Wow, I can’t believe it! Christmas is coming and 2015 is at a close. Where did the year go? While it was slow, it was solid. Our ongoing sponsorships were kept up, and a couple of our partners had a steady flow of volunteers. I want to use this post to thank EVERYONE who supported The Real Uganda this year. Volunteers and fundraisers, alike.

visiting mayindo womens group cropped
One of my favourite and most memorable days this past year.

Here’s a little about the volunteers who joined us in 2015:

We hosted 29 (rad) volunteers (and 1 intern!) from all over the world. Check out these stats:

tony and kerry
Tony and Kerry with some of the kids at Grace Daycare

We had 21 women and 8 men.

There were 3 Brits, a Scot, a Kiwi, 1 random Belgian, 3 Mexicans, 3 Canadians, 3 Aussies, a Ugandan, 1 from Zimbabwe, and 12 loud and proud Americans (okay, Megan wasn’t so loud).

18 were under the age of 30. 7 were between 30 and 45 years. We had just 3 over 45ers.

kristen and sugarcane
Kristen and Pauline

What did they do? 3 worked in our Agriculture and Conservation program. 6 did Public Health Improvement. 12 were placed with Village Teaching and Outreach programs, and 7 lived at our partner residential children’s home. Let’s not forget that 1 lone intern – he worked with a mobile outreach organization that teaches computer skills to schools all over Mukono District!

grace-gloria and fernanda
Fernanda and Gloria

Thank you David, Hannah, Sam, Megan, Ainsley, Natasha, Cathy, Kristen, Chanae, Tyler, Ali, Lakisha, Danielle, Fernanda, Jacob, Ellie, Marie, Sarah, Kate, Maureen, Shakira, Ross, Leah, Kerry, Tony, JuanJo, Jackie, Janelle, and Phi (who is set to arrive before the year closes)! I am already looking forward to seeing a few of you back here next year.

I don’t want to play favourites, but you know who won 2015? It’s a tie between David and Ross. You know why? Because David dug a freaking latrine and slaughtered a delicious goat (after bringing the goat from the village on a taxi and walking her home). David wins the award for Most Ugandan. Ross helped to build a rabbit hutch in Mayindo. His little project? He went into the bush, cut some small trees, and fashioned a PROPER three-rung ladder for the ladies to use to easily get in and out of that hutch. No one would have done that. An unstable pile of bricks would have been put below the entry. The ladies would have had to boost themselves up every single time they had to feed and clean their bunnies. Ross wins Most Deserving of His Hipster Beard.

But truthfully, I enjoyed getting to know each and every one of these amazing people. They’re all winners to me. Just not as winning as David and Ross.

Janelle in Bulyantete
Janelle in Bulyantete

We can’t forget to shout out to our former vollies who kept in touch this year and sent us some cash: Hey Jensi and Gigi! Because of you, we have almost half of our 2016 Nalusse Hot Lunch Program funded. Linda, Eddie and Cat? Thanks for continuing to sponsor Christine and Nantale, every year since 2005. The Crookshank family has also been sending a couple grand a year for 4 years. They’ve now put a kid through university, among other things. How rad are these people?

My little dude, Lucas

Of course, none of what we do would be possible without the love and support of the team over at Global Volunteer Network and GVN Foundation. Our partnership over the last 11 years has been fruitful and absolutely RAD. Thank you.

So, this is it for me for 2015. I’m going to take a few weeks and have some holiday fun with my little dude. But I’m here if anyone has any questions about our programs or wants to volunteer in Uganda in 2016. January, February and March are quiet, but things are starting to heat up for June, July and August! Interested? Check out the rest of this website and apply today!

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