Today has been a day of ink and dirt!
While installing printer software on a computer in our loan office, Carolyn noticed a small leak of printer ink coming from the bottom of the printer which quickly became a very large leak. This in turn lead to a discussion about how our Loan Administrator can only get about 40 pages of printing from one ink cartridge!! Which lead to a discussion of the cost of ink and new vs. re-filled and other mundane details that I really don’t want to deal with but that have to be solved in a country where the simplest of tasks or problems can be unbelievably time consuming. Annette, our Loan Administrator, is an incredibly dedicated woman who works very hard and deserves to have all the tools she needs to do a very taxing job — and tools that function well! So while trying to change the lives of poor women, we deal with many of the same issues any office does!
Nonetheless, we were happy that were able to finish our first round of work with Annette, introducing her to the use of a cloud based file sharing system which will make our work with her more efficient and easier for all. We are proud that, in a remote village in Uganda, which a year ago didn’t have internet access of any kind before we opened our loan office there, will now be using some petty modern technology even while struggling with basics like printer ink!
At noon, we headed off to Gulu, a small city in Northern Uganda, to visit one of our microloan partners. This six hour trip was largely on a red dirt road with dust and dirt flying everywhere. We were very grateful to be in an air conditioned car (not always a given in Uganda) with all windows closed against the dust and heat. We are also very grateful to our driver and friend, William, who drives safely and carefully on very rugged and dangerous roads.
Tonight, we go to bed exhausted as we do most nights.