Uganda Update

Hi Everyone,

This past week went by really quickly.

We continued leveling the classrooms for both buildings, moving dirt from one place to another. We are basically done leveling all the classrooms in the first building and have also removed all the berms around it. For the second building, we’ve leveled the two small rooms and are still working on the other rooms.

We also moved a lot of bricks to both buildings this week. The first building is built all the way up to the level of the bond beam (top of the windows and doors). On Friday, all the forms were set for the columns of the first building and we helped to mix and pour concrete. By the time we left, we were done with 5 and a half columns.

This weekend is our last weekend in Fort Portal so we got a couple of souvenirs. We also took group pictures at the site so we printed copies for everyone we worked with. We’ll be staying in Kaihura next weekend so this will be the last update from me in Uganda.

Best,

Eunice
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Pictures from the Uganda trip

Beginning of the construction of the classroom walls:

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The Uganda DEID team at the equator:

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Uganda Update – Weeks 3 & 4

We are actually in Fort Portal for the day. We were supposed to be in Mweya (AKA the safari) this weekend for our halfway point. However, last weekend there was some tribal violence in a town that we would have to drive through to get there. The town is at least an hour away from Kaihura and we haven’t heard about any other events since Tuesday. To err on the side of caution, Dr. Schaad decided that we would delay our trip to Mweya by a week and that we would continue to monitor the situation this upcoming week.

Also on the topic of safety, I’m sure some of you have heard about the warning that the US embassy issued for July 4th at the Entebbe airport. We are staying 5 hours away from Entebbe, and have no intentions or plans to be going into Entebbe until we leave on August 9th. So please don’t worry we are all safe.

As for updates on our progress, we are officially constructing two buildings, each building consists of three classrooms and a storage room. For the past two weeks, we’ve  made a lot of progress. Speaking in terms of the weeks we’ve been here, during the third week we leveled the trenches in the second building and then worked on the first building for the rest of the week. We started mixing concrete and filled the trenches with 3-4 inches of concrete for the strip footing (foundation for the walls) and also poured the spread footing (foundation for the columns). After that we mixed mortar and started constructing the foundation walls (laying bricks). After the foundation walls were done, the locals set up the form work for the columns and we poured all the columns with concrete. At the end of the week, we started back filling the trenches with the clay and soil that we dug up. We also moved bricks to different areas of the building from the brick pile (the bricks are unloaded off of a truck).

This past week (the fourth week) was a little slower. We’ve basically been moving dirt from one place to another the whole week. We’ve continued to backfill and level the classrooms, moved bricks for the second building and mixed more concrete. Despite the slow week, our team got a nice treat – we had lots of materials delivered on Monday and Friday so we were able to take the truck back instead of bike back! Both times we had to wait till at least 5pm (we usually leave at 4pm) but it was definitely worth the wait, we were all really happy, especially because the bike ride back to the house is much worse than the bike ride to the site (a lot more uphills).

Measuring our progress in terms of one building, we are behind schedule by a week, however, measuring our progress in terms of two buildings, we are two weeks ahead of schedule. Part of the delay is also due to the broken water pump, which was fixed just today (or at least hopefully), so optimistically we will finish leveling the classrooms for the first building, begin walling (laying the bricks for the walls above the foundation) and finish the foundation for the second building. 

The next update will either be in one or two weeks depending on if we go to Mweya/ make another day trip to Fort Portal. 

Eunice (DEID co-president and project leader for Uganda)

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Uganda Trip Updates – Week 2

We are back in Fort Portal for the weekend. I just got access to Internet and we will be leaving this afternoon and this time we won’t have internet access till 2 weeks later.

Last week we finished digging the foundation. We did most of the digging Monday through Wednesday and then made final adjustments on Thursday.

Since our building is on a nominally 7% slope, we had to have our foundation in 4 steps. With a 4 step/level foundation, we had to dig different depths at different locations. However, the local engineer we are working with had the Ugandans dig 3 feet at the lowest elevation, when we only needed 15″-18″ there. Because the foundation must be level, that meant we had to dig more than if it was done correctly.

The biggest challenge this week was definitely working with the locals and having everyone agree on a certain way of doing things. For example, we had to insist that the foundation must be level. Also, since we had to dig so much, by Thursday, we were all tired of digging.

The next step is to mix concrete, set the columns and set the foundation. Since the water pump was broken (we need water to mix concrete – and it should be fixed by now), and we didn’t want to start digging the second building, we took a day off on Friday. On Friday, some of us went to the school, the orphanage and the clinic.

We’re all excited to start mixing concrete next week!

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Events last week

Last Wednesday April 2nd, DEID tabled during Global Health Week where we demonstrated how to make water filters! Thanks to all who dropped by and feel free to look at the picture below for our awesome posters designed by VP of Publicity Matt Tobin. Pictured (left to right): Eunice, Elsie, and Jen.

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Two days later, on Friday April 4th, DEID tabled during Springternational, and we sold handicrafts made by local people from Uganda and Bolivia, where we did our service projects in the past years. Special thanks to everyone who bought these delicate items and dropped by for a cup of juice! Pictured: Eunice.

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Check out the new DEID Brochure!

The all-new DEID Brochure with our new logo is up! Click here and learn more about our organization’s values, missions, what we have done in the past and what every DEID-ers has to say!

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Check out our New Exec Board!

Congratulations to our new DEID executive board for the year of 2014-15! We’re looking forward to a brighter future that this enthusiastic group of DEID members will bring us in the next year!

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From left to right:
Matt Tobin, VP of Publicity

Billy Wan, VP of Documentation

Daniela Radvak, Co-President

Aibi Janat, VP of Events

Elsie Ling, VP of Corporate Development and Fundraising

David Rosen, Freshman Representative

Eunice Leung, Co-President

Not pictured:
Le Qi, VP of Projects

Wanyi Ng, VP of Finance

Please go to the Leaders page to see their pictures!

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E-Oktoberfest Success

This past friday was E-Oktoberfest! Thanks for everyone who made it out, it was great to see you all out on the Equad. We made some delicious corn and passed around some cool DEID/globe beach balls! Here are some pics, just for fun:

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DEID Hosts Avery Bang, from Bridges to Prosperity

Dear All,

Avery Bang is the executive director of Bridges to Prosperity. “Bridges to Prosperity provides isolated communities with access to essential health care, education and economic opportunities by building footbridges over impassable rivers.” Avery will be speaking about the impact and sustainability of projects in the developing world, focusing primarily on the current work that she does with pedestrian footbridges.

The event will be held this Thursday, October 10th, at 5:00 PM  in the Schiciano B Auditorium in CIEMAS.

See you there!

 

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Post GBM

Hey everyone,

We’re all glad the meeting went so well this week, and we hope everyone found it productive! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to send them to deidpresident@gmail.com. If you are interested in one particular project, please feel free to contact the project leaders. DEID also has a Facebook page to go along with this awesome blog, so definitely check that out!

We hope to hear from you guys soon!

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