Update - project closeout, et al

The Samfya Bible School Master Plan and project report is almost complete!

Well, the last few weeks aren’t the most glamorous part of my job here with eMi, but they are amongst the most important as we’re in the process of finalizing our design report for the Zambia trip. Between the volunteers, interns and myself, we’ve spent over 1800 hours working on this project so far, and it all comes down to these last weeks before the intern semester ends.
So, while the project trip makes for more exciting and interesting blog posts, as is the case with so many things in life, the real nuts and bolts of the work we’re doing for the ministry takes place back here in the office. We have been finalizing plans, sending things out to the volunteers and the ministry for review and comment, and now we are incorporating all of those comments and making the final changes to finish the report. We’re really excited about this project and how our design ended up, and are especially excited that the ministry will be starting construction of the first new student housing units very soon (they might already be underway).

Interns Rachel (top) and Melissa hard at work at finalizing the project report.
Other update items…
1) I have been working with some of the disaster response stuff in my new role. We have two volunteers on the ground in Haiti right now working with Samaritan’s Purse in the Cholera outbreak in Port au Prince. SP is setting up Cholera Treatment Centers and our volunteers are working to ensure safe drinking water is available and than sanitation is being handled very carefully to prevent further spread of this disease. The latest count I’ve heard is that 1700 have died in this outbreak and they fear this number could rise drastically in the coming weeks.
2) I have been recruiting for my next project trip to Uganda at the end of January. My team is just about full so I am excited and thankful that once again God has provided a great team for me to work with. It looks like there will be 9 of us on the trip this time.
3) We spent Thanksgiving with a family who is originally from Germany but lived in Uganda for 12 years before coming to Colorado Springs 6 years ago to work with Compassion International. They invited us over since we are new to town and don’t have any family. It was so nice of them and we really enjoyed our time, though we found it a little funny that our first major holiday back from Uganda was spent in much of the same way we spent our holidays in Uganda – separated from family and with new friends from another country!

Alisha and Brodie with Andrea, the nice German woman who invited us over for Thanksgiving.

Brodie and I with Wolfgang, Andrea's husband. They are really nice people and we enjoyed our evening with them.

Earlier in the day, we went to Starbucks as a family - we couldn't do that on Thanksgiving in Uganda!

Jonah & Graysen built this 'Zoo'

4) We hosted Janet Strike for a few nights this week - Janet worked with me in the East Africa office and has just moved back to the U.S. after living 5 1/2 years in Uganda. She will be working in North Carolina with Samaritan's Purse now - so given my new role with eMi's disaster relief program we should be in fairly regular contact!
5) We are coming back to the West Coast for Christmas and New Year’s. We are excited to spend some time with friends and family, though sadly we won’t make it up to Oregon so we won’t get to see everyone.
We took Janet to dinner - just like old times, except on a different continent!

After receiving over 100 packages in Uganda from family and friends back home, we decided to take our turn to send some. These are 3 of the Operation Christmas Child 'shoeboxes' we had the boys shop for and pack.

Brodie's class is 'traveling around the world' in Geography, so they decided to stop off in Uganda so Graysen could share all about his time there and bring in some Ugandan toys and things to show the class. Alisha went down for a few minutes from her class to help (and make sure Graysen got the facts right! :) )

Intern Rachel came over to babysit the other night...dressed up as a gorilla! The boys loved it!


I made it in the blog as a gorilla!
Love it.
...and love "the guys"!

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