The return to Germany was a big readjustment for all the team members. Most of the Ugandan way of life that has found its way into our everyday lives now has to make way again, because for Jannik and Andi the everyday student life continues and Tobi and Laura have to move house and do their master thesis. While in Uganda a lot of spontaneity and improvisation talent was needed, it is now time to find a more regular daily routine. Nevertheless, we are still in contact with our partners in Iyolwa.
During the trip we met several times with Anna Obote. Anna is very committed to the parish and leads the Women Empowerment Group (WEG) in Iyolwa. The WEG is an association with the aim to support members in emergency situations. Among other things, financial funds are necessary for this. Anna, as chairwoman, contributes with many ideas, for example the cultivation of a maize field and the rental of plastic chairs for big celebrations. During our cooperation on the last trips we unfortunately noticed that many good ideas fail to be implemented. Therefore, we contacted the Community Center in Kitega, a small town between Kampala and Jinja, about 200km away from Iyolwa. The social workers of the Kitega Community Center (http://www.kitegacc.org) offer, among other things, courses in which they teach the organization of associations. The idea arose to initiate a cooperation between the Women Empowerment Group and the Kitega Community Center. To implement this plan, Anna Obote and two other members of the WEG travelled to Kitega together with Jannik and Laura. There they discussed the program with Joel Kikadde and planned the implementation. The next step is to assess how the cooperation can be made reality. For this purpose a team from Kitega visits the WEG in Iyolwa to discuss the concrete organisation. The workshop will take place for three to four months once a week, so we can only help with the organisation at the beginning, but in the summer our construction group can experience the end of the workshop.
The cooperation with the architect and civil engineer Mr. James also works without any problems. Shortly before departure he invited us again into the shell of his house. He had discovered that we could not imagine his description of the concrete ceiling well, and in his house the construction workers had just arrived at this stage. After comparing these impressions with the information on plasterboard ceilings, the decision was made to make the ceiling of the infirmary from concrete. In addition, the floor plan, which had been revised many times during the trip, has now been completed and passed on to Mr. James, who will now take care of the design of the roof construction. The plan for the foundation will also be ready shortly.
As a drop of bitterness among the positive developments mentioned above, it remains that we can unfortunately no longer follow them on site. It should also be mentioned that the forced cooperation with the Technical School Iyolwa unfortunately did not work out. The bricklayer teacher Mr. Wilson, who repeatedly expressed this wish in conversations, unfortunately did not contact us during our stay and several visits to the school grounds were also unsuccessful. It can be learned from this that in the future school holidays have to be taken into account when planning the trip. For the building project the cooperation which did not come about does not represent however any endangerment, since as in the previous blog (https://ewb-karlsruhe.de/iyolwa-waterandhealth/2019/05/16/die-zeit-schreitet-voran/) was already mentioned, the youth group of the church municipality was included.
The production of the ISSB stones is progressing well and the members of the youth group are contributing well. The cooperation with the local construction workers is excellent and all parties are satisfied. On the day of departure a final meeting with the foreman Opio took place, which was very satisfying and confirmed the prospect of a successful production. Of the 8600 ISSB bricks required, 7400 have already been produced and production should be completed by the end of this week. So there is still more than enough time to dry the bricks as needed. During the final meeting, Opios asked if we should again mix the bricks for the outer walls with “Dr. Fixit LW+”. This is a powder which makes the cement waterproof. This inquiry again showed how important cooperation and regular communication are. In addition, our trust in the reliability of the workers was confirmed. However, it was problematic to find this powder and this led to visits to numerous hardware stores throughout Uganda. Ultimately, however, it was found after weeks of searching and production can continue undisturbed.
After the return of our travel group the work continues in Germany as well. The EWB-Uganda-Team spent the weekend from June 14 to June 16, 2019 in Bühl-Moos. Since our group has grown by some new members, this was the optimal opportunity to get to know each other better and to strengthen the team spirit.
On Friday afternoon, most of the EWBers arrived little by little, and after moving into the rooms, most of them started to work right away, while the kitchen team prepared a really tasty chili. After the meal there was also a funny quiz where you could learn one or two things about the other members.
After a night that might be a little too short for one or the other, it was already Saturday. In addition to a very intensive working phase, in which the individual working groups continued to work on their tasks, there was also an interesting workshop on the topic of eurocentrism on the agenda. After the informative lecture, we dealt with the topic in small groups and presented our results to each other. Before dinner there was an off-road game, where you could really exert yourself. Hardly anyone stood still for a second, which was however more the blame for the huge amount of mosquitoes. After the mosquitoes got their dinner, we also had food, a huge pot with cheese spaetzle, what more could you ask for 😊.
And then it was Sunday again and at the same time the last day. After a nutritious breakfast we set up the schedule for our coming summer trip, while cleaning and tidying up was already started everywhere in the house, so that we were ready for the trip home at noon.