The last day! I can’t believe it finally arrived. As much as I loved this fantastic experience, I was certainly ready to fly back home. Our flight wasn’t until midnight, so we had one last day to see a bit more of Kampala. We decided to visit some local markets, which was a nice change to everything else we had been busy with, and also not to have cameras everywhere! Both of the markets we visited were full of colour, vibrancy and a slight buzz. Although our trips were short it gave us a taste of Uganda from outside our hotel rooms.
We then went to the Habitat for Humanity office, to meet with Brent – the National Director, Ronald and Monica, and Deo. It was great to debrief with the Habitat team, and go over the last fortnight and plan for the future. We had a good discussion about Habitat’s work with microfinance clients, in particular successful clients who maybe no longer need a Habitat intervention. We saw firsthand families who have an attachment and affinity with their Habitat Credit Officer. So ending that relationship would be incredibly difficult, but there needs to be a bridge made between Habitat and banking institutions. But each of the families has deep mistrust for banks – and most clients are semi-literate or illiterate. Habitat provide educational financial literacy to clients, so they are supported and in a stronger position to repay their loans.
Once back at the hotel we spent the rest of the day sorting out the equipment to take home – just two of us were flying back that evening, as Abigail and Telen extended their visit to ensure they saw the completed solar installation at Pioneer School. After a pretty rushed dinner we headed for the airport – again stuck in heavy Kampala traffic for ages – much too stressful for my liking… But once we were on the plane I felt calm and ready to see everyone back at home.
Visiting Uganda as part of the COINS Foundation team was amazing. It was a huge emotional rollercoaster, where daily I was experiencing, feeling and seeing new things, and all the while trying to take in the beauty of Uganda. I really am grateful for the opportunity and I feel as though I have a newfound appreciation for everything. To see the projects COINS Foundation supports in real life gives you a huge sense of what we are trying to achieve and you can really see the passion and commitment everyone puts in.
Soon I’ll be posting a vlog – with some of my best bits – so please check back soon!