Friday, March 23, 2012


So big and great news from Jimmy's well in Pingere, the one that we had all the trouble with it silting in around the filter, it is producing clean water and lots of it!  So the next time we head out to Pingere we will have pictures of a finished working well!  God is good!  And I am so proud of Colin and all the guys and  the work they did on this well.  

This is the reason I have been sick all week...But I don't care!  Who could say no to those sweet faces!   I will always let those babies climb all over me.  

Colin and some of the crew working on Jimmy's well in Pingere.

This is King Solomon.  My friend Jennifer got a call about him and if she didn't take him he was as good as dead.  So she is now the foster parent of this two week old little guy.  I have to say, moneys are pretty neat creatures!  

We are still trying to finish up Helen's well, but they have hit some pretty hard rock.  The hole had to be moved twice now and things are moving at a slow pace.  Please keep Colin and all the guys in your prayers. We would really like to get a well in this area to help a number of families get clean water without having to walk over a mile.  

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


As my relationship with my Heavenly Father continues to grow I am finding myself in awe of how He works through me and around me.  It is neat to me to look back and see where He was working in my life and it is even cooler to me when He does something in the "right now".  Let me explain a bit further.  I went out to the village this morning with Colin and the crew.  I love going and we are currently drilling a well at the home of a lady whom I have really come to treasure.  Her name is Helen.  I didn't get to go yesterday so I was excited about making it out to her house today.  However I have had a head cold and today is the day where my ears are all stopped up, my nose is running, and I have started coughing.  I feel as though my head weighs more than it should and my eyes are about to pop out.  So when Colin needed to run back to the shop, I went too.  I needed to stay home, but so badly want to be out where they are drilling.  

Now onto the cool thing that only God can do.  When I got home and checked our email I found we only had one new message.  It was from a man that I have never heard of, and to be honest I didn't know if I should even open the email thinking it was going to be some sort of spam.  But I opened it and it was from a pastor of a church we have never attended in a town we have never been.  He read an article about us from the San Angelo Standard Times and felt led to challenge his church to begin praying about supporting us.  They knew from the article that we hope to purchase property and start a research farm here in Uganda some day.  He wanted us to be in prayer as is his church about how they can help make that dream a reality.

Now, to some this might not seem like too big a deal, but to me I see it as God's hand.  I am convinced that He is going to use this pastor and the church that he pastors to bring Himself glory, and if God wants to use us all together that is just awesome.  Never ever under my own power would I have been able to find this church and present them with what we do here in Uganda.  But lucky for me I serve a Big God who is very capable of working out all those details.  In fact its not even that big of a deal for Him to do so!  So we will pray that God will show us what it is that He wants us to do.

On another note.  When we were in Pingere last week, I was reading in Hebrews.  It was the end of the first day of drilling out there and I opened up to where I had left off the day before.  I picked up in chapter 11 verse 1.  This is what I read, "Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen."  How perfect!  Here we are drilling, hoping that we can make a well.  We have complete and total faith in what we can not see and that the Lord will bless the work we are doing.  I re-read that chapter when I woke up the next morning and I was reminded of all the people in the Bible that had absolute faith in God.  They had absolute faith in Him in some of the hardest times written about in the Bible.  I mean, I don't know if I were faced with a huge body of water in front of me, and a army of very angry Egyptians closing in fast from behind if I would have the faith to do what the Lord asked of Moses.  But I am thankful that the Lord has yet to ask me to part any bodies of water.  I struggle still with even the simplest of things.  Someday, however, He may ask me to do something big like that and I just pray that I am ready when He does!   

Just a few things to be praying for:
-The well at Helen's home, that it is a great producing well and they are able to get it drilled within a few days.
-My cold to go away...
-One of the girls that lives here, named Jennifer (about 10 years old), who was VERY sick the other night.  We had to take her to the hospital because she passed out at 5:00pm and never woke back up.  She was like a rag doll when we took her to get treatment and never even moved when they were trying to get an IV started, and they did that twice.  I am still not sure what was wrong with her, but I do know that she has HIV and TB.  Just pray for complete healing in her little body.  She is back at GC now.
-Colin's back and neck has been out of place and he has been in a large amount of pain and can barley turn his head to look, so please pray that he receives some relief from that pain.  
-Colin came in from drilling this evening and informed me that they lost a drill bit down the hole.  Pray they are able to recover it and continue drilling tomorrow. 

Thanks to everyone who is praying and for your support!  

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Two weeks of drilling

We have had two great weeks of drilling and have two wells to show for it!  Colin and the crew have been working really hard these last few weeks to get some wells done before the rains start and we lose most of our help. They drilled the first well at the church in Obule and the second well in Pingere near Lake Kyoga.  The well at the church isn’t going to make a great dry season well just yet.  It may turn out to be a great well, but right now because it is so dry it has only one foot of water in the bottom of the casing.  However, once the rains start it should have more water and work fine.  We were really hoping that it was going to be a high producing well and that we could use it to do demonstration with irrigation and farming at the church during the dry season, but we may have to find another location for that.  It’s ok though.  This is why we are here, and we knew there was going to be a learning curve with drilling in this area. 
Colin and Moses getting the pilot hole started in Obule Okalis.

Odongo Sam, Immanuel, and Ojoke drilling through tough rock.

The second well in Pingere was completely different.  It took only one full day to get down into the sand and 11 meters in the ground.  It took six days to do that in Obule.  In Pingere we were able to case it the second day and found that the water came up 8 meters in the casing!  We have hit one road block and that is silt that has collected around the filter and that makes it hard for the water to enter the casing and fill the rising main.  But we do have a solution.  We are going to pump water with a trash pump back down the casing and try and force the silt away and out of the hole.  Then gravel and sand pack around the filter in hopes that the sand will help catch some of the finer silt.  Colin has been in contact with another driller in the area who uses a rotary rig and his advice to continue conditioning the well and backwashing the silt from the hole. 
While we were drilling in Pingere we stayed one night.  It was my first time sleeping in a round mud hut, and it was great!  I actually slept!  That never happens when we are out in the village for the first night.  Pingere is a neat place.  It is right on Lake Kyoga and that meant we got to eat great fresh fish!  Colin and all the guys went to the lake so they could bathe and he said that for most of them it was the first time they had ever been around a lake.  He said they were a bit fearful because they all thought that it was going to have a beach and slowly get deep, but that is not the case.  There is lots of grass that grows on the edge and you have to take a hollowed out tree boat to the open water.  Once the guys got out in the boats in the deep water, the lake became real!  But almost everyone LOVED it!  When Jimmy (the guy we drilled a well with) said that it was time to go back, Moses (one of our guys that works for us) stood up in the boat and told him that he didn’t want to go back!  Solomon (another one of our workers) could not believe that he stood up in a boat in a lake.  We had a good laugh while eating that evening as the two went back and forth over Moses standing up and being brave and Solomon being fearful and crawling around the bottom of the boat never letting go of the sides.  Not one of the 15 or so guys that helped with the drilling and went on the lake adventure can swim.

This is the truck we hired to haul all of our equipment from Obule to Pingere.  
We are so very thankful to be able to go and work with these wonderful people.  They always thank us for coming and that we are blessing them, but truth be told, we are being blessed more than they will ever know.  This truly is a wonderful place with wonderful people and we know that God has great plans for this area.  We are excited to be just a small part of it. 

Ojoke and Samuel drilling Pingere.
Thank you to everyone that continues to pray for us and sends us encouraging words.  We love hearing from our friends and family, so please continue to write!  We try and respond to everyone that sends us a message, but if we have failed to do so please forgive us and resend.  Our power and internet come and go here, so we may have read it and wanted to respond but due to a bad connection we may not have been able to.
We will start drilling again on Monday at my new friend Helen’s home.  So keep us in your prayers on Monday!        

Our diet here in Uganda

This blog is to give you an idea of what our everyday diet is like here in Uganda.  For Ugandans, the diet does not change much.  They pretty much eat the same thing day in and day out.  When we are out in the village drilling, we tend to eat the same thing for breakfast everyday – porridge and mukake.  For lunch we have beans and posho.  I have included some pictures to give you a visual.  Porridge is very similar to runny grits with sugar.  It is made from posho flour.  Mukake (don't know how it is spelled) is sliced and dried sweet potatoes that have been somewhat rehydrated in a saucepan with warm water.  It is served as a large browninsh-gray clump that you all eat by pulling pieces off.  It has turned out to be the only thing I am not very fond of.  I have gladly eaten everything that has been served, but the rehydrated sweet potato lump just didn’t do it for me.  I even ate fried termites one evening after our Land Rover hit a large termite mount which bent our sway bar and temporarily rendered our vehicle undrivable.  The termite mount accident drew a large crowd both because of the excitement and because we exposed the delicious termites.  Some man walked up to me and said, “my friend, have you ever had these (termites)?”  I had not, so I grabbed a few and ate them… then grabbed a few more.  They sort of tasted like sunflower seeds to me.

This is our normal breakfast when drilling.  This is a pretty typical Ugandan breakfast for this area.  The brown stuff is mukake (spelling?).  It's rehydrated sweet potatoes turned into a mash.
Termites are not part of our everyday diet though.   On a typical day we eat what the Ugandans eat.  Lunch almost always consists of beans and posho.  Beans are just dried pinto beans that have been cooked usually with a little tomato and onion.  Posho is sort of a really thick grits-like substance that has little flavor (possibly no nutritional value), but is super-filling.  After eating it you can feel the cement-like posho filling your stomach for hours.  This is also the reason the Ugandans seem to love it.  One thing I have learned about the Ugandan diet is that many of the foods they eat on a regular basis have been chosen because they are filling.  People here like to feel full.  It would seem that a balanced diet is less important than a feeling of fullness.  People here have known and will probably know again at some point hunger, and they eat the foods they do because they are inexpensive, and are filling.  The traditional Ugandan dishes are very good and we like it when we get the opportunity to eat these foods. 
This is a photo of our table when we are out in the village drilling.  These are beans and the white stuff in the middle is posho.

You cannot find canned goods here, so everything must be purchased fresh.  That is not a bad thing because we are able to go to the market often and buy fresh potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, greens, fruit, beans, and peppers.  With the abundance of fresh produce we always have a number of options.  From these fresh vegetable we make soups or cook a bunch of stuff together in a skillet.  Ronnie has taken to experimenting in her cooking and every single meal she has cooked here has been wonderful.  On a typical day, when we are home, we eat porridge or bananas for breakfast.  For lunch we usually eat beans and posho with the Global Care staff.  For supper we change things up quite a bit.  Rice, beans, and potatoes are pretty much our staples.  We live close enough to Lake Kyoga to get fresh fish, so sometimes we eat Nile perch either baked or fried.  We are very blessed to have fresh fish available daily if we choose to buy it.  Ronnie has made homemade spaghetti sauce from tomatoes a few times and we have had noodles with it.  Fruit is readily available so some of our meals consist of cut up pineapple and mango.  I like to include avocado with just about everything I eat.  One great food we found here is called a "rolex".  It is a chapati (greasy tortilla) with eggs and tomatoes and onions rolled up inside it.  Rolled eggs is where they get the name rolex.  These things are great!

We have supermarkets in town that carry many western food stuffs such a cereal, ground meat, juices, cracker and cookies, yogurt, milk eggs, noodles, sometimes cheese, etc.  It is nice that these things are available, but because they are imported and not easy to get, they are generally very expensive, even by U.S. standards.  A box of Kelloggs corn flakes can cost 20,000 ush which is approximately $8.50.  So we tend to pass up many of the foods we were used to eating in Texas, and have adjusted our diet.  I rarely if ever miss anything food-wise.  We do not eat meat very often, and being a huge carnivore I was afraid I would experience beef withdrawals, but it has been painless not having meat all the time.  I think this must be just one more area where God has so graciously blessed us.  We have not lacked for anything or been in want.  The food here is great.  We even have great quality coffee!  Having an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables has certainly made us healthier.  I am trying to counteract the healthy fruits and vegetables by eating as many greasy chapatis as I can.
This boy caught a bush rat for us to eat.  Bush rat is not currrently on our menu.  I declined his offer and  let him keep his catch.