Welcome to CCA’s international development blog page devoted to the Uganda/Malawi Coaching program. Enjoy the sights and sounds, the people and places as experienced by 3 credit union volunteers on the frontline of development.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Uganda/Malawi Coaching Mission - Day 1

Our three bloggers have arrived in their respective African countries after a few travelling hiccups due to snow and ‘lost’ travel documents. Everyone arrived safely and while struggling with slow internet connections have managed to share some of their experiences so far...

Malawi – Robert - “The Credit Union movement in Malawi is alive and well!”

Happy to report that credit union numbers have increased from 70,000 to 100,000 in the past year, Paul (my coaching partner) and I are working with two SACCOs in Blantyre, South Malawi. A day of hectic driving through potholes, fog, people, livestock and being on the ‘wrong’ side of the road was rewarded with beautiful scenery of lush green hills and a delicious meal of Chambo, a white fish delicacy of Malawi. Tomorrow begins with an early meeting at the MUSCCO regional office and then a meeting with the Sunbird Tourism SACCO, with no fear of more chaotic driving, as the SACCO is housed in our hotel.

Uganda – Charlie – A snapshot of Day 1

Sorry everyone but the internet access here is brutal.

Another short night. We got in at 9:30pm (local time) which is 8 hours ahead of most of you. John Katwaza (our driver from last year was at the airport to pick us up). I don’t have a lot of time as there are others who need to use this hotel computer, so here’s a "snapshot" of things that stuck with me from

Day 1

- great debrief meeting with the UCA and a nice lunch.

- a 5-hour drive afterwards to Mbarara in west Uganda - more beautiful country side than the east.

- John is an amazing driver, thank God, anything less won’t get you to where you need to go around here.

- I stood on the equator (really).

- bad year for potholes - tons of them and most are big enough to squeeze a Volkswagen into them.

- side of the road vendors - lots of sweet potatoes, fresh tilapia and I mean fresh.

- a maybe 5-year-old dragging his maybe two-year-old sibling into stalled traffic to try and touch the hearts of the white people in the truck for some spare change - parents in the distance watching.

- no one fazed by the thick deep red mud that is everywhere right now due to the heavy rains the night before.

- saw the Uganda president’s motorcade whiz thru the city - very cool.

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