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Showing posts from March, 2009

Showering under the stars

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Since I've received so many emails and comments about my late night showers under the moonlight, I had to post this picture I found from one of my volunteers. I've added the white arrow pointing out the shower stalls. The brick walls formed two side by side stalls about 7 feet tall, with no roof. The building on the far right is the composting latrine, with the main building in the middle background. It wasn't quite dark yet, but this picture was a great shot of what it was like.
Seeing it makes me miss those showers - they kind of turned into a significant moment for me in regards to the bigger picture of our time here and with eMi, as being out in nature away from the city and alone beneath the stars reminded me of where God had brought our family and how following God's plan for your life, though oftentimes difficult and illogical, can certainly lead to exciting adventures and stretch you in ways you never thought possible. It also solidified on my heart a desi…

PART III (of III) – Church in the village

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The project team taking flight

Day 6 – Sunday, March 15, 2009:
After a big, windy storm in the middle of the night, we had a late breakfast and headed down to church in the beach village. We arrived 15 minutes late but were greeted very warmly. When we arrived, they informed us that they wanted one of us to preach. I had warned the team of this possibility and asked one last time if anyone wanted to do it. After a long pause and a bunch of blank stares back at me, I could tell I would be given the honor.
The church was a small, one room building about 12 feet wide and 25 feet long. There were only about 12-15 people inside to begin with, so our group of 14 doubled the attendance (though as time passed another 10 people or so trickled in). I quickly identified Syd to the pastors as our leader, since up to that point they were treating me as the leader. It was important to New Hope that this introduction to the village go well since they will be neighbors with these people, and I wanted to…

PART II (of III) – Snakes and Crocodiles

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The eMi team, pictured out on the island we visited. From left: architect Lewis from Texas, architectural intern Lindsay also from Texas, civil engineer Pat from BC, Canada, Pat's wife Kara, civil engineering intern Ryan from Edmonton, civil engineer Chris from South Dakota, graphic designer Grace also from Canada, civil engineer Ryan from South Dakota, me, and architect Mike from Connecticut. One of these people had to be photo-shopped in because they didn't make the trip to the island...can you guess who??

Day 3 – Thursday, March 12, 2009: Once again, after sleeping very well in the tent, we were awoken around 6am to the sound of rain. This time, water started pouring directly off the rain-fly into one of the windows in our tent! Fortunately, we quickly fixed the problem so only a small puddle formed. Had we been sleeping and the window left as it was for even a few minutes, the whole tent would have been flooded.
Today was a full work day, and the team got right to work after…

Project trip - Men's Training Camp

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PART I (of III) – Making Cookies
The following is my daily journal for my most recent project trip, where I led a team of 10 architects, engineers and designers out to a very remote but amazingly beautiful property on the shore of Lake Victoria to design a Youth Camp and Young Men's Training Center for New Hope Uganda. It was an amazing trip, and an amazing design team to be a part of.

The top of the site, overlooking Lake Victoria. The ministry director, Jay Dangers, is in the royal blue shirt
Day 1 – Tuesday March 10, 2009: The ministry showed up right on time at 9am at our office to pick us up. The team had gathered and last minute packing of office supplies was finishing up. The project site, though a mere 40 miles from the eMi office on Google Earth, is 91 km by car and takes over 3 hours to travel to due to a lack of a direct route and very poor roads. We loaded our stuff on the ministry’s two Landcruisers and piled into a matatu to set out for the project. Alisha and Graysen c…