Uganda is a beautiful country on the east side of Africa. It sits right on the equator and therefore has only two seasons, rainy and dry. Because of the climate and resources, Uganda has very fertile farming. You can grow almost anything there! That’s helpful for people who are poor. If you can’t buy food, then you have a better chance of growing it at least.
One thing Uganda has a lot of, is rain. That’s why these water tanks are so helpful. It rains about 50-60 inches a year in Uganda, and for comparison 35 inches in Rochester, NY and 42 inches in Baltimore, MD. That’s a lot of rain! For people who don’t have access to clean water, it’s not a problem of getting the resource, it’s a problem of getting to the resource. Water tanks are a perfect solution! Here’s another fun fact about the water tanks: they have no moving parts. The stats are that after 3 years, 50% of borehole wells are out of use because something broke, or an easy fix that they don’t have the tool for, or any other number of things. Water tanks on the other hand don’t have those parts to break. Phew!
The weather is awesome in Uganda. It ranges mostly from the 60’s to the 80’s. Some areas in the mountaintops are cooler, but not by much! It is sunny so often! Yes! Bring on the vitamin D (and sunscreen)!
The food in Uganda consists of a lot of starches like plantains, potatoes, and grains as well as beans, green leafy veggies, and sometimes meats like beef or goat. One of my favorites is chapati, which is a round, torilla shaped bread. It’s delicious! Here‘s a great article about more of the foods in Uganda.
While it may surprise you, we will have wifi and cell phones (Ugandan ones) while we are there. These are to connect with people back home and help keep us safe. As you might understand, Uganda started catching up with modern technology once cell phones were all the rage, so why bother putting in the infrastructure for land lines, when you can just skip that and go straight cell phones? Uganda does have electricity, though it is not as consistent as what we are used to in the US. We will be drinking filtered water, taking our malaria meds, sleeping under mosquito nets, and have all of our vaccinations up to date. We will be posting on this blog, on facebook, and emailing with friends while we are there. We won’t be totally off the grid while we are gone.
People sometimes ask is Uganda safe? My friend Savannah encouraged me to stay away from hippos. This is why. Don’t worry Savannah, there are hippos but I won’t be going that close to them! Yes, Uganda is a safe country, there are no uprisings and no rebellions. But, like every country, there are always things to be aware of. Through the UWP, we are in touch with the in-country US State Department, who have their pulse on what’s going on in the country. And then of course, we will take precautions to not walk around at night, keep our personal belongings in a safe place (i.e. no passports in purses!), and stay with our in-country hosts.
There’s so much more to Uganda than what I’ve just described so this is just a taste of it. As we post about our work and adventures, you’ll learn more about the beautiful country and friendly people with us along the way!