Week of Sep 18, 2017
Website Update
Tim, Paul and Joe returned recently from their trip to Uganda. Their focus was continuing the construction of the new school and getting a new school year there off and running. We will be putting more about their trip along with lots of photos on the new website.
Our new website is nearly complete and should be up and running in the next month or so.  There are many problems with the current one, especially when it comes to loading photos or linking video.  Once on the new website, you will still be able to reach the archives of this one. 
Next trip: May 2013
August Dental Clinic Update:
Our trip to Uganda with Dr. Chau and his family was sadly cancelled the day before our trip due to the Ebola outbreak in Uganda. Since this is a deadly disease with no cure and we would have been working on hundreds of people, we all decided to postpone the dental clinic. Tim, Olivia and myself will be going in the new year for the start of the school year, we are looking forward to being at the new school site!
After a long period of time being locked out of our website and unable to change anything, we are happy and relieved to have solved the technical problem. Well, we didn’t solve it, a tech guy did. But we still can’t load pictures so a new site is still in the plans.
We are having an extra special year with HIPPO in 2012. In February, Tim, Olivia and I were in Uganda for the start of another school year at HIPPO. There were new uniforms, those who needed new schools received them, school supplies were purchased for all three sites, we visited Rebecca’s school on the other side of Kampala where HIPPO provides the food for her 400 students, we put together another 50 care bins for women out in a rural area near our Mukono school, and more houses (currently we are building house #128) were started for widows and their children.   Many of you donated the funds for the shoes, school supplies, library books, care bins, new housing, clothing, bedding, food, cooking charcoal, teachers’ salaries, medicine, nursing care and more. Most exciting of all was finally being able to see construction started on our new school.
Only with the wonderfully generous donation for land, was HIPPO able to purchase a permanent spot for a school last year. We had outgrown our first site years before and moved the older kids to another small rental site about a 7 minute walk from the first one. All three small plots of land with our school rooms were small and rented, with the landlords increasing the costs repeatedly and by huge amounts at each visit and the space for kids to play was becoming a challenge. 
Construction began on the school that would bring all of the students back together on one site. It has been ongoing since then, with Tim there again in May to organize and keep things going.
The students moved over to the new school recently and although it isn’t completely finished, they are enjoying their new classrooms and are thrilled to have a place that is permanently theirs. There is still work to be done on the office, medical clinic and library and finishing work like painting and stucco to be done on the classrooms. After that, we’ll work on shelving, storage and other things that aren’t necessities at this point but will be needed to function properly eventually. We can’t thank those enough who have contributed to building the new school, it has been so amazing to see so many wanting to provide a safe, effective and positive place for so many kids whose home life is the opposite.
We would like to acknowledge Krista, our AMAZING volunteer from Canada who lived in Kampala and worked with our students for an entire year now (bless her heart, that is not an easy task). She taught our students and staff a years worth of public health, personal hygiene, English, phys-ed, reading and just about everything else you can think of. They LOVE her and will miss her dearly as she heads back to Canada in August to pursue her Masters Degree. Thank you Krista and congratulations to you and Robert on your recent wedding.
Kare Bins
We have had another busy and exciting year at HIPPO. We continue to make our three trips to Uganda, coinciding with our three school terms. 117 women and their children have received a new house, 300 students receive full time schooling, meals and medical care between our three schools and we continue to do special projects whenever the need arises.  Both of our mothers came with us this past February and did an AMAZING job with both staff and students. They will let you know about their experiences soon on the website.
In February, we did a very special project for the women of the quarry. These ladies line up to be given the chance to work a 12 hour day breaking stone into gravel at one of the local quarries for about $1 a day. They use a small makeshift hammer to smash rocks into various gravel sizes, once their large jerry can is filled up, they can trade it in for about $1. They struggle to feed their children with such a low income and since food prices have risen dramatically, it has become even more of a crisis for hundreds of women.
For $25 each, we made care bins for 50 of the quarry workers. We made sure to ask the locals what basic needs should be covered in the bins and then added some special treats and personal care items. I was able to bring about half of the items from home, things that either I knew I couldn’t get there or that would be less expensive in Canada like the metal spoons, nail files, notebooks, lotion, dishcloths, necklaces etc. 
In each bin, which would become their washing bin, was 24 items:
2-4 toothbrushes (thank you Dr. Chau)
a 16” bar of soap
5 lbs of beans
5 lbs of posho
necklace and earrings
wooden spoon
peanut packets (their favourite snack grown locally)
2 metal spoons
2 cups
2 bowls
25’ clothesline
clothes pins
cooking pot
curry packets
loose tea packets
knitted bear toy (thank you Mom Ropp and friends)
nail file
cooking oil
We made up and delivered the bins over 2 days. Tim and Wycliffe headed out to the quarry and did quick drops as not to cause too much chaos. There was the inevitable chasing of our car and wealthier locals demanding a gift as well .....but this was anticipated and Tim was quick to pull out some candy and pass it out, this always works to make everyone happy.....ah the things we learn the more we are there! 
The ladies were overjoyed, many crying and laughing and thanking those who took time to think about their needs and were willing to give of their money to make these bins happen.
25 things for $25. – not bad and we can’t wait to do it again!
Thanks to everyone who made these bins possible! Please check out the slide show to see pictures of the ladies and their bins.
Night of the Toads
If you recall from our last web site update.....I had heroically travelled to Wycliffe’s village to check up on the many farmers we were trying to love in this drought ridden area of Uganda.  On this trip I discovered that their fresh water situation (which I described as a mud puddle) was probably the main cause of all their disease  and livestock deaths.   The villagers, because of a lack of an alternative, were being forced to share this water hole with their cattle which was causing unsanitary conditions to say the least.
Well,  thanks to 5 loving Canadians the amount of $8700 was raised to hire a local company from Kampala (whose business name also happens to be HIPPO) who did an incredible job first surveying the area for the best possible water source, then drilling some 150 meters and then casting a iron hand pump. This well will service some 400 locals and their livestock for years to come.

On this trip to Uganda I was joined by my buddy Dave from Australia who made the 3.5 hour journey to the border of Kenya with me to watch and film the well being drilled. When we arrived the drilling had already commenced and had attracted about 150 Ugandans who greeted us with singing and clapping as their prayers for fresh water were being answered right before their eyes. It was deafening as the carbide drill head slammed into the granite shelf causing tiny fragments to rain down on all us onlookers ...trust me...it was better than T.V.

We hung around with all the children and moms and farmers as the drill eventually hit water....expected by everyone.....because that’s what a drill does....but to the few who know....it was never a guarantee. You could spend a lot of money and come up with a nice dry whole. But Jesus blessed us as he was creating the world with a giant pocket of water to make this miracle complete.

As the hot African sun was setting we passed out toothbrushes from our Dentist friends and stuffed toys, many of which were hand made with love by some of my mom’s knitting buddies which really made the whole day and experience.....perfect. Little did we know what was about to transpire...
Now because of the long journey we were aware that we would probably be spending the night in this village...sleeping in a mud hut and we came prepared armed with our mosquito nets, blankets, pillows, mattresses, hand sanitizer and laptops....ready to face anything the Ugandan night could throw at us...boy were we naive.
The evening started innocently enough with an amazing campfire under an African starlit sky where we just sat around with some new friends, fumbling with our obvious language barrier. And being the great campers that we both are, we had already prepared our sleeping arrangements in a mud hut  before it had gotten too dark. Now apparently this mud hut was Wycliffes’ old house that his mom had converted into a storage hut for all her cooking needs.....hmmm this should have been our first clue of what lay in store for our two brave Jedi warriors.
We tucked ourselves in...and I mean tucked...we made sure our net which we had hung from the rafters was securely snugged under our mattresses thus creating an impenetrable barrier between us and the cockroach world which we were sure lingered just outside the reaches of the beams of our trusty light sabres. We said our goodnights, turned off the flashlights .....and were greeted by a wall of blackness. It was eerie to say the least. It was so dark...in a dank mud hut with no open windows or doors that it was almost shocking. It reminded me of the time I was visiting the Mammoth Caves in Kentucky, where at one point our guide turned off all the lights and you couldn’t even make out your hand in front of your face.   In the total darkness of that space your mind can play tricks on you but what we were about to experience was no game of the mind.
I’m not sure how much time had passed....it could have been minutes or possibly hours...but in the total blackness....all of a sudden.....are you ready for this?....pots and dishes started flying off the shelves. The rats had come undoubtedly for their nightly feeding. Remember we were sleeping in a store house which is probably better  translated....rats den....synonymous in Africa. With our light sabres extinguishing the night we scoured our surroundings for any uninvited guests....but they seemingly  eluded our glances....although when you turn a flashlight on inside a mosquito net all you see is a mosquito net, not anything past it....which was probably a good thing because if we had seen a pack or gaggle or flock of rats the silence of the African night may have been shattered by the squealings  of two little frightened school girls.....us.
We made sure our force field like mosquito net was secure by tucking and re-tucking it under our mattresses and tried to doze off but it was nearly impossible as our minds were running wild with thoughts of little fury enemies at our gates. But then it happened....I felt a cat run over my body.....wait a minute....Wycliffe doesn’t have a cat....I really wished he did. The night went on with intense paranoia. In the darkness all our senses were heightened making it impossible for us to sleep. Well impossible for us, Wycliffe on the other hand who was residing in another room in our dungeon of despair seemed to be doing quite well babbling in his sleep in some unknown tongue which was probably giving instructions to the rats to eat the white guys first....like I said intense paranoia.
When the rooster finally crowed and we saw glimmers of light cascading through the cracks in our roof, windows and door...we felt relief....it was over... or was it? Something seemed to be wrong. Our net was moving...like it was under control by a sick puppeteer and we were caught in his cruel play. I turned on my light....and to my horror....could make out toads trying to climb our net and get inside probably to devour us....intense paranoia. I had had enough. What was this? The biblical plagues of Moses? I had to escape, if it meant leaving my Aussie buddy alone to fend for himself...so be it...for all I knew he probably had not survived the night. I bolted to my feet....put on my Nikes only to feel something squirming under my arch....cockroach....rat....giraffe....no a big juicy toad.....perfect. I thought to myself....Who am I....Job? Fumbling into the morning air (with only one shoe on) I felt relief...the worst night of my life was over...or was my personal nightmare just beginning.
Fleas, body mites - something had gotten to me.   My body became inflamed with hundreds of tiny bites. Although...my friend Dave seemed to side step this last land mine....it would be my personal hell. For the next 24 hours I was in agony with a local limburger smelling lotion smeared all over my body trying to kill whatever  was ravaging me. I’m not saying I was desperate but I did sleep with a dog’s flea collar on for the first night back in Kampala... just covering all the bases.
The good news is that the well is working wonderfully and everyone in the village is so thankful.  The bad news is I have grown a fondness to milk bone doggy bisquits.  And if anyone says to you...”Hey, I’ve got a good idea...why don’t we go to Africa and sleep in a mud hut.” Run!    And if someone tucks you in at night and says “Nighty Night don’t let the bed bugs bite”  - go sleep in the car.
Make sure you watch the movie of the well drilling and check out our picture page of the hut we slept in.
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