Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Village visits -- microfinance, soy beans and tilapia


Jambo from Uganda,

Team Uganda is just finishing up an amazing weekend in the field. We
have met with incredible groups in three or four villages and learned
so much about the micro-finance movement, farming, and mobile money.
We are excited to get back to Kampala and develop a plan of action for
the rest of our trip. We have had some opportunity to see some great
wildlife on the road during our visits, and we have had great pictures
of the land. It's so beautiful here.

We have found that there are great opportunities for change here and
we believe that we will be able to develop a solution that will
benefit many people. We are very grateful for CRS' help. They have
been fantastic. Their partners are also very helpful and insightful.
We look forward to sharing with all of you soon.

P.S. We are safe, Don't worry about us. Everyone here is very
friendly and helpful. We have great drivers that help us so much.

Team Uganda.


Hello everyone,

Just a quick note from Team Uganda. Our trip is going very well! Connectivity and electricity have been challenges,but both the Mobile Money and Soy Production teams have had a successful trip to Fort Portal. We have had many enlightening interviews with various stakeholders within the value chain. Mobile Money has been meeting with various financial institutions to build context around financial operations in Uganda. Soy Production has been meeting with local farmers in the region to understand the challenges and opportunities. Among the highlights of our visit to Fort Portal has been seeing elephants, hippos, warthogs, antelope, and water buffaloes in the wild. We are in awe of the natural beauty here. Today, we will be driving back to Kampala this afternoon and preparing for our meetings in the capital city the rest of this week.


Greetings from beautiful Homa Bay,

Our team had a great day today. We met with two Catholic priests in the morning and their clergy in the afternoon. We were able to gather come great information on the everyday lives of Homa Bayans. Most people here make a livelihood through subsistance farming and selling any excess. As you can guess most are extremely poor. But, surprisingly almost all have enough to eat, although having clean drinking water and access to healthcare is another story. We all had a great experience today when we had fresh lake Victoria tilapia. The tilapia is served whole (head a all) and is eaten with the hands. Well, actually everyone had a great experience except for Eric. He hates fish! Tough break for him since that is about all they eat here. Things here are great and I don't know if we could be in better spirits.

With Love,
Derek, Eric, and Jon

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