First Impression!

Environmental NGO in Uganda

First Impression!

My name is Patrick Lindner and I will stay for one year in Kampala and work at JEEP as volunteer. I just finished my Bachelor’s degree in physics in Germany and wanted to work more practically now. My sending organisation, “artefact”, already sent seven volunteers, to work at JEEP, therefore it became a good cooperation.

I arrived in the beginning of August at Entebbe airport with a group of artefact volunteers, staying in Uganda. In the preparing week we visited the folkecenter with Annika, my predecessor who returns to Germany in September 2013.

I was quite nervous to see for the first time my workplace for the next twelve months and I hardly slept the night before. It was also the first time we got so far from the city center of Kampala.

When we got out of the matatu (minibus taxi) the clean air at the comparatively silent place let me notice how loud and smelly the city centre really was.

When we entered the office everyone greeted us so warmly, I felt immediately comfortable and all the tension just vanished. Thereafter, we all sat down and introduced ourselves. Everybody shared about their future workplaces all over Uganda, and Ruth, the CEO of JEEP posed many questions to us. Accordingly, Annika guided us over the whole folkecenter beginning with the kitchen and the bathrooms that I first thought, she told us before. At the center, the solar backup system is also placed. So the photo voltaic panels are up on the roof load with four batteries during daytime and in case of a power breakdown a 3000W inverter transforms the 12V DC voltage of the batteries into 230V AC which sustains work operations for staff on their laptops. This happened once, but everything worked perfectly without even noticing the difference.

We left the office building by the back door and the first thing I saw was the bottle house, which looks very interesting! This type of house does not need bricks, but is constructed out of plastic bottles, filled with sand. The bottles are recycled in an uncommon way from the other bottle houses I have seen before on the internet that are covered carefully making it hard to differentiate it to a normal brick house. At JEEP, the bottom of every bottle can be seen on the surface, which makes it unique.

We went on with the cooking pit with clay stove, where Eva, JEEP’s Service Officer daily prepares staff meals.

In the garden many different plants are growing even lettuce, which is really rare at the markets. Also bag gardening is demonstrated and now I feel like doing it, too, at the flat where I stay in Kampala.

The most impressive building, I think, is the guest house as seen in the photo with a solar panel on the roof and a solar water heater in front of it. This method of water heating is very uncommon in Kampala even if it can save a lot of resources. It is quite roomy in the house and two volunteers stayed there for the last two months.

 

“The most impressive building, I think, is the guest house as seen in the photo with a solar panel on the roof and a solar water heater in front of it” 

Apparently, I am working for some days in the office and I am grateful of being here because everybody is really helpful when I have some questions or problems.

I am sure this will be a great year with JEEP!

Patrick Lindner

Volunteer with JEEP