Saturday, September 29, 2007

Ok, Fam, here's my update!

So I've been slacking on the blog posts and there are many excuses that I won't waste your time with. In my last post, apparently I had lots of cool stuff to say, but I forgot what those cool things were... sorry or "bambi" as they say in Luganda. So I'll start fresh for you all...

The mosquito net project is hitting a major hurdle in the form of transport costs. But lets get to the good news first. Thanks to the help of people back in Seattle as well as the Against Malaria Foundation, we were approved to receive 6,185 long lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets in early December. This is a huge thing for us out in the village. There is some minor politics involved because the nets are to be distributed to 4 of the 7 parishes in the sub county. Lots of people are not happy, but if all goes well with this distribution and we can get the remaining 7,000 nets funded on your side, then every woman and child in Kakoro Sub County will be covered in a mosquito net that will bring down malaria rates significantly. Now...back to the other issue. Due to a lack of communication with the donor org, we were unaware that we needed to cover the shipping costs from the supplier into Uganda. This is coming out to be over $1000 which is impossible for my small organization to fund. However, we are currently working the Government angle and hope they will help us out. We're getting a little nervous though and really don't wanna mess this up and have the donor org not trust us with future distribution. Wish us luck!

In other organization news, we got approved by the Government to receive money from their "Bonna Bagaga Wane" (Prosperity for All) program that gives money to 1 SACCO (savings and credit cooperative organization) in each Sub County. A savings and credit org is basically a village bank. We give out loans for people to start small businesses and also encourage people to save money. It's a really good thing and I look forward to helping that program grow.

In other Wes news, I've lost a staggering 40 pounds since I've been here! I know it sounds dramatic, but I did the math and it works out to be little over a pound a week. So with the weight loss and an impressive display of facial hair, the Wes you know is now one good looking PCV! :)

I've also discovered the wonderful world of Ugandan markets. You can get some pretty amazing novelty items there including my latest purchase of a belt with a hologram picture of late rapper Tupac that turns into Michael Jordan dunking a basketball when you angle the buckle. It's pretty incredible!

Ok, that's it for now, and as I always say, I'll try to update on a more regular basis....or something :)