Transitions

June 25, 2009

It has been quite a long time since I last checked in with my blog, but here we go!

The last I wrote here I was investigating a collaborative project between FABIO and the workshop BSPW here in Jinja. While in March this was looking optimistic, by the first of April it became clear that my time would best be spent by focusing on finishing up the Repair and maintenance workshop with FABIO through the end of my FSD internship on May 23. This allowed me to smooth out the wrinkles in my curriculum and establish the structure and target groups so FABIO could continue this valuable program after I have left them…in other word establishing the sustainability of the work.

During the month of April we established a workshop with a group of rural teenagers that had purchased bicycles to ease their transportation between home and their places of study just outside Kamuli, 60km north of Jinja. The group were quick and enthusiastic learners and were very appreciative of the skills that were being given to them. They received a tool kit and repair, maintenance, and financial instruction.

May proved to be a slow month for FABIO. Our director and administrative officer, were in Germany schmoozing with donors, our program officer was spread between Nairobi and Kampala on work, and we found our funding situation reflected the global economic meltdown. This provided me with ample time to assist with grants and other administrative tasks around FABIO’s office. On May 23rd I completed my internship with FSD and FABIO. I decided to finish at this time as it is more cost effective to be independent of FSD and it allowed me to pursue the production of Professor Morris’s Hoima Bike design at the Bicycle Sponsorship Project Workshop. I have remained close to the FABIO staff with plans to offer future support as well as maintained good friendships with the FSD Jinja staff who continue to be a valuable resource to my work and personal learning.

May also found me moving out of the Mutalya’s house in Bugembe, and into a house in Jinja town. While I didn’t like saying goodbye to the family I had become accustomed to, I found it exciting to be in town living in a house with people or similar ages and ambitions to myself. I now live with 7 other people in a large house in central Jinja. We have volunteers from the US, Germany, Canada, and Uganda. The atmosphere is like that of a family and we are never short of good times. I have been visiting the Mutalya’s about once a week for dinner in Bugembe and have enjoyed watching young Henry Benjamin begin to crawl and grow teeth.

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