Here’s little story about how the smallest action can really develop into something amazing: Last spring I was sitting in the doctor’s office waiting to get a couple shots before the CFU 2006 visit when I spotted an article about a new highly energy efficient solar PC that this company Inveneo was developing. I remembered the CFU team’s constant lack of electrical power the year before. This was the solution! Excited, I got home, looked them up online, sent an email, then told Fredrik and John about my discovery.
Archive for the ‘People’ Category
“Mamma Janet” is the name Ugandans have given to the First Lady, Janet Museveni, because she acts just like a mother for her country. She is a very powerful figure, but perhaps one of the most humble and caring people I’ve met.
Anyway, today, just following the awesome dinner/dance party and the Vice President’s, we’re heading to the State House where the First Lady has invited the CFU team for lunch (talk about your crazy weekends). She was so touched by their hard work, and was especially thankful to them for installing a lab in one of her chosen schools this year. So this was her goodbye party for them.
The day started out pretty normalâ€¦I headed to InterConnection Uganda early in the morning and finished setting up the demo computers, then I did some work sorting out all the RAM we have managed to rummage up into the appropriate size and speed piles. Things were pretty calm today after the mad rush to get the place ready for the Grand Opening.
Christina was scheduled to arrive at 2:00pm in Entebbe, but John the Driver got a little mixed up on what the schedule was, so we didnâ€™t leave until 1:50pm. Ooops. I hope sheâ€™ll be okay.
By the time we made it to the airport, the passengers were just leaving the airplane. It turns out that they had delayed the flight by an hour. Wowâ€¦what timing.
Then things got even nuttier.
John, Christina, and I hung around Entebbe until about 6 pm, waiting for the Computers for Uganda team to arrive. On the agenda today: Meeting with the Vice President of Uganda at his beach house in Entebbe.
Today is the big day. We got to InterConnection Uganda under little sleep very early in the morning to make last minute preparations. Three ministers were going to be here today, including Johnorable. The guest of honor is the Minister of Education and Trade.
Jackie has been quite sick all weekend, and she has become very sensitive to smells (with the burning trash pile nearby that certainly is not a good thing). She has been throwing up rather regularly for the past few days and hasn’t been keeping much water down, let alone any food. Her mother has been calling—she’s quite worried.
We took her to “The Surgery,” a medical center that is supposedly endorsed by the U.S. Embassy. Since Brenda was at work today at the South African Embassy, Fredrik had to drive us around in Kampala. I was actually quite impressed with his driving. When we had to make a major right turn (like a left turn for all of you who drive on the right side of the road) he just busted right through two lanes of cars. Oh yes, they backed off. They were probably thinking, uh oh, a Muzungu driving…better get out of the way!
“Prince” Nicholas, InterConnection Uganda’s P.R. Manager invited Fredrik, Rudi, and me to the first installment of the VIGA Awards (the awards show for Ugandan Gospel music). Outside of working at InterConnection Uganda, Nicholas is also a DJ for Beat FM, and has been working during his free time to organize this show.
Johnorable was invited to speak as the guest of honor. However, that morning we got word that his car had broken down (yet again) in Masaka while he was following around the CFU team. So with the possibility of John missing the awards show altogether, Fredrik was appointed as his substitute to give the keynote speech. Oh boy. Let’s just say Fredrik was feeling a bit out of place in that position.
So this morning I woke up to the sound of the car running outside my window. Oh, right, we were going to the American Embassy today.
I jumped out of bed, put on something decent to wear and nearly tripped over myself as I scrambled outside the door and hopped into John’s car.
Today we met the American Ambassador for Uganda Steven A. Browning. The meeting was basically a question and answer session where we got to prod Ambassador Browning with questions about what exactly the U.S. was doing in Uganda. He was quick to mention that most of the help was coming from the private sector, and he also pointed out that Uganda was one of the most welcoming African countries. We also had a little discussion about their relationships with other foreign presences in Uganda (like China), which is quite interesting considering the Chinese are helping to install the new National Internet Backbone.
The CFU team arrived today. Johnorable (our new nickname for Hon. Nsambu), Driver John, Ronnie, Rudy, and I got up in the wee hours of the morning to pick up the team bright and early at 7:45 am in Entebbe. The team took over an hour to emerge after their plane landing, and we found out soon enough that a two pieces of luggage went missing, one belonging to Fredrik, and another belonging to Jessica (one of the high school students from Washington state).
It was certainly an interesting day today. Brenda, Nicholas, and I met with four people from UNIDO to talk about InterConnection Uganda. They have been communicating with Fredrik Winsnes, CFU’s team leader who works at Microsoft, for the past few months, getting the scoop about setting up a refurbishing center in Uganda. UNIDO was quite thorough, asking questions about how we decided on our price for the computers, how our setup will work in the warehouse, our annual sales target, and whether we were providing other services in addition to selling refurbished computers (among many other questions).
Today Brenda, John (the driver, not Honorable), and I headed down to Masaka to celebrate Father Jumba’s brother’s first CD release of Ugandan gospel music.
Hon. John had told us two days before that Brenda had to show up to speak in his place. So while we were all listening to different artists, Brenda was trying to come up with something to say.