on Thea's Blog (Uganda), 16/Jan/2011 13:43, 34 days ago
A jump of three months. Gone in an eyeblink. Still can’t believe how quickly time passes here. There are only five months left to my placement. Not sure if I’m ready to leave yet.A quick summary of the last 3 months. All going well at MMU. Finally managed to get some money for infrastructure, which has hugely helped the case for my department, the so-called Planning and Development Unit. I think it’s no coincidence that we have since been given a new staff member. This is good news for me because finally I have someone to train in resource mobilisation in a genuine capacity-building way. She is young but keen and seems to be pretty on the ball. The same sadly cannot be said of the existingmembers of the department. What else? Have enjoyed facilitating a strategic planning process, out of which a reasonably solid 10 year plan will soon emerge. Have also enjoyed piloting a fundraising training course with some very appreciative third year students. Hope to turn it in to a short coursebefore I leave. Other side projects– careers service, alumni office - moving on slowly but steadily.Outside work my serene, rural life continues. Chickens and lettuces are my main preoccupation. Both are flourishing. Have also taken up bread-making and other culinary experiments. Am struggling to learn Lutooro, although I hope a renewed new year’s determination will move things on a bit.Had a lovely xmas and new year with Mum, Lettice and Duncan. Saw more of Uganda than I had seen in the previous 18 months. It was a fun, action-packed three weeks: we dodged night-time buffalo in Murchison; laughed at lions slumped in comically uncomfortable poses in trees; we perfected our mazungu corkscrews on Lake Bunyoni and we saw the only four zebra in Lake Mburo (apparently there are 15,000 more, but we saw no sign of them). I was a bit embarrassed to discover what a skewed view I have of the country, having spent all my time in affluent Kampala or the fertile bread-basket of the west. The area around Murchison opened my eyes a little to some of the harsher living conditions in the drier north. Feel I need get about more.Meanwhile starting to wonder about life after VSO. Still have plenty to do at MMU and not sure if I will have made that much of an impact by June. Thinking about extending while also keeping my options open.... humpf. I've never been very good at decisions.