Archive for March, 2010

21
Mar
10

gratitude

It’s been two weeks now since I returned from my trip to Uganda with the Ryan’s Well Foundation, but it is still constantly on my mind (and not just because I have so much editing to do!).  What I experienced well-exceeded the hopes and expectations I had for the trip.  I was thrilled to visit the communities and schools where Ryan’s Well and their partners work and directly see the impact of their work on the people in these areas.

Being greeted by the students at Adekokwok Primary School outside Lira, Uganda.

Photographing the students of Onyut Primary School.

     (both photos taken by Julie Truelove)

One thing that really struck me was the reception we received when we arrived at some of the communities – they really celebrated the opportunity to thank Ryan’s Well for bringing water to their communities.  They were so grateful.  In the words of one young man from the Obutu Village, “Ryan’s Well Foundation, thank you a lot. You have already saved our lives.”

I myself am sincerely grateful to all those who donated to my project, donated directly to the Ryan’s Well Foundation, attended the fundraiser on such a cold night, donated items for the auction, and offered such encouraging and supportive words!  And a huge thank you to the Ryan’s Well Foundation board members, the Hreljac family and Julie Truelove for having allowed me to embark on this trip. 

Apwoyo Matek!

adam evans
alison porter
dave & susan clark
dean marino
katie & her mom
kellie johnson
lynda clark & karen joyce
mike patterson
ryan clark
several geosofties
suzanne day
wade vroom
…and many, many others!

03
Mar
10

in rukungiri with Ruhinda Women’s Integrated Development Foundation (RWIDF)

Early Tuesday morning we left Kampala on a seven-hour drive to the Rukungiri District in the southwest.

Formed in 2002, the Ruhinda Women’s Integrated Development Foundation (RWIDF) is a community-based women’s organisation with a mandate to enhance the skills, livelihoods and well-being of women and youth in order to mobilise communities and increase awareness of water, sanitation and hygienic standards and other health-related issues.

Through support from the Ryan’s Well Foundation, RWIDF has managed the construction of nearly 60 protected springs; we visited 12 of the 16 new springs that were built in 2009, nestled high and low in the hills of the Great Rift Valley.  Here are some of the highlights from this two-day visit:

(mouse over image for description or click to open gallery)

01
Mar
10

weekend at paraa

Warning :: this post is more touristy than the others, but there is video, so keep reading… :)

After spending our first week in Lira, we travelled west, sharing the road with numerous trucks headed to Sudan, to spend the weekend at the Paraa Safari Lodge in Murchison Falls National Park.

We arrived late on Saturday, with just enough time to enjoy a beverage by the pool and watch the sun set. We woke early Sunday morning to go on a 4-hour game drive.  Our ranger, Tigris, was very knowledgeable and had the eyes of a hawk – he helped us see baboons, patas monkeys, elephants, warthogs (Julie’s favourite), hippos, African buffalo, bushbucks, waterbucks, Uganda kobs, giraffes, hartebeests, oribis (my favourite), monitor lizards and numerous birds including ibis, grasshopper buzzards, storks, fish eagle, grey-headed kingfisher, helmeted guineafowl, oxpeckers, and many more. We even saw both a male and female lion napping in the grasses.

After a quick lunch, we headed down to the launch to take a boat trip down the Nile to see more wildlife and the Murchison Falls. We anticipated a relaxing, lazy float down the river – well…it started out that way, but then the weather started getting rough (a certain TV theme-song comes to mind!) – dark thunder clouds unexpectedly rolled in.  Thunder + lightning + small metal-framed boat + wind + rain + crocodiles + a 3-hour tour – life jackets = possible disaster.  Luckily, the storm moved on and the weather cleared.  Needless to say, we were quite thankful to make it back to shore and looked forward to an uneventful evening.

However, my adventures were not yet over. After returning to my room before dinner, I noticed something a little out of the ordinary outside my sliding doors.  There was an elephant standing by the pool. I grabbed my camera and shot the video at the bottom. Turn up the volume; I’m a bit quiet. Hope you enjoy!




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Crowdfunding Supporters

Thank you so much to the following supporters! I really appreciate your contributions to help me get to Uganda and Kenya with the Ryan's Well Foundation!

Bobby Singh
Michael Plastina
Dave and Susan Clark
Pat and Peter Marino
Jo-Anne McArthur
Suzanne Day
Ash Johnson
David Piekny
Tara Macey
...and others!