Saturday, June 25, 2011

Saturday, June 25

Just a few pictures before we head out tomorrow for the vacation part of our trip.  We leave with mixed emotions as we miss our families and our familiar surroundings ( not to mention showers, Mexican food, cold drinks) but we will miss this place.  As I type the kids are outside laughfing and singing and dancing the Macrana.  The girls have taught them a number of American saying such as "Wat's up", "hasta la vista, baby", " "talk to the hand", "peace out" and many more.  I will never forget their joy or how excited they get to see themselves on the back of your camera.  I will miss it all so much. 
hasta la vista, baby!!!

Mark Jr  & Caroline Cotham with all the locals..

Touring Zeu Medical Clinic

The new Medical Library at Zeu Medical Clinic, it was awesome!!

Just a few of our friends...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday, June 24

Enjoy the pictures from the Kaberu Nursery School. We opened a mini- library there. They were the cutest kids  imaginable, they prepared several songs for us in both English and in Allure.  Cute, cute, cute.....

The Kids from the Kaberu Nursery School preforming "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" for us.

Hannah & Haley passing out de-worming pills to the children at the nursery school.

Neighborhood children watching the festivities through a hole in the fence at the nursery.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pictures from Thursday, June 23rd

   Today we returned to Oturgang Girls School (the one that did not have the shelves complete), and we were thrilled to see their beautiful shelves.  Sister Emily  prepared a fabulous lunch complete with homemade wine from her vineyard..we feasted like kings and celebrated the new library.
A little extra excitement here...a baby was born and was named after a team member: Andrew Price.  Andrew had visited the Maternity clinic where baby Andrew was born with solar lanterns donated by the Chapelwood Foundation.

Aubrey Siller, Morgan Kottke, Andrew Price, Hannah and Libby Williams, Haley Haltom
at the Oturgang Girls School.

Sister Elizabeth and the spread prepared for us..

Carolyn Cotham presenting a soccer ball to Sister Elizabeth of the Girls School.

Andrew Price with the midwife at the maternity clinic with baby Andrew.

Just about finished

We are now finished with all but one nursery school library (Kaberu) and a delayed opening of a library that we have already put on the shelves--Araa. Those should be done tomorrow.  That will bring our total to 22 libraries in the Zombo district, the Bethany Village library, 4 libraries for orphanages done in conjunction with Promise International, the Zeu Health Clinic library, the collection of books for the United Methodist Church's Bishop of East Africa and one additional secondary school which we have worked with local people to make out of the surplus books we shipped over.  BTW, those extra books are really helpful and have and will continue to make it possible to fill in holes and give some schools without libraries reading materials, until they can get a library.

I am also pleased that we are building capacity in the form of trained librarians who can help train others at all the schools and help encourage best practices.  We brought over books and other materials about library siciences and have worked with two gentlemen (Terrance and Deogratias) who are becoming experienced at setting up libraries, cataloging and so forth.  They are also looking forward to taking a one month University course on librarianship. It is hoped that these gentlemen can apply to other NGO's to acquire more books for the district as well as to receive the shipment that will contain the books remaining in the Chapelwood basment and those at the Christian Alliance warehouse. Ultimately, this kind of capacity building is key to there being a sustainable library network throughout the Zombo district.

We are also finishing up two related programs over the next two days--the Chapelwood Foundation solar lantern program and the de-worming program done in conjunction with our friends Dr. Todd and Sue Price. We will have distributed over 100 lanterns-mainly to schools, but also to several clinics that are allextremely excited at the prospect of light at night. Kind of amazing to think that at several of the clinics babies have been delivered in the dark  and emergency care must similarly be given by candlelight or in the dark.  Thanks to the Foundation's generosity that, and the students not being able to read at night, will be changing for the better.

Thanks again for everyone's help and prayers.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bethany Village Orphanage Library...

As most of you know , our Chapelwood team was initially split up.  Most of us headed to Zeu and the Loyd team headed to Bethany Village.  They had quite an adventure and eventually met up with us here. Andy Loyd shares a little about their experience….
  The Bethany Village Orphanage Library was a hit!  Upon landing in Entebbe, the Loyd team (Andy, Karen, Morgan & Jesse Kottke) told their Chapelwood friends, “goodbye” for a few days and journeyed to Kampala to set up the Bethany Village Library near Ggaba.  The team was warmly received and met with officials from the African Renewal Ministries in which oversees the Bethany Village operations.  From there, they were transported to the orphanage in a crude, handmade boat for a 45 minute trip on Lake Victoria.  Though the team had been traveling non-stop since leaving London, they were anxious to check on the arrival of the books for the library, the facility itself and the much needed shelving.  Pastor Mutaka was excited about the Loyd Team arrival and introduced us to Joshua, who was designated as the new librarian.  Unfortunately, the team found that the shelving was insufficient, so small shelving units were donated from the living quarters of the orphanage to fill the need.   The team was anxious to get started the next morning.  They were escorted, in the dark, to their living quarters for the evening.  The accommodations had running water and electricity from a generator for 2 ½ hours each day.  The Loyd Team had indoor plumbing, though crude by American standards.  They had to sleep under mosquito nets because of the insects and the bats.  Karen is not fond of small creatures and will almost yield to their presence.   They had a late dinner with the Pastor and retired for the night.  It had been a long and satisfying day.   
They next morning the team got up early and headed to the new library facility.  The room was a previous classroom, but was strategically located for the other classrooms to utilize.   The walls had been freshly painted and the donated shelving was cleaned and put into position.  The boxes of books were laid out and the team commenced to putting the organized, cataloged books in their respective places.  As the project advanced curious faces appeared in the windows and doorway.  After a few minutes, the children began to make their way in among the open boxes.  The team was eager to offer them a book and let reading circles.  The library took all day to set up and completely organize.  Joshua was there the entire time and instructed on the Dewey Decimal System and why the books were placed where they were.  The team had a constant flow of curious onlookers and no one was turned away. 
The experience and completion of the library was bittersweet for Andy.  Over a year had been invested into the collection and organizing of the books and the Bethany Village Orphanage Library was coming to fruition.  He would like to thank his family, friends and their Chapelwood Sunday School classmates and especially Bob and Kathey Lasalle  for all their hard work and for giving the “gift of literacy “ to the Children of Bethany Village.  Special thanks to Mark Cotham for his vision and inspiration for the Ugandan Library Project . You will always hold a special place in our hearts, Brother. To Chapelwood UMC, we are so honored and humbled to members of such an incredible giving church.

Arriving at Bethany Village Library facility.
Karen Loyd entertaining the orphans at library.

Andy Loyd reading with children.
The Loyd team in the completed library.

4 year old Rana reading "Jonah and the Whale".

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sending our love...Tuesday , June 21, 2001

Girls from the Warr School sending their love to us, we pass it on to our friends back home!!!!xoxoxoxo

Our group posing with our new friends after our trip to the market

Students from the Warr Girls School very excited about their new books.

These are just a few of the beautiful faces that wait outside of our compound. 

UMW and Mercy Street Libraries Big Hits

Today we built the Warr Girls and Alangi libraries.  These were the two gathered by the UMW and Mercy Street.  They were very well received and looked grat on the shelves. The Warr Girls School lost thier only sm all library last year in a storm.  Alangi had never had one.  Thanks to both of these outstanding groups at Chapelwood for pulling together such great libraries.  Wish we could fully express how grateful these folks are and how much this will mean to these kids.  I got a live chicken as a gift from Alangi.  That together with corn, avocado, milk and pineapple makes my haul pretty good. Thanks to all of Chapelwood and especially today the UMW and Mercy Street for having worked so hard and made these libraries possible. Mark