above: taxi park in Kampala

kWasuze Otya Gettysburg,

Mike Lahoda here writing to you from an internet cafe/ farm shop out here in Kayanamukaaka region in Masaka, Uganda. Uganda has been quite the adventure so far, as you can tell from Lyndsie’s post. Recently we have moved into our home stays, which is very exciting. Before I left for Uganda, I wandered what the homes would be like and had many people ask me the same thing. I can now answer your questions!

My homestay is with a farmer named Margaret Nakamanya, who has four grown children livnig elsewhere in Uganda. The home is about a 40 minute drive to the town of Masaka. The house has electricity, though it is limited– one room in the house has a light bulb, and there is also a TV. The house itself is very nice, constructed of brick and cement, with one large living space with nice tile flooring, a kitchen area, then a hallway with 4 bedrooms and a bathroom. The house sits on a large plot of land where banana trees and avocados are grown. I’ve been able to help out a bit planting some new banana trees! There are also chickens, goats, and cows being raised, so there is plenty of company around. My work is at a women’s group called Yiga Okola ( “Learn to Work”) which is located near my home, and my quirky neighbor Maria is the head of the organization. She will often look at me and laugh as we try to communicate in English and Lugandan with each other, which is quite entertaining. I have my first meeting today, though I have met many of the members already. The meeting will include discussion of what I plan to do for my project here. Right now it seems that a rain water harvest system would be most beneficial to the community. Several have been built before with great success, saving many women a long journey to fill water. I will report back soon with updates and pictures! Hope all is well back in America, enjoy the steady electricity and fast internet!


Mike Lahoda ’11