Everything is Awesome

by tuftsigl
May 17
Colin McCrory, Aaron Forrest, Jenny Hamilton, and Lily Cocoran are members of Tufts’ Engineers Without Borders (EWB) doing project implementation in Mbale, Uganda.
Mulembe! It has been quite an eventful few days. On Wednesday, we finally made it to Shilongo and were greeted by Rebecca’s family and all the others. Everyone was very excited to see Jenny and Dave again and the kids were all asking for everyone from last trip. The pictures and letters made everyone happy and the children spent all day playing with the racket balls that Dave brought. Yesterday we held a meeting with the committee members to discus the plans for the pump improvements, solar panel installation, and water testing. Overall, our ideas were supported, but they made a suggestion to use metal poles to support the structure holding the solar panels instead of timber because of termite problems. We were unsure if we could afford the extra price of metal poles until we came to Mbale today and were able to find poles for a very good price with help from Jude. We are very excited that the digging for the project was started today and we are hoping to make a lot of progress in the next few days. Aside from that, we are all doing well and no one has gotten sick yet despite the bugs we ate that apparently “run in your stomach” which I think means diarrhea. Luckily I did not eat too many even though they were surprisingly tasty unlike the unripe fruit (mango, guava, etc.) that Jenny keeps eating. We saw the school, health center, and one of the churches on our first short tour of the village and I feel like I have met so many people already. Colin and I were able to go for our first run today and I was immediately out of breath because we were greeting every person we passed. They were all very friendly and laughed at our terrible attempts at Lugisu. Today we were quite successful in Mbale and I was not nearly as scared or overwhelmed as I was last time. Dave and Aaron are looking at motors and solar panels now and Colin, Jenny, and I just bought some spaghetti and chocolate to surprise everyone with. Soon we will go back to the village to continue our work on the installation. As they say in the Lego Movie (which I watched a total of three times on the planes)  “everything is awesome!” We will keep you posted.
-Lily Corcoran, Tufts EWB, Chemical Engineering 2016