Day 5 – Strategic Planning – 2008

Vincent Plans With Engineers Ann & Andrew

Our St. Thomas team waited for the strategic meeting with the bishop that was to begin at 9:00. We got rolling about noon but were delayed again when the bishop escorted Kaye to the bank to exchange money. 

The bishop introduced the General Secretary, Erasto Kamihanda, as the new contact for our team. It was this first day employed by the ELCT. Dean Kakulima visited us at the hotel also. Eventually we had a meeting to outline the project goals. A fundamental plan had already been determined by the student engineers and the Engineering Student Advisor* at St. Thomas, however that advisor did not come on the trip. Running that plan past the bishop resulted in modified goals that enlarged the capacity of the pasteurizer and the group agreed to those goals. 

* It is important to note that the pasteurizer plans contain a design flaw that renders the technology useless. 

Set out to Bweranyange Girls Secondary School (BGSS), one of the school sites where a pasteurizer would be built, about 40km away. Met Sophia, the Headmistress. I liked her calm and no-nonsense demeanor. The setting was elevated and beautiful. Rolling hills, grass and shrubs, narrow roads with mud and brick homes here and there. Toured the Bweranyange Girls School. Saw classrooms and dorms. Spartan with many girls in small areas. Ate lunch with potatoes, pasta and veg again. The engineers staked out a site where they would build the pasteurizer. It was near a pump. One of the local workers asked one of the students and asked me for money. I understand that and have my pat response ready. Andrew felt guilty about it. Rode back to Kayanga, got supplies at the ELCT compound, bought more in Kayanga. Dinner of simple rice and sauce. 

Andre and I were to check all supplies. Checked one wood box with a frame. Andre didn’t want to open the other two but I strongly encouraged him to do so. Ann, our student leader, was upset with him later for not checking. I heard Ann in her room next to mine and learned the next day that she semi-freaked out about a bug in her room. She hates bugs. Not sure what it might be like in Africa and bug-phobic.  He shared that one of the rural pastors proposed the idea of a school for girls and the bishop strongly supported the idea. When asked what the needs of the school are, he said that there is rarely any science training for girls so there is a comprehensive need for more robust training from primary onward. He also said they have a teacher retention problem so they want to devise ways to perhaps offer teachers a cut of the tuition. Last, he said that he would like to think of ways to connect the school infrastructure to enhanced economic viability of the community. There are two main secondary schools in the district- KARASECO (Karagwe Secondary School) and Bweranyange Girls Secondary School (BGSS). KARASECO has 600 boys and girls, having gone co-ed just a few years ago, and Bweranyange has 120 girls with hopes of admitting more. I gave him a copy of my book about actualizing talent in women. I sense similar and genuine commitments to helping the underdog (women in this case) gain power and contribute to the world in ways that are exciting to them. Good connection here. Love this place. 


Be part of the story.

Leave a Comment

Sign up for our Newsletter

Be part of the story.

Donate Now