Village Power 2000
Team Reports


"The kids have been great on this trip, although we have had fewer discussions on this flight because most of us couldn't stay awake on this flight including myself. I am keeping myself awake now by drawing pictures of animals and places we will see for the two youngest members of our group: Mary and Elizabeth. The weather outside is clear and we have been able to see Crete, the Egyptian coast and the Great Sahara Desert.

Although I should be excited, I am partly uneasy, because I know how much Ugandans will appreciate and honor us, yet I feel we are not doing enough. Yes, we are the largest US delegation to visit Uganda, particularly noteworthy because of the number of students, yet I cannot help feeling the 75 solar lighting systems we will be leaving is insufficient for the love and gratitude Ugandans will show us. Considering that 97% of all Ugandans are without electricity, 75 facilities electrified is not even a drop in the bucket. It's all we are able to do, but I know materially its not enough... Although materially our contribution is small, spiritually we are bringing hope for a nation. " - Alden Hathaway II

"I am very excited to get to Africa. We are getting closer and closer. I wish that I wasn't so tired, then I would enjoy it more."
- Pat Swenson
" We're flying over the Nile River in East Africa. In an hour or two my mission team shall land in Entebbe, Uganda. I am so excited to help the Africans, and so eager to start my mission work." - Jack Ssemanda
"I know I haven't, but I feel as though I've been awake for two days. The state of not knowing what time it is, or how much longer the sun will be up is bewildering, I think. I feel alright, through. It is exciting, knowing we are flying over Africa."
- Heather Hutchinson
"I have been very pleased with the people that I have met so far. It is always very interesting to see how people react when they are forced to get along. Police officers do what it takes to control and be in control of the situation at all times. This situation is obviously different... It will be interesting to see what I will be writing in two and one-half weeks." - Jason Wright
"First Impressions: Absolutely love it. The people are all wonderful, I see friendships being built and I hope to build lasting ones of my own. Oh yeah, I,m sick of plane food too. " - Alexandra Popoff

"When I found out that we were flying over Egypt I looked out of the airplane window and realized how close we really were. It made it really click that this trip was coming true." - Monica Rohrs
"I am really tired now... My eyes see the sun set and rise and tell me one thing. I think it is trying to tell me that it doesn't care where the sun is, it just wants to sleep. And my watch, which is set to some time zone somewhere, is telling me something else. But, in spite of my tiredness, I am happy to be here and am enjoying getting to know my team members." - Matthew Richardson
"As we draw nearer to Entebbe, I think the level of anticipation is rising. We all have questions about Africa, its culture, and its people. We are all wondering what type of experiences we will have and what kind of legacy we will leave." - Sean Jecko
"It's nothing like two good 7-hour plane rides to make you get over your fear of flying. Thanks to some skillful takeoffs and landings, lots of motion sickness medicine and a lot of encouragement, my first accomplishment of this trip is that I am no longer afraid to fly." - Teresa Hansen
"I was amazed to see how well we fit together so quickly. I feel we have really begun to bond as a group and am looking forward to looking forward to meeting or other half of our group, the Ugandan's." - Cassie Nielsen
" So for I am having the time of my life! It's been really great talking with all the youth and the chaperones traveling with me. Even though it was just a few days ago that I met everyone for the first time, already they have made me feel so welcomed and so comfortable. Now with less then a half an hour before our arrival to Uganda I'm still not really sure how I feel. I'm half excited, half nervous." - Barbara Michell
"It's been more then 17hr's since we left Newark¼ I don't even want to try to figure out how much time it has been since I last seen a bed. Most of the past two days have been spent waiting for the plane to arrive for the plane to board for the plane to take off and for the plane to land. But the whole time there is a broader sense of waiting. We don't know whats about to happen, but it's big. Right now we are flying over Africa. We can't see it through dense clowds, but it's down there. It's strange to just sit and think WOW THAT'S AFRICA." - Art Whaley
"For being on a plane for 15 of the last 24 hours, I feel pretty good. Jet lag hit me hardly at all and now my excitement of actually getting close to Africa and Uganda is covering any tiredness that I should have. After all the months of waiting, at last the time has finally come to step off the plane - the final one and meet the Ugandan Country. All my expectations and hopes and even fears will be recognized in the next few hours." - Simon Setcavage
"I'm thrilled that I'm about to set foot in Africa, but right now, the foremost thing in my mind is sleep. By my calculations, I will have been up roughly 35 hours straight by the time I get to go to bed. It's so very exciting to see the relationships building with the kids since we left Newark. Everyone is from a different place with a different background, yet I see a team quickly forming and it is beautiful. We are all so ready to be landing in Uganda." - Charlene Turner


"The Team is being received like heads of state, by hundreds of people, with 60-80 people standing in line with gifts to present -- including, so far, three goats! I can see how important our work is for the people of Uganda. When Cassie Nielsen demonstrated the computer to Janet Museveni, the First Lady, she gave Cassie a big hug, and said to me clearly, 'We will talk again.'

Today I learned to do an African dance, and everyone was elated. Tomorrow afternoon I will be teaching all the kids this African Dance, in a big circle, and the villagers will join us. This will also help to integrate the American and African youth Team members.

So far about eight or ten solar systems have been installed. Everyone is well -- it is a very demanding pace." - Allan Baer

"We are here in the pygmy village and will try to call back from the school if our battery holds out. Everything is going smoothly. We have lots of stories and are working on a report for how solar power can support sustainable development. We have staff from the office of the First Lady (of Uganda) with us, and we are preparing a report for her on the promise of solar energy and the Village Power project. The report should be ready in a few days." - Allan Baer

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