Date: Tuesday 11 June 2019
Time: 10:46PM
Location: Bedroom #6 – TOKYO Dorm

O boy, we got internet. Time to get the show on the road 🙂 After about 11 days of being here in Uganda, I finally have a reliable way to access the internet!

Phone Services in Uganda

Through the telephone providers here in Uganda, I’ve learned that data is pretty damn cheap. For a monthly plan of 9GB (which is what I’m doing) I am paying 30,000UGX or less than $9. Pretty good if you ask me, I mean we do get paid a volunteer’s salary… which isn’t that much, but it’s enough to get by. Since I don’t really need to be surfing YouTube or anything, the main thing that I’m planning to use my data is for this website, and Google of course.

But, for those that do not know, Uganda also has this thing called a Social Media Tax. It’s a tax of about 6,000UGX (less than $2) that every person must pay in order to use Social Media and its related services. It’s not much, but it’s still something you’d have to consider if you’re planning to buy a phone plan in Uganda.

Okay, enough about phones, HOW ARE YOU?


Especially good today since it was our first taste of being in the field. In our field, AgriBusiness Economic Development, we were set on a task of splitting ourselves up in to small groups to do what’s called a “Needs Assessment.”

A Needs Assessment is basically saying: hey, how are you doing? how can we help? In a very relaxed way.

Splitting in to groups, we were assigned to either an agriculture site or a school site where we would conduct such an assessment over the course of two visits, one week apart from each visit. This first visit is basically all about trying to get our target audience comfortable talking with us. From this initial contact, we take the information we got from our visit and figure out what we can do for our audience the next time and implement our plan based on the information we gathered.

For example, a scenario like this might look like a visit to the farm, talking with the farmers and noticing that they had not made a plan to save after selling their crops. Taking that information, we consult with our team and then proceed to make a plan. With that plan, we return the following week to the farmers and present our plan, with the reasons provided from the previous meeting.

Our first assignment? Conduct a Needs Assessment on a classroom of kids age 12 and up.
My first thoughts? Oh my… what do I do LOL.

Panic. Anxiety. The Feeling of Not Knowing

My initial thoughts set my back, I was getting those same thoughts of “what am I doing? I can’t do this?!”

I have never taught a class. I am no teacher, I’m just a computer guy.
I have never worked with high school kids, all I did was hang out with little kids from my last job.
I have never done a Needs Assessment of any kind.

But I had to control myself, I had to find a way to cope with all of this. Literally, taking a deep breath, I had to calm myself down and realize that while I don’t have all the answers now, I can still make my way through this. Whether I have gotten myself in to the Peace Corps by sheer luck or not, I had to make the call to get through this. I went through my thoughts and calmed myself down. Taking that short breath and letting everything settle, I went about trying to figure out what previous experiences I could fall back on:

I have worked with kids before, in general, I worked at an elementary school!
I mentored many kids in college as a peer advisor, I can talk to high school kids!
I have done a Needs Assessment before, it was called my Quarter-Life Crisis 🙂

What a rush of emotion in those 30 seconds of going through sign-up, but here we are, we made it and with our initial contact trip all done, we’re ready to start planning our next move next week. What are we going to do? I’ll let you know when I figure it out, haha.

Ending mood: Content

I’m extremely content with what went on today, and mostly excited that I can finally continue posting on my website. Hope to add more pictures soon!

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