It’s been an interesting week. For starters, I finally – kind of – know what I’ll be doing over the next 6 months. I’ve also narrowed down the long and ever-growing list of potential projects I’d like to focus my time on. This coming week, our Executive Director will be in the office, so I’ll have more time to sit down with her and talk out my ideas. But until then, I’ll be helping out with upcoming workshops and learning more about Agricultural Extension in Uganda.
Anyway, this week in the office mostly consisted of reading, researching, and writing – three things I really enjoy. I was also able to attend the launch of the 2015 Farmer’s Manifesto. As many of you likely don’t know, it’s election time here in Uganda. So, the purpose of this Manifesto was to unveil the top 5 concerns Ugandan farmers are facing, and what they’d like to see their next government tackle. This made for an interesting dialogue, as it emphasized the need to support small-scale farmers, while also highlighting the every day struggles in the agricultural sector across the country. I was shocked to learn that 80% of the workforce in Uganda is in agriculture, but that only 4% of the National budget is dedicated to supporting this sector. Coming from an agricultural province, and knowing the plight of many of the farming operations there, put things into perspective for me. And, this actually linked to one of my potential projects – linking older farmers with youth interested in pursuing careers in agriculture. This lead to an interesting discussion with Aaron when I got home, as we both agreed that this could be a useful tool in Nova Scotia, as well. It could potentially be beneficial for the government to support agricultural apprenticeships for young people wanting to begin careers in this sector. This would be particularly beneficial, given that so many of our family-run farms are struggling to sell their operations.
|(Photo credit: ActionAid)|
|(Photo Credit: Food Rights Alliance)|
The week also saw some pretty intense rainstorms, accompanied by some even more intense thunder! Thursday I was caught in the rain on my walk to work. I, being a lover of rain, found this to be quite exciting. I had many locals waving me in to take cover, but I was so close to the office, I decided to continue. Looking back, accepting these invitations might have been a much wiser decision. Why, you ask? Well, because my (new) phone does not appear to have the same level of enjoyment for the rain as I do. And, as a result, spent the following two days in a bag of rice in an attempt to remove the water it slurped up on this walk. It’s not completely useless… yet. But, with a just barely functioning screen, it will have to be replaced at some point. Technology is not my friend. Friday also saw another incredible storm, but this one was, at least, from the protection of the office!
But, the real highlight of the week was our first Movie Night. A couple of friends from my office, and a few other friends stopped by our place for a Halloween celebration. We had intended to watch a scary movie, but instead ended up watching what was supposed to be a film about a psychopathic child, but might have actually been a conspiracy flick about a very disturbing government cover-up. I still have many questions left unanswered. At least we all had a good chuckle about the whole thing!
That’s all for now!
-the Orange Canadian