Thursday, January 21, 2016

Rotary International

Being a Rotarian is one of the best decisions I have ever made.  The principal idea of putting service above self rings true to me and has a lot to do with what guides my decisions to make what I call these mission trips.  On this particular trip I was fortunate enough to stay at the Margaritha Place Hotel in Lira which is where the local Rotary Club meets on Tuesday's.  This small, but very active group, have an enormous impact on their country, politics and its' youth (running two RYLA camps a year).  I enjoyed their fellowship, swapped banners and took the following pictures.

Long week of Computer Training

Well folks I have been slow in keeping the blog up-to-date on two accounts; first, slow and intermittent web access and two, too worn out at the days end to write.  So now it is my Friday morning at about 5 and I am up and determined to write a bit.

The training has gone well.  The class is bright and eager to learn.  Most have had some computer introduction; but, have not had any formal training so they have found the class interesting and work very hard at it.  We took last Sunday off which provided me with a chance to take a game drive at Murchison Falls National Park getting a chance to see giraffe's, elephants, water buffalo, wild hogs and numerous types of deer which follow in the pictures below.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Red Lodge, Montana

The story I am about to relate actually happened a few days ago; however, I have been trying to recreate it with a picture which had not yet materialized.  What happened is I went for a bit of a run after class the other day and came by a school and soccer field.  As typical, the little kids ran out from their homes to see the crazy white man exercising.  Among them was a little girl of about 5 who had a t-shirt on that said: "Dare to be Different" across the top and "Red Lodge, Montana" underneath the logo.  Here I am half a world away from home and I run right back into it.

Saturday January 16, 2016

As I wander about the Lira and the road between here and the training room in Loyo I cannot help but be moved by the pure capitalism that exists here.  Lira is a city in North Central Uganda with about 80,000 residents.  There is a main road that traverses through the center of the town that is lined with vendor stalls at the outskirts and becomes wall to wall vendors, on the streets, shops or under a tree in the center of town.  There is also an outside loop to Lira that stays to the edge of town that is also filled with vendors and shops.  As one looks out over the area they can see many residences in the distance along with makeshift shanty's    In the following pictures you will see a group of motorcyclists having maintenance performed on their bikes (boda-boda's) under a tree in the park.  A picuture of a mechanic who has removed the engine and is rebuilding it and a group of men loading concrete cylinders onto a truck.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Classroom

Electricity is not consistent so we are relying upon a generator as a backup.  Our classroom is small and not lit very well; but the students are eager to learn.

The family that owns the building the SACCO is located at has its extended family living in the rooms that line the courtyard.

Some Video of the area

The sights and sounds of Lira and the surrounding area are quite amazing as shown in the following clips.  Note some of the most of the clips have wind noise and one has the sounds of the market.

Catching Up from Lira, Uganda

As is typical when I travel so many time zones I can get pretty wiped out.  Add that to poor internet connections and the result is a lack of blogging; therefore, this is my attempt to catch up some.  I will add some pictures and video to give provide a sense of the area I am in.

I am staying at the Margaretha Hotel in Lira which is about a 45 minute drive to LORO-OYAM where the Savings and Credit Cooperative is that I am working with.  The following pictures are of the hotel.
 Hotel Entrance
 New Addition

Monday, January 11, 2016

Arrived at Lira

Today was in-country orientation, safety briefing and travel to Lira.  The car trip took about 5 hours with a lunch break.  For most of the way the roads were excellent, then as we approached the Nile they came under construction or should have been.  I am greatful we traveled in the daylight as we were able to see the potholes that could have consumed the Toyota SUV we were in; I am afraid if we had traveled after dark we would have dropped in one and never came out the other side.

There was a bit a of hold up at the Nile crossing so I thought I would take a picture of it; however, my guides infomred me it was against the law.  I am not yet sure why it is so, but was advised that we could ask permission on the way back; just another reminder of the freedoms we have at home.

For the dry season it is quite humid here tonight.  I am counting on a night of sound sleeping to be ready to meet the savings and loan coop tomorrow.  


Saturday, January 9, 2016

Amsterdam 1/9/2016

We left Seattle 2 hours late so have missed my connection in Amsterdam.  I am now scheduled to leave at 8:30 pm (11 am at the time of this post) by way of Nairobi then onto Entebbe.  The up side is I am booked on a Boeing 787-800 series; the first time I will fly on the latest from Boeing.

As I write this I am grateful for a Delta Sky Club membership as I am waiting for a shower to open up.

The kiosk is the automated shower scheduler and as you can see a very popular place. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

Leaving Seattle

Leaving on time for Amsterdam and expecting a late arrival that will make the connection to Entebee very close

Uganda 2016

I am starting the day early, up at 3:50 am mountain time to catch the first of four flights that will land me in Kampala, Uganda by midnight on Saturday.