I remember sitting in my parent’s basement staring at the computer screen the night before I was to leave for Africa and trying to create the business development curriculum for the girls at CVI. I knew the ideas I had made sense in the business world of America, but how could these girls who could not even read and write possibly grasp concepts like business planning, raising capital and financial statements?? I tried to think of culturally relevant examples. “Do you think they have McDonalds in Uganda?” I asked Connor. “Yea…I bet they do,” he said. “What about Bill Gates? They must know Bill Gates, right? Or Oprah! Everyone knows Oprah!” “Yea, you’re right. I’m sure they would.” Comforted that they would definitely be able to relate to at least one thing I planned on talking about, I decided to step away from the computer and consider my curriculum development complete.

This week was the second week that we have had the business development course with the girls at CVI. There is no McDonalds in Uganda, and they definitely did not know Oprah or Bill Gates. “You know computers? Well he practically invented them! He’s the richest man alive and you know what, it all started in his parent’s garage.” Met with confused looks, the translator then informed me that they did not know what I meant by “computers” nor did they have a word in Lwo for “garage.” So much for that.

Now I know it may seem like these classes have been a failure, but quite the contrary. Last week we talked about their goals and dreams and got them thinking seriously about their business ideas and this week when we talked about managing their money and families, they had so many questions. At the end of class they were able to explain everything they had learned and it was exactly what I was hoping to get across. I’ve already learned since the first class the points that I need to alter to make them more easily understood. I’m arranging “shadow days” for the girls so that they can visit local businesses for the day and learn about how things are run. They are all going to create a business plan and have the opportunity to form savings groups. Right now we are looking for investors both locally and abroad (in the U.S.) so that the girls can have loans to go toward the start up costs of their businesses. I am constantly praying that I say the right things to get through to them, but I am very hopeful that this will all be successful. It’s got to be!

In other news…
– I saw a monkey for the second time when going to get a shower. I think he’s just messing with me now.
– I saw actress Kristin Bell at the Coffee Hut in Gulu last weekend. She’s doing some volunteer work around here apparently.
– One of the girl’s friends sent a care package with ALFREDO SAUCE (powder) and we ate VEGETABLES and alfredo for dinner the other day (mmmm)
– I carried a jerrycan of water on my head all the way from the borehole to the center yesterday without spilling it!! (Okay, so my hands were still holding it there, but it’s a step)
– One of the cows is pregnant and guess what they’ve decided to name the new baby calf?=) Natalie! Haha I am honored

-I chased a chicken for dinner last week with some of the girls. I have a new appreciation for neatly packaged, boneless chicken meat from the grocery store.

I know, I know. Just too much excitement to fit into one post, right? Until next time, dong ma ber.


Minutes before successfully capturing the chicken for dinner. That'll teach him to wake me up at 4 am!