. Paul had a few indoor bathrooms, but due to some remodeling, they were not functioning. The outdoor bathroom is a pit latrine, a simple hole in the floor.
Two girls walking to school. Many schools have uniforms helping identify students.
Paul has a small trail dividing his property from the neighbor’s. Obviously it’s used quite often.
Day three of our trip we headed out to our first village, Kabakyala. I’ll post those picture next time! Make sure to check back later this week and meet the students.