Saturday, May 31, 2014

Visit and Advise from Patrick Bitature

      Today, we got the opportunity to see and listen to Mr. Patrick Bitature. He is now a very wealthy entrepreneur who grew up in Uganda and is looking to move forward not only his business but also the progress of the country itself. Mr. Bitature felt that one of the main keys to success was not only creating temporary success but enabling long-term success through the support of education, improvements/changes within ourselves and using small successes to build upon one another to reach goals that you have set for yourself. This will allow you as a person to establish roots, which like a tree, will enable you to have continued growth. All of these concepts that Mr. Bitature mentioned to help improve ourselves, can also help whole countries improve. By treating business in the right way, job growth, and helping others, he felt that any country, specifically Uganda, can be moved forward. It will enable countries and people to help not only their selves but others as well. Mr. Bitature said that a country is “only measured by how we look after the weakest in our society.” This meeting was held on the site of his Protea Hotel in Kampala, Uganda. We also had the pleasure of visiting one of his work sites in order to see a project he is working on and his vision for the future. It was an honor to be able to spend this time with Mr. Bitature and learn from all of the experiences and advice that he shared.

Namugongo Catholic Martyrs Shrine

Chilling. The Namugongo Catholic martyrs shrine is a very powerful place, and a very important place in Ugandan Christian's hearts. As the tour guide led us around the campus we learned of the persecutions Christians faced at the end of the 19th centurry. He detailed the gruesome executions of 22 Christians, 14 of whom were burned alive at the site of the present day shrine.To commemerate the sacrifices made by their ancestors, June 3rd is a national holiday in Uganda where people travel (on foot), from as far away as Kenya, to take part in religious services held in honor of the Christians who lost their lives that day. This dedication shows the importance religion plays in many Ugandan's lives, as well as the lengths they will go to to uphold and honor their religion. How does religion shape the Ugandan culture? What role does it play in everyday life? And how does this compare to modern day America?

MUBS Graduation

The MUBS graduation ceremony today clearly showed how impressive and what a big deal it is to earn a college degree in Uganda, just as it is in America. In America, we go to school to get better jobs. However, while talking to the MUBS students about what life after graduation brought, many said that they would have to move away to find jobs, as it is very difficult to find jobs of their education level in Uganda. My project for this trip is focusing on higher education in Uganda and the positive effects on the economy. The lack of jobs for college educated citizens however does lessen the importance of going to college and getting a higher education to strengthen and better their economy. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Equator Shops/Ndeeba Market

Visiting the equator we shopped at small stores located on the side of the road.  The merchandise and artwork in these stores was produced by the shop owners.  It was interesting to see some of the sales practices used by these shop owners as we browsed through their merchandise.  The shop owners took great business initiative to open up stores in a large tourist attraction like the equator.