A couple of relaxing afternoon hours. Good to chill out once in a while.
Even better with the fantastic view of the source of the Nile and the sound of insects, monkeys and birds.
The variety of species living here is really incredible, so many colored birds, stunning eagles and the monkeys constantly jumping from one tree to the other make you feeling you are in a totally different dimension.
Something it really is.
I’ve been with no coffee for a week. My personal record so far.
Coffee is one of Uganda’s major cash crop, but you are lucky to meet a Ugandan who knows how to brew a decent cup: be prepared to insipid and watery brown beverage. And I’m not just saying that because I’m Italian!
Here you feel tired much more often than back home, it might be due to the fact it gets dark earlier, being involved in so many different things and the climate. At 9pm sometimes we look at each other and start laughing for the tired faces around.
It’s great to get used to enjoy any moment, taking some time to relax after dinner, listening to the sounds of nature, having very limited technology around. It’s even better when the power goes off (and there are days when it happens often) during dinner: delicious food, a cricket concert, candle light and a roof of stars, what do you want more?
No power now since 20h and counting.
Great days spent on different projects. I gave up on the school decoration paintings. Better focusing on the rest I’m way more capable doing.
Computer classes, like schools, are re-starting in these days. The holiday period is over also if here everything is quite relaxed and flexible, so the majority of the children won’t show up until next week.
The Special Needs is very busy particularly on Friday.
I helped out the physiotherapist last time. A lot of children needs rehabilitation for many different reasons. I’ll post different profiles and photos of them, so you can get a better idea of what I’m talking about.
The session with Stephen has been extremely touching. He cannot walk for problems with legs joints. While walking extremely slowly using a walker, he fell back and I was not able to catch him promptly. For a few moments he didn’t say a word and we were a bit scared.
He started crying a bit, silently almost if he did not want to bother us, while we helped him to stand again and checked how he was feeling.
I asked if he wanted to stop and rest. He said no, he wanted to finish the exercise, alone. Reassuring and encouraging him, slowly he continued walking while some tiers were still coming down. What an example of strength, determination and unwillingness to give up.
Some carpentry work is needed as well. We are making a special chair for a physically and mentally disabled child, Amina. She cannot move at all and with this chair she would at least be able to seat down and have a different position rather than always lying down.
I’ve been a few days in the office in town, for additional suggestions on marketing, advertising, online products, website optimization, documents standardization.
Lucky enough, a couple of days ago I took part of the management meeting (it happens every 1.5-2 months) so I could officially present what I’ve been working on, tips and several benefits they could get in joining Google for nonprofit and different network/infrastructure than what they’ve been using so far.
We spent pretty much all day discussing about many different topics. Very long but very productive meeting.
You can find a list below of the main points discussed and in bold are those where I gave inputs or I’ve been the main source of information.
– Social media updates and scheduling
– Photos of department/group members (I’m going to leave an SD card to Aggrey, the volunteer coordination in Bujagali, so he can use any tourist/volunteer camera to promptly get photos to share)
– Headed papers / fonts / standard of different documents
– Newsletter and email signature
– Phone charges
– Salary, bonuses, awards, review periods, targets, contract update (inflation can be 27% y/y)
– Employee survey (I’m helping out in visiting different schools and get data collected and usable)
– Donated laptops assignments for senior staff members.
– Google for nonprofit: Google Apps for Education, Google Grants, YouTube for nonprofit
– My fundraising update and Google matching. I might reach 9000 USD!!! Thank you all and Google
– Vehicles maintenance
– Internal communication (very tricky with 26 schools and the most of people not being able to access the internet)
– Projects updates.
For a change, I got also the chance to taste the Indian food I heard so much about. Delicious!
Here is a map of the main area where we are operating.