Karagwe 2024: Summit Close

January 26, 2024

Today was the final day of the ETI/KAD Summit. Internet was very spotty so this update is later than the others were.

Morning: KARUCO Management led by Principal Ngambeki sailed through many issues with a close eye on the clock. How we managed to cover so much ground in 2 hours is beyond me. I was given some lovely gifts from KARUCO and the morning is highlighted in the photos below. Asante sana, KARUCO.

Lunch and Afternoon Meeting: Bishop Bagonza, BE Design architects and ETI met to finalize a few details regarding the ROC (Rural Opportunity Center) and specifically the pineapple juice processing plant. The most exciting outcome is:

  • March will be Groundbreaking.
  • June or July will be Official Groundbreaking.

ETI DONORS and SUPPORTERS: I wish I could give you a before and after picture of what your support has meant in Karagwe. ETI started with a power Partner (Karagwe Diocese), a grassy hill and bumpy, gravel road with deep potholes. Today, there is a thriving college campus, a busy tarmac road, operating buses and budding businesses. Downright amazing. Let me pause to thank you.

Guess what? Groundbreaking is set for March, 2024! ROC on!

Afternoon Break: We took a walk in Kayanga and ran into Dr. Andrew who used to be the ROC Coordinator. We were so delighted for our reunion that we gathered at a local restaurant/bar and had a nice long chat. Meanwhile, Rev. Joachim Makori bounced in for greetings and a chat. It felt like old home week.

What are the chances? We ran into Dr. Andrew in Kayanga when we 3 live in Minnesota, Mwanza and New York, we’re all leaving the next day? Seriously: What are the chances? Then Rev. Makori for a bonus who joined BE Design staff’s Emmanuel and Yves. Great afternoon.

Farewell Dinner: How heartwarming to be with our closest friends in Karagwe to eat together and say goodbye. Bishop offered an ETI/KAD Summit Summary and announced the March Groundbreaking. There was an uproar of applause. I gave a very short speech thanking each person on the KAD team for all they did for the Summit and especially for the deep level of care as we buried the ashes of Mel Breed, our dear friend. KAD gave ETI some lovely gifts from the newly built Cathedral. ETI left its gifts with Bishop Bagonza who will distribute them early next week. Hard to believe it’s over already.

I said my goodbyes to Bruce and his team, to my friends at KAD and got a ride with Bishop back to his home. Internet was out, so there was no update for blog readers. 

I had received a number of gifts and so packing was a bit of a challenge. A welcome challenge. My phone plan was working so I was able to chat with my husband, Steve and share the many things that transpired with us this week. All the while, he was dealing with some consulting work, a clogged drain and a failing window motor on a Jeep. The mention of these kinds of problems made me homesick. It will be good to be back together.

Tune in tomorrow for the Summit Summary. So long for now.

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