Joey’s First Post

So Joey is our professional EWB mentor. He works with us throughout the year, giving us advice for our projects, and then volunteers to travel with us over the summer

**Disclaimer: We had to edit Joey’s post for content, this is a family blog people, gotta keep it PG

After a 12 hour flight to Dubai with a 12 hour layover and another 5 hour flight to Entebbe, Uganda, I finally have made it to Soroti for the second time.  It has definitely been a long awaited return since 2008.  Today, we played with children, and not in the creepy Michael Jackson type of way, but with a Frisbee.   It was a ton of fun.  I found a lizard in my suitcase today, I will name him Skittles and I will care for him until I leave.  I hope he enjoys crushed mosquitoes, because that is all I have to offer him at this time.   The team was also able to give me a quick tour of the progress with the rainwater harvesting system, and I have to be honest, it needs work.  But, I am proud of their progress.  They have made their mamma duck proud!  All-in-all it was a great day, except for the part where I almost died in the car on the drive from Kampala, but I am here and alive so, a great day.  Oh yeah, I already have a mosquito bite and I am pissed!

The actual post:

Sorry for no posts yesterday, but David was our resident blogger and now he’s back in New York, so I guess I’m going to have to pick up the slack and actually write my first post.

Today, while Joey and Harrison were on the road from Kampala, Rohan, Allison, Bethany, and I explored Soroti. We stopped at a video store to pick up some questionable copies of DVDs, and then went to visit some of the bookstores in town. We’ve all spent a lot of time reading, so by now we’ve gone through all of the books that we brought with us. In Soroti, there are a bunch of stores that are called bookstores, but they don’t actually sell any books. But on the recommendation of Grace, the manager of our guest-house, we tried two bookstores. Most of the space in the store was dedicated to textbooks and paper, but they did have a small selection of classic novels and works by African authors.

After leaving the bookstore we were walking to lunch when we stumbled upon what looked like an alley lined with small shops and stalls, but actually led to a huge market. Although we got there a little late in the day for a typical market there were still a ton of people. As we weaved our way through the canopy of stalls, vendors were constantly trying to attract our attention, and of course the little kids would scream “muzungo hi” constantly. There was a ton of produce, and huge sacks of rice and beans for sale. There were also a bunch of seamstresses sewing clothing. Allison tried to hire a woman to make her a skirt, but there was a bit of a language barrier, and none of us trusted our drawing skills enough to sketch the type of skirt she wanted, so no luck there.

We finally met up with Joey, Harrison, and Edward, who drove them up to Soroti from Kampala. After grabbing a quick bite in town, we headed over to the school to hang out with the students. While Allison and I tried to get some Ateso lessons, the guys played some version of ultimate Frisbee with the students. I’m not really sure who won, but Joey was complaining that the kids lied to him about the rules, so who knows what really happened.

Tomorrow we’re splitting up again, half of us will be going to Tubur to visit the MFP site, and the other half will be at school working on the downspouts and first flush systems.