November 30,2017 Hi from Uganda!!

We hope all is well there in the USA. We are well! 

We slept only a little last night. Some of the events of the previous day kept us up and we found ourselves discussing issues at 2:30 am! Finally at 5 am we got up and called Sue Waechter to debrief. 

The morning at the ACT empowerment Centre began by finding out we had lost our candidate for Head Teacher. This disapppointment took us a few minutes to process but we regrouped and our friend ,Geoffrey, who is one of our new board members scrambled all day to come up with more candidates. He worked so hard and we are very grateful to him. We made appointments with two teachers to meet us in the evening to just chat and decide if we wanted to proceed with them in a final interview. More on this .....

I met with the Head Teacher, Tobias, of one of our primary schools. I had taken four children’s books to give him written by Jackson Kaguri, our friend who runs the Nyaka non profit in Uganda. We had a nice chat about some of the children and his plans for the school. He also gave me some interesting feedback about how he handles children who fail to pay their school fees. 

Dave asked our office professional to train our MukoHigh school bursar, Grace, in opening the computer and working with Excel. Grace and Prudance spent the whole morning together. 

Howard rehearsed all day with the string kids. They have nearly mastered a new piece! Howard described to me the flood they experienced last month. The staff members were all sitting in the office when they heard a huge rush of water. When they looked out, it surged toward them and filled the office up to about a foot. Howard said sheep and goats were floating in the surge. When he went home to check on his wife she was standing on the bed and water was everywhere in their home. Some of you know that Guma supervised the digging of a large trench around the Centre to divert water should this happen again. We could use the construction of two small bridges now and our road is no longer passable by car. 

We awarded the security fence contract and construction begins Dec 15th. We are moving forward with the lightning arresters as recommended by the government emergency coordinator. 

I showed the Cornerstone film about Jackson Kaguri’s mission to sewers who were working in the office and the string students. Everyone enjoyed seeing a film so geographically close and so similar to ACT. 

We drove back to the hotel in the late afternoon and had an hours nap before meeting the two recent Head Teacher candidates. We liked both and hope we can gather everyone for formal interviews tomorrow so we can catch up on the training and face to face contact with our new Head Teacher. Maybe tomorrow, if we are fortunate, we will announce the one!

Sending love to our family and friends! Love Karen

Ellie Schroeder