Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Impressive Ugandans, Great coffee

Yesterday I had a chance to meet with the project managers for the Mvule Project, Water Source project, The Source Cafe, and the Basoga Women's empowerment project. Each gave a report of their respective projects and I reported on the State side activities of the Kibo Group. It was a valuable meeting of sharing information, calling on each other to work hard, honestly, and with transparency for the greater good of the Basoga communities and Jinja. These Ugandan men and women continue to inspire me to work even harder for development efforts in this place. They are faithful, passionate, serving people.

I have also been reminded of just how difficult effective development can be here in Uganda. American and Ugandan world views are drastically different. We sorted through many issues in a productive way. We live in an increasing interconnected world and I believe Kibo Group is on the cusp to lead the way in small but highly effective development strategies.

The Source Cafe is one prime example. They continue to provide valuable services to the Jinja community. They operate profitably while enabling multiple development and church ministries to operate without the burden of major overhead expenses like rent, utilities, property taxes, etc. I believe they will be able to continue on this successful path (being profitable while enabling ministry) for many years to come.

In the evening Briley and I had a chance to visit one of our favorite spots on the Nile River. We enjoyed a bottled Coke, the best kind of Coke you can get anywhere in the world, and watched the sun set over the Nile River and exotic trees and plants.

Later we ate pizza at Mark and Lori Manry's house and talked until late, sharing Jinja stories from past years and hearing their current stories. After dark in Jinja (7ish) there is not much to do except sit around and talk with good friends and family or read a good book. We miss that kind of down time in the evenings.

Today we hung out at The Source Cafe visiting more with Ugandan friends and drinking more than my fair share of great Ugandan coffee. We also drove around Jinja taking lots of pictures.

This afternoon Nyanga Grace took us to his home in the village, Lwanda, where we visited the graves of his wife, Gorreti, and 3 year old son, Emmanuel. They passed away in a traffic accident about six weeks ago. Goretti was a good friend and I hurt for Grace who is mourning his loss.

We are tired. We miss our kids terribly. But we are so thankful to be here.

Tomorrow we are off to Rwanda. We will stay with friends in Mbarara Wed. night and drive into Kigali on Thursday.


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