We finished the tank and got to make some dedications. I made one for Mike.
After finishing a superb project it was time to say goodbye. Hopefully, students from Henry's school will continue to come for their senior project. Thanks again Henry!
The political scene in Uganda right now is very tense. I have never felt it like this before. The opposition candidate from the recent election, Kizza Besigye, came to Kabale last week and it was very tense. The military was there and things were unlike I have ever seen before in Kabale. With the heacy military presence, it felt a little like Bassam after the attack, but for me I had no concerns so it was personally very different. Normally, the southwest would not have this tension as Muesveni, the current president, is from the region, but Besigye is a former comrade turned rival and he is also from the region so the divisions here are particularly deep. For a long time politics here was a North-South issue but now it's within the region and you can tell. Many people have pulled me aside to complain about Muesveni and to ask if I can help them. I tell them I will talk to Obama and see what we can do.
There are signs in many of the towns here urging peace including right in the middle of Kabale. This is the second election I have experience this year and it has been a very interesting process to witness them.
Hard at work building the foundation for the water tank. What a project and we finished it. Henry Everitt, from Sun Valley Idaho, did a fantastic job and provided a tank that is going to help a lot of people get water from a much easier spot so they can water their crops, wash, and do work around the house. Before this tank the climb to get water was brutal and now it's much easier because of this project. Thank you Henry!
My research assistant (and great friend) Adou and I left the Ivory Coast a week ago to come to Uganda. We are replicating our research we have done there in Uganda. We have formed a team and the work has been very successful. We are collecting great data.
Coming here was great but my heart is definitely in Bassam. Strangely I felt nervous and reluctant about leaving Bassam mostly because I was leaving people and a community that I have very much grown to love a lot. When I get back I am building a new community basketball hoop and a few other things so I am excited about that. We are also working on a water tank project here in Uganda with a high-school student from the U.S. that I connected with KIHEFO. The water project is in Muyambo the village of Dongo and it is a really great endeavor. Henry, the high-school student, has been accepted to Bucknell but also some other great schools. I hope he decides on Bucknell. He is a great kid.
I had a reunion with Dongo and the next day Adou and Dongo met and we informed Dongo that Adou's name when he was young was Dongo too. HA! (See video, it's hilarious.) Adou is having an unbelievable time. It has been so interesting being with a West African in East Africa for the first time. Things are so different for him yet similar too. The terrain, weather, language/s, and so much else are a world away for him yet it is Africa at heart. So much fun for him and for me an absolute blast. What a learning experience for us all. Today Adou and I rode boda to start research on the other end of Kabale. I got a great video, soon to be posted.
It's mango season in Bassam and the kids love to throw rocks or mangos to get them out of the tree. I have a huge tree outside my window and the kids were out getting them the other day. I had one of the kids throw up a mango to me and I hit a huge spot on the tree and they all came falling down. Jackpot!
John Doces. Je vous écris de la Côte-d'Ivoire en Afrique.