I spent two and a half weeks in Uganda from 19 Nov to 6 Dec. 

Why?  What did I do?

Glad you asked . . .

I went to Uganda to meet up with fellow Bridgers Chinyere, who works in Nigeria, and Carole, who works in Uganda.  We were brought together by Ruth from the Home Office and were putting on some trainings.  The idea is that we would all help lead the trainings and then Chinyere and I, who were doing this for the first time, would be able to return to our respective countries and lead the trainings for our partners.

The training is on Volunteer Management and has four phases.  The first phase helps partners to look at their work and how they can, best utilize volunteers, both national and international (or show them how they already are).

It was a great time helping with the training and I learned a lot from my friends and coworkers, as always.

We met in Kampala for several days before heading down the long, rough road, through the equator to Kabale in the south.  While we were there we not only worked but had fun, too.  We were able to have breakfast overlooking the beautiful Lake Bunyonyi.  We also took some time to drive to the border and walk across to Rwanda to get a soda.  That was cool, to say I’ve been to Rwanda.

We then traveled back to Kampala where we debriefed and worked on constructing the second phase of the training that will follow in five or six months, giving the partner time to work on the action steps that came from the first phase.

After some relaxation, and then hearing news of the election violence in Nigeria and making sure our friends and coworkers there were safe, we bid farewell to Chinyere, who was headed back to West Africa to take the LSAT, and the remaining three of us headed north to Soroti, stopping in Jinga at the head of the Nile.  Unlike the head of the Mississippi River, you CANNOT walk across the Nile at this point.

Kabale was beautifully cool.  The rest of our stops were not.   On the streets of Kampala I made one of the best purchases in the world.  It is a racket that kills mosquitos and other small bugs with an electric shock – we referred to it as a ‘zap,zap’ for valid reason. 

After an evening of ‘zap, zap’ Carole and Ruth headed to another training while I headed over to Lira to visit my friends from Calvary, Paul and Joy, who are also working with CRWRC.

I had a wonderful time with Paul and Joy and thier friends and it was hard to say goodbye after only a few days.  But it was more than worth the trip!

We had a long ride back to Kampala on the 5th of December.  That’s right, on my 35th birthday, I was riding in a safari van watching the Ugandan countryside go by.  After a great day, and picking up some more ‘zap, zap’ I flew back to Nairobi on Sat.

It was a tremendous trip regardless of the glitches.  Thank you to all who were patient with my slow response to email and post as those were not easily accessible while I was traveling.

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