July in Jinja

Greetings!

I’ve got about a month under my belt, so I figured I’d give an update on the happenings of July for those that’d like to read along.

Work

My first few weeks at work have consisted of: training, learning the organizational structure and my new role (which is a new position), getting to know the women who work at our office in Jinja, accompanying the Empowerment team on trips to the village for our programs and getting to know those women, mapping out projects I’m focusing on this year, brainstorming and beginning to implement systems and structures for our finance/operations logistics, assisting in payroll (my supervisor is away on leave so last week I handled payday for our hundreds of members — baptism by fire, best way to learn!), building relationships with my colleagues, networking and connecting with our avenues for legal representation, and planning for a work trip up North next week! All of that to say — my work is cut out for me and I’m excited to continue strengthening Akola’s organizational “fitness” in this position. Additionally, it’s very nice to not be EA this time around. My boss sometimes has to remind me it’s not my job to do certain tasks (amazing feeling). Click here for more information about our work or please reach out to me with any questions.

Social

My birthday weekend was so great. I ventured to Wildwaters Lodge and enjoyed a few good expat friends (from my Gulu days) being in town. I’ve been settling in to town and learning a new life, making friends and connections. I go to bootcamp/workout class 4x a week, have been making the rounds getting to know my colleagues on a personal level, and am looking forward to continuing to reconnect with those I knew from my previous stay in Uganda, especially as I head to Kampala/Gulu this Friday. This past weekend I camped at Busoga‘s version of Patiko/Ft. Baker (you may remember me mentioning this on my IJM blog). Kagulu Rock was breathtaking — Uganda’s beauty never ceases to amaze me and humble me. I’m so thankful to continue exploring this gorgeous country. There are many different versions of my “happy place,” but adventuring around Uganda/calling this place home is one of the purest and most boundless feelings I’ve experienced.

Jules

My friend Bliss has begun fostering Juliana, a Ugandan baby girl who is a constant source of joy. I mean, look at these pictures (below). DOLL BABY. Please if you feel called or interested in supporting her journey in prayer or financial support click here to learn more.

Overall, I’ve been so grateful and inspired to begin this journey. There have been ups and downs — it’s been weird to feel in some ways as if there’s no learning curve… Uganda is familiar after all, but it many ways I feel brand new. I’m thankful for it all. The challenges of working hard, pressing in, refining skills as well as learning from a new professional opportunity, and navigating the social and personal realms of life here continue to excite, enlighten, bless, and mold me.

Love from Uganda,

LB

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