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Hello everyone!

We will be presenting this weekend at the Annual Clifford Symposium here at Middlebury College this Saturday, from 9.30-12 in Bicentennial Hall.
The Symposium promises to be a great event, check out the full schedule HERE. There are tons of great speakers and interesting panels, movies, etc. If you’re around and interested come stop by the poster session to hear more about A2N, see our poster, lots of pictures, and some video clips!

Hi all.
I am very sorry on behalf of our whole group for our lack of posts!! While we were in Uganda, it was really difficult to find good enough internet to check our email, let alone load the blog or upload pics. SAD.
Now that we’ve finally sorted through a lot of photos, I thought I would upload some pictures that outline our trip a little bit better so that everyone can SEE what we were up to!

Our last night in London, the 4 of us crammed into this big bed! Goodbye, London - Hellooo Uganda!

Owen is prepared for everything to come. Haha, this is taken outside one of our favorite restaurants, called Hotel Crystal. We ate many lunches there of chapati, rice, beans, vegetable and g-nut sauce.

This is in the hallway of our little apartment at Hotel Dalex, which doubled as our kitchen! That's the stove that John very kindly leant us. Harriet, Em and Anna are cooking a really gourmet meal of pasta with cheese (that mysteriously lasts forever - requires no refrigeration, hmm). The power went out a lot, so headlamps were essential.


This is Jacinta! She was one of the Africa 2000-Tororo staff, and was wonderful. Her official role was administrative supervisor, I believe - she kept the office running! She had us over for a great Ugandan lunch our first weekend at her house, and showed us around the town, helping us get settled, and find the best places to buy fresh bread and good veggies. She also brought us out to visit the different centers, and introduced us to all the Village Information Facilitators.


The four girls outside our front door. This was the night we had our new Ugandan friends and colleagues over to hang out, chat, and drink some Club beers!

Emmy's in the truck in Asinge- that big board was one of the common features of all the centers. It's used daily to post information in the villages, about health, agriculture and market information. For example, this one advertised baby piglets and upcoming vaccines! The crowd that gathered had come to see what we were up to, and we promised on this visit to return soon... Eventually we did, to install a sign and a solar panel!!

Our first installed sign in the Asinge C Village!! Complete with all our new little friends..


Another sign at the center called 'Corner Village.' The different facilitators are also in the picture!


This was the sign installed at Oriyoi. The kids were just coming home from school as we installed it. They hung out at the center, watching us put it up, and then came to be in the photo with the finished product!


Sorry you can't see the name at the top, but this is at UTRO. This sign is on a major road, so hopefully it will attract people to the center, a little ways down the road. Our pirate/preacher/potential husband friend is on the far right -- he kept offering Ben different quantities of various animals for our hands in marriage!


John, Richard, a girl whose name I forget, Stephen and Moses! John worked with us, Richard and Moses are his childhood friends, and Stephen worked at Dalex. They were all SO kind and always willing to help. We brought them over to our place, and taught them how to play beer pong... They were Team Uganda, and we were Team America. They beat us, badly.


The solar light turned on for the first time in Asinge! The little lantern below is what they used for light before the panel was installed. Such a big difference!! There was a BIG crowd out for the lighting 🙂 ALSO, can you see the sign lightly chalked on the side of the building?? That was the OLD sign, advertising the center. Compare it with the new one -- what a difference!!

John and the group in Dr. Bagheiri's office at TASO-Tororo, one of the larger (USAID/PEPFAR-funded) NGO's that supports the centers. We met with the Doctor, who owns Hotel Dalex, and were given a fantastic tour of the center. We also talked about how we hope to continue to work together and build our partnership in the future. If YOU want to support TASO, become a friend here: http://www.tasouganda.org/index.php?option=com_artforms&formid=1&Itemid=99999

Patients gathered for treatment and counseling at a clinic day at the TASO Tororo center!


This is the children's playroom at the TASO center. They give them food here, and provide coloring books and books, etc. both for children living with HIV/AIDS, and for the children of patients.


Happiness in Kidoko!

This is the whole group at our lighting ceremony in Kidoko. Paul, the Kidoko facilitator is on the far right. He was a great guy, and put together a wonderful ceremony that celebrated the A2N and GlobeMed partnership. Really, though, the focus is on the great work that the individual centers do.

The group, John, and some children who came hiking with us in front of one of the big waterfalls in Sipi, where we went for a weekend getaway.

Keep checking back – we’ll continue to put up pics, stories and some reflections! Thanks!!

Sorry we haven’t updated in SO long!! We have been insanely busy implementing our project, but we are officially DONE! We had 5 signs made for 5 Village Information Centers, and all of them are now up. Also, we bought and installed 2 solar panels in 2 villages- Asinge and Kidoko. Our experiences installing the different things was fantastic. All of the information center managers were very grateful and excited. We even got some presents: 2 chickens and a goat! The week was definitely long, but we all feel that we’ve really accomplished a lot here, and can’t wait to share everything with GlobeMed at Midd and the rest of our friends and family.
Last night, we had a party/official flipping of the solar switch out at Kidoko Village. The chairman came, and a number of other representatives from other NGOs. Very very exciting and fun.

Last weekend we had an exciting trip up to Sipi Falls, where we stayed at a great place called the Crows Nest, and hiked up to see some beautiful waterfalls. We had a little bit of excitement when our bag, with our passports in it, was stolen. But! Thanks to a very helpful group of men in the village, the bag was recovered. Chaotic, but ultimately everything worked out.

We’re sad that today is our last day in Tororo! This morning, we hiked Tororo Rock, one of the landmarks here in the small city where we’ve been living and working. We also just finished watching the opening game of the World Cup! South Africa tied Mexico, but SA scored first and being in the middle of an outdoor sports bar (called Motel Dot Com, haha) in Tororo center, with people all in the street watching the TV during that goal was AMAZING.

Tomorrow we all go to Jinja, the small city on Lake Victoria at the source of the Nile River. We’ve decided to go white water rafting! Should be wild. Sunday we head back to Kampala, as Ben and Harriet fly out on Monday morning. Emmy, Owen, Anna and Hannah are going to hang in Kampala for a bit before going to western Uganda on safari to Queen Victoria National Park, and out to the Sesse Islands for a few days!

Once back in the bigger cities we’ll try to put up a bunch of pictures and videos, as well as some longer descriptions of what we’ve been up to!!

Now we’re off to go eat some goat and chicken…. I think the boys are excited.

We are staying at the Dalex Guest House in Tororo. We have three double rooms, each with their own bathrooms (no doors, though). We have a little hallway where we have been cooking our food, to some success. Everyone loves to rage at the Dalex hotel and there have been fun, loud parties which we have not attended for the past three nights. It is actually really great because everyone who stays there is a student and they have all been super friendly. It is easy to get to town to grab groceries or dinner.
This weekend we settled in, getting to know Tororo and the A2N staff, John, Jacinta, Ali, and Susan. The staff is overwhelmingly nice and have given us a great introduction to Ugandan culture and food. Yesterday, we enjoyed lunch at Jancinta’s and met her family, which was very nice. On Saturday, we spent most of the day at Mzuri Guest House, getting to know the A2N staff over food, drinks, and Scrabble. The weekend ensured us that the next three weeks will be both fulfilling and fun.
Today was our first day of work in the field at A2N. We visited their office in Tororo and then visited two community information centers. We met their managers and were very impressed by the simple but extremely effective service that they provide to their respective communities. Both centers had a host of posters, information boards, leaflets, and adverts promoting health, agriculture, and other services. The model seems to be both appropriate and useful for their specific setting and community needs. We are very excited about furthering our relationship with both of these centers and perhaps the others that we will visit in the upcoming days.

We also discovered that a few of Harriet’s relatives are very active in the grass industry in Uganda. Napier Grass is a very popular strain of grass for feeding livestock. Jacinta now affecionately calls her Grass.

Now we are off to dinner at TLT for some veggie curry and chapati (YUUUMMMMYY!).

In the next couple of days, we hope to secure a more reliable internet connection so check back often for updates, pictures, and videos.

Love,
Hannah and Anna (and the rest of the Team)


Goodbye Boston… Hello London.
Thank you to Hannah’s parents for housing us and feeding us last night! And then driving us to the airport at 6 am. Paul gave us an excellent driving history of Boston. Our flight was smooth, the food was awful, but luckily Hannah had packed us apples and brownies.
We are so lucky to be able to stay at the Hatheway’s here in London. Their house is beautiful and in a great location. We went out to dinner, had some delicious burgers and sampled some South African wine, in anticipation of our flight to Joburg tomorrow. About to go to bed with some delicious homemade cookies in our bellies, and excited for the day in London ahead of us! We’ll post from the airport (fingers crossed our flight gets out).

In the past couple of weeks, we have received lots of advice regarding our trip. Suggestions include:
Don’t get eaten by a lion.
Take lots of pictures.
Don’t go to the Congo.
Don’t eat street-food (or seafood).
Don’t have contact with rabid bats.
Ask questions.
Have an open mind and an open heart.
Go with an empty glass rather than a full glass.
Pack light (too late!).
Don’t forget the mosquito nets!
Blog often.
Make lots of friends at Africa 2000 Network!
“This is a once in a lifetime experience so put away all of your reservations.”

**Comment back with your own advice!!!!!!!!!

Love,
The Grow Team

After lots of confusion thanks to the British Airways strike (argh), and much packing stress, we are finally off tomorrow morning!
We fly to London, and then to Uganda via Johannesburg. It’s definitely a little bit of a roundabout way, but we’re happy to be on a flight – fingers crossed that everything with BA goes smoothly…!
We’ll try to post when we land!

Yay! It’s official: we got a GlobeMed GROW Grant!!! Thank you GlobeMed for being so supportive and helpful. 

We leave a week from Monday! We’re all busy getting all our last minute packing things together, buying mosquito nets, making hotel reservations in Kampala (check out the Red Chilli Hideaway where we’re staying – it looks awesome… thank you Lonely Planet!) and finishing up finals…

We got some great news today! Our group received an Academic Outreach Endowment Grant as well as a Cross-Cultural Community Service Grant. Each of our 6 members received $250 from each fund, for a total of $3,000! 

Many thanks to the College for providing these funds, and accepting our applications.

Hello!

We are the GlobeMed at Middlebury College GROW Team! GlobeMed is a network of university students which partner with grassroots organizations around the world to improve the health of the impoverished.  At Middlebury, we are currently in the process of planning our first trip to Uganda to work with our partner organization, the Africa 2000 Network – Uganda. We will be in Tororo, Uganda for the month of June this summer, and are excited to send family, friends and funders updates from the field. 

Sign up to receive updates, view pictures and track our progress! 

The GROW Team 2010 is:

  • Ben Zorach – 2010.5 (DE)
  • Hannah Judge – 2012.5 (MA) 
  • Anna Clements – 2012.5 (KY)
  • Harriet Napier – 2012.5 (VT)
  • J. Emily Masur – 2012.5 (MD)
  • Owen Teach – 2013.5 (MD)

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GlobeMed

Africa 2000 Network – Uganda

Funders

Check back to view the complete list of funders, businesses and grants that will be making our trip possible:

- Middlebury College Academic Outreach Endowment Grant
- Middlebury College Cross-Cultural Community Service Grant
- GlobeMed GROW Grant

Contact hjudge@middlebury.edu to learn more about how you can support our project.

Destination: Tororo!