The Team Splits Up

Thursday began with the departure of Ed and Jim from Buseesa, accompanied by Sister Paulin, and chauffeured by Phillip. Erin and Connor would stay for two more days to finish water quality sampling and other tasks for the water project. From this point in the blog, the story will follow Ed and Jim, as Ed is the blogger and can only write what he knows about!

The clouds opened up and let loose a good tropical downpour on our Land Rover on its jouncing way through Mubende and on to Mityana. A quick chipati snack helped settle stomachs queasy from the rough dirt road. Our destination was a noontime meeting with Vianney Tumwesige, the owner of Green Heat, who was a candidate to be the contractor for the biogas project. Phillip pushed through a typical Kampala traffic jam to reach the Makerere University campus, home to the Center for Research in Energy and Energy Conservation where Vianney pursued his doctorate degree.

Vianney was wearing a football jersey and ball cap and had a student listening in during our discussion of the proposed biogas project at Buseesa. He was in his element at CREEC and whizzed through some cost estimating with supporting sketches on a scrap of paper. He multi-tasked on the cell phone, sending texts to his supplier at QEnergy to get pricing on bag (or "balloon") digesters. Generally he gave us a lot of new information to consider for the project, and also put us in touch with the Dutch owner of QEnergy, who we would meet with the next day. It was a successful meeting.

To kill a little time while waiting to be picked back up by Phillip, Jim and Ed strolled around the campus. A woman sitting on a sidewalk was selling the first mangos of the season, peeled and sliced and ready to eat from a bag. A Ugandan told us that 80% of college graduates here are unemployed, and a good portion of the other 20% are underemployed... some unfortunate statistics that don't reflect a very healthy economy, and not a very good incentive for students!

The day ended after a grind through rush hour traffic to get to Mpala (just south of Kampala, on the way to Entebbe). It was luxurious to again be on the power grid, have an internet connection, and have some hot water for a shower.