Two weeks in now and so much has happened. Agri Evolve has been driving all over the area meeting with farmers, appointments with the high chief and county leaders, talking to the head of agriculture at the Umbarara university, visiting the ‘Bukonzo joint coffee production co-operatives’ as well as planning the first irrigation system, It’s been a busy week. One aspect that has really stood out, apart from the huge positives and interest from everyone, everywhere we go, a visitor book is signed. At the coffee co-operative, we had to sign 3 different books for one organisation! My impression is the Ugandan’s like formality. This I believe is what it stems from. There is no such thing as an informal meeting, everyone must sit down, sign the book and discuss. I must say at first it takes some getting used to, however after a while, you come to expect one so when you’re not presented with a book to sign, it’s disappointing.
The visitor books aside, work has been very busy. The Karudec farm has plenty of building work taking place with a new gate on the irrigation system accounting for the heavy rains in the off season. As well as a new Silage pit under construction with a roof. The builders and farm staff are all hard at work and its coming along well. It’s great to get stuck in and work, the local’s at first can be very suspicious of what you are doing and it’s no good standing and watching, I would suggest to anyone wanting to come and work here, you have to have a go at the manual labour, it’s good for their morale and it’s a definite ice breaker.
Please don’t worry it’s not all work no play, there’s some downtime as well. On Saturday, we climbed a mountain for 2 hours to reach a remote village, where health workers presented to the locals about various issues. Although our limited knowledge of health was not helpful, the balls we brought with us to entertain the children was invaluable to them as they had never received a gift before!
A short drive through the national park on Sunday evening to see the Hippos and a crocodile was very enjoyable with the Elephants drinking on the far side. Something to expect from this place which never lets you down is the unbelievable scenery and wildlife. Thank you Uganda.