Monday, March 31, 2008


The last post was partially written on March 10, but actually posted on March 31st. Not a huge deal, but just to put things into perspective...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Moving Forward

So here I am back again to tell you what's going on. In the last few weeks a lot has happened. Work wise, my organization and I are really moving forward with what we want to do. We're working hard on getting the resources necessary to fully open the 3-year Enrolled Nursing Institution that we want to start. There is a huge loan that we are trying to secure that will give us the funds to complete a dormitory, office block, computer lab, library, and purchase a school bus and staff van. Really expensive stuff, but necessary to get accredited by the nurses council here. I'm really excited to be able to work day to day on something like this. There is a shortage of trained medical personnel in Uganda and this is a really good thing.

I was in Kampala for this weekend that carried over from a Peace corps VAC (volunteer advisory committee) meeting I had on friday. I was voted the new chairman so I'll be a direct link from the volunteers and the country director. I'm pretty excited about my first political post and think I can be good at it. First VAC, next Washington's 8th Congressional District! Haha, but seriously, i studied politics and public policy so now it's interesting to find out how a government program works and how it can be better or more efficient. It's fun to complain and spout off about how things should be different or better, it's another to do something about it.

Anyways the main thing I want to mention is a totally random and fun adventure i went on yesterday actually few weeks ago. Some friends of mine were hanging in Kampala and we wanted something to do. So this one guy suggests going to the only port in Uganda, Port Bell and checking it out. We get there and there's not much, but it's on the shores of Lake Victoria and very beautiful. We decide to follow a path along the lake. About a kilometer into it we come across a sign that says "Miami Beach" and has an arrow. So this is completely ridiculous and we have to follow this sign! For a guy who's been to Miami Beach and think it's perhaps the complete polar opposite from what I've seen in Uganda, we decide to check it out. We get down there and it's a grass lawn on the shore with a restaurant and some people swimming in the lake. The most amazing part though, is this sign on the gate that is for a swimming event on April 5th. The event is sponsered by World Swim for Malaria which is a part of the Against Malaria Foundation which sent the mosquito nets to my area. My sister and other family members are setting up similar events to raise money back in Seattle. It was so random to see this. I was really really excited and was able to talk to the coordinator, who is a boat guide and found them on the internet. He told us all about it on the boat ride out to this island called "Spider Island".
Ok, this was on a draft post that i didn't finish 3 weeks ago, but for a better account of the trip and pictures, go to my friend Diana's blog and read about it:
We are going to try to help out at the World Swim Event next weekend.

In other work news, my family and friends have once again overwhelmed me with their generousity and hard work to help me and my organization grow. A few days ago, after lots of hard work and stress on both ends, I picked up 3 big boxes from the DHL office in Kampala. DHL, with direction from my sister's mother-in-law Linda, donated the shipping. The boxes had a donated slide projector from a family friend named Pat Farber, medical slides donated by Bastyr University in Seattle, nursing textbooks donated from my friend Alex Rainey's mom, Maria who is a nurse, and a wide assortment of other medical and nursing books and office supplies purchased by my sister Marci. Marci was the one who collected and coordinated everything and I'm already working on a bronze statue to be erected in her honor! I want to thank everyone who contributed these items. Everyone in my organization was absolutely floored by the extent of the donation. The teachers kept on saying "These are VERY good books!" as they flipped through the texts. Kateu and a couple of teachers told me that there aren't anything like the medical slides to be found in Uganda. They say that even the national hospital or other nursing and medical schools lack that type of teaching material. It was suggested that when other institutions find out that we have those things, they will ask to borrow them. I was delighted that people were so appreciative of the slides, but kind of sad that outdated technology like medical slides don't exist at all in the entire country. It just goes to show how far Uganda has to go to catch up. Fortunately, things are improving every day. Anyways, I feel like my blog has turned into a big thank you board, but i'm saying what I feel is the most important for people to know and hear. That people can make a difference no matter where they are in the world.

Ok, I apologize that the pictures haven't been updated in a really long time, but it's really difficult to download pictures at internet cafes. I have a bunch from when my parents came and from the net distributions that i want to put up. Thank you for your patience.


Fyi, I still don't know how to respond to comments, but i put my email address on there and if you want to email me, you are most welcome. It's great that people from my past are still interested in what I'm doing. Thanks everyone!