Alright so it has been some time, but I am now ready to give you a bit more info on some of the people I work with. The reason for the delay is the holidays here are kinda nuts. Not only do we have all the normal holiday busyness, but also in Uganda it is the end of the school year and the time to add more kids to our sponsorship program. We are currently working on getting around 100 new kids added.
Anyway, here is Laura. Laura was originally hired as an accountant for us, but she has become so much more. She now holds the title of Administrative Assistant as well which basically can be translated as "the one who explains how Uganda works to me." She assists me in all sorts of stuff, but one of the most obvious ways is explaining how government stuff works here. She is able to help with work visas, NGO renewal, taxation regulations, and the list goes on.
I have grown so fond of her. We have a fun working relationship that is kinda like a brother sister thing. We give each other a hard time and joke around and it makes the business side of Amazima much more fun. She is super smart and very professional which is good cause I often lack in the professional area. To often I find myself conducting business meetings in clothes covered in dirt and sweat stains. So it is nice have Laura in the office looking nice and professional.
Raoul is our youth director. I know you all are looking at his picture wondering why he looks so Congolese. The answer is simple, he is from the Congo. I honestly don't know the whole back story on how he ended up in Jinja, but he has been with Amazima since the very start.
He is great with the kids and leads all our worship and Bible studies. A couple of hours ago we just finished up our holiday program for all the sponsored kids guardians. Wow was it good. He organized dancing and singing performances that blew me away. We got some talented kids and he did a great job showing them off. It was hard to keep the tears back as I saw these Jajas (grandmothers) dancing in the audience and knowing the joy they are feeling about their kids and the opportunities that are provided by those who support Amazima. Well anyway, Raoul is awesome at what he does and we are lucky to have him.
Elijah is a new hire for us and he oversees the feeding program at Masese Co. Primary school. He is a man after God. He is very active in many community development projects in the slum community of Masese where he lives and can be found sharing his faith where ever he goes. He is honest as can be and exhibits so many fruits of the Spirit.
Because he lives and works in Masese we have found that he is ideal for this position. It is nice that he grew up in Karamoja and can connect and speak to many of the kids that attend school at Masese Co. or just come to get a plate at lunch time. He also is always thinking about ways to improve what we do. Thankful for him.
Andrew spends his days working on our land in Buziika. He is a big Ugandan which is rare, but for what he does pretty handy. Most Saturdays it is he and I that heave the 300-400 lb pots of food out of the stoves and carry them out to be served. Ok so I guess his size and stregth are nice, but I should tell how great he is outside of his physical prowess.
He is a worker. I love this him about him cause he is like me and I get him. I can count on him to get things done and not a day goes by that he doesn't sweat and get filthy for the Lord. He splits unbelievable amounts of firewood, helps with our farming, and oversees all things related to land maintenance. Can't imagine not having him around.
Regina is also a new hire. She makes me happy. I don't know what it is about being around her, but I am always smiling and filled with joy. She doesn't speak any English, but it never stops her from greeting and giving me an earful of Lugandan that I don't understand. Love it!
Originally we met her because she used to walk Katie's road with bundles of scavenged firewood to sell. Katie got to know her and realized she wasn't making ends meet and she was failing to provide for her 4 kids. She ended up staying at Katie's while her baby was nursed back to health. We were able to find her a small house out near our land and now she cooks food for our workers throughout the week. I can't imagine anybody who spent any amount of time with her not falling in love.
I know that I have not covered even close to all the people I work with and love, but I am thinking I need to get a few posts up about what specifically we have been up to recently so that will be next on my agenda.