So today was the second day that our team split up in two: the water team & the MFP team.

After our second meeting with Pilgrim, the water team hitched a ride on the van to Beacon of Hope school and rendezvoused with Julius, the grounds keeper, engine runner, all around beast man of the place. We found some lumber, and Julius, who has a perpetual friendly smile and can-do attitude, proceeded to build ladders like a boss. Rohan, Bethany, and I for the most part tried to help where we could, but it was pretty beautiful to see an artist at work. We needed to build ladders from wood because we need to inspect and eventually install gutters for catching the rain. After we made completed 2 ladders, we also went around and visited the tank foundation construction that we had contracted the previous day. It seems that the process is going smoothly so far. There is around a team of 6 people laying brick, digging, and just being merry. Hopefully we can lay concrete tomorrow, and have pass the first major milestone in our project. As I mention a lot before, it gets hot after 10:30 in Soroti, so we went to grab some lunch, and I proceeded to pass out.

Today the MFP team visited the Usuk site where we met about 7 villagers and they told us how the MFP has been helping them. On the drive there I couldn’t help but smile at these long-stretching fields of green pastures that met the blue sky with these batches of clouds. One thing that I noticed about the clouds in Uganda is that they are always in little batches in the fluffy formation, and they all kind of hover above this invisible table and clouds’ bottoms rest just at that level. We also saw a marketplace on the way that stretched for maybe half a mile to a mile, and there was everything from bikes to clothing and it was quite a sight. As for MFP issues, there were some major problems with the MFP, mostly concerning the speed of the engine, the high fuel costs, and the lack of an oil press which could greatly help the profitability of the MFP. Despite all of these shortcomings, the villagers were still positive about the future and thanked Pilgrim a lot for various reasons. One of the most striking things that they thanked Pilgrim for was helping the village be on a map. Apparently Pilgrim did some mapping work for Usuk and they were finally on the map for Uganda, and to see that they were thankful for that, when we have so many other luxuries and benefits that we just take for granted, I guess I could say I was humbled by these villagers.

A few other things I’ve been noticing about Uganda: people talk very differently from in the US, where people are loud. We always joke that we can point out Americans by their loudness in foreign countries. In Uganda, people talk in this soothing, calm tone and it’s sometimes a bit difficult to hear since we Americans are so loud and we’re just not used to it, but it’s a very gentle way of conversation between people. Also, Ugandan roads have MAD speed bumps. These are these fatty, high speed bumps that drivers always have to almost come to a complete stop for, and they’re quite prevalent throughout the roads. It’s probably a good thing since a lot of the roads don’t have speed limits. One more thing: people are VERY friendly and chill. One aspect is that whenever we pass by on the roads, we see a lot of people just chilling under the shades just talking and often just staring at the cars and the people inside like a hobby. Also, whenever we wave, people almost always wave back, and as people coming from such different backgrounds, to just establish that instant connection by waving I think speaks to the common humanity we share, and although this might seem obvious it shows how chill Uganda is because if we did this in New York or even just America in general, people would often think we’re weirdos.

Pictures will be up tomorrow, because the internet is acting maxx weak sauce. Orange~ Seriously……………………………………….