My Awesome Job

Trip Start Mar 11, 2011
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Trip End Mar 31, 2013


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Flag of Uganda  ,
Monday, August 22, 2011

Written by: Erica

Simply said, I have an amazing job.  I travel all over Uganda managing grants that support small community grassroots organizations working to improve the lives of Ugandans.  I specifically work with grants that help orphans and vulnerable children.  It is unbelievable and I could write forever about it. Click here to read a little about my job.  I am the one managing the Community Grants for "OVC" (orphans and other vulnerable children).  Our grants are a small part of the huge commitment the U.S. has made in the fight against HIV/AIDS around the world.  Click here to read about PEPFAR, the means to fund this fight. Our aid reaches so many different parts of Uganda.  I am meeting Ugandans from tribes and villages as far north as the Sudan border, as far West as the Congo border and as far East as the Kenya border. 

I see children and families in the depths of poverty receiving help from our U.S. dollars.  Having traveled so far away from our country has only made me love it more as I see aid from the U.S. being given to those in situations we can scarcely imagine.  Instead of turning away and saying this is too impossible, too great a problem, the U.S. is trying and working very hard.  I see it all around me and I am proud to be a part of it.  My job involves managing grants that ask communities to help themselves.  The U.S. is helping empower groups to create their own solutions to their problems. 

I cannot put my job into words.  Thank goodness a picture is worth a thousand words. 

(Click on any of the pictures to enlarge them)

I am always greeted so warmly.  Every time I pull up to a new village I never know what I awaits me.  The type of crowd may vary, but the feeling of warmth and gratitude does not. 
 
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Below are videos of students gathered to greet me.  I have included a video of a greeting in Luganda.  Yes, the speaker is talking to me and luckily I was given an English translation by the person seated next to me.  
CLICK TO OPEN AND WATCH THE VIDEOS BELOW:
 


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Some of the most amazing thank you gifts are the ceremonies, songs and dances that are performed. 

I have included some short videos of these performances.  These videos don't even begin to show what it truly is like to have all of these people singing and dancing for me as a representative of the U.S. Embassy.  It leaves me to wonder how can one ever place a true value on a gift like these.  Click below to enjoy!  
 
CLICK TO OPEN AND WATCH THE VIDEOS BELOW: 


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The organizations always like to present a gift of thanks.  
 
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The U.S. Community Grants funds a variety of projects.  Below are pictures of clean water, sanitation, and animal husbandry projects from 2010.
 
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Comments

Laura & Peyton on

This is amazing... you are amazing!! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. What a story you have to tell. Keep them coming. We are enjoying seeing your journey and hearing what you are up to. This brings tears to my eyes.
Miss you!

Danielle (bird) Cutler on

Oh my gosh! This also brings tears to my eyes. It reminds me of a family we got really close to in South Africa and the relationship we built with them over the span of a months time. I can't believe all that you are doing and seeing and experiencing. It's truly magical for you (and us)! Love you lots and big hugs to you and Rick!

Your Incredibly proud pops on

Erica, you have always been a very caring and energetic person. I'm so proud of the person you have grown into. Keep up the good work. Love Pops.

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