During our recent visit to Uganda, we spent one day at a Displaced Persons Camp, a DPC.   These people were part of a tribe which had been removed from land they had lived on which was due to be developed. As they didn’t own the land, they have been removed to a site nearby. The case has been in the courts for 3 years and is still undecided. And they wait patiently. We went to help The Open Door ministry group which visits once a month and treats the children for various problems like ringworm and jiggers. It was a sad and sobering day for most of us. The reality of our extremely comfortable homes here in the USA contrasted harshly with the living conditions of these people who are simply caught between a rock and a hard place. The ability to visit a doctor, hospital or clinic which is easily available to most of us is almost nonexistent there. There are millions of people around the world in DPCs–38 million in 2016 (http://www.internal-displacement.org/about-us/).

DPC6_cropped    woman at DPC

Before you go to sleep in your (probably) comfortable bed tonight, think of what you can do to make this world a little better for those less fortunate.

We conduct medical clinics at the Ugandan Gold Coffee farm for the workers and their families. Perhaps you can help us with the next one. Simply donate here: Donate

Every time you buy a bag of Ugandan Gold Coffee, you help the people who have a job on the coffee farm, enabling them to take care of their families in a way that would not be possible otherwise. Thank you!


Dancing and Celebrating

Do you ever get the feeling that you just don’t know how to celebrate well? Do you wonder what you’re missing out on? Watching some of the workers dance at a recent coffee farm celebration made me acutely aware that celebration is something I do poorly if I do it at all.

dancers_reduced 2

Taking time out of the routine to celebrate the good things in our lives will help us cope when the bad things come. Dancing–psychically moving–to celebrate does more than increase your energy. It can increase your ability to handle setbacks and can enhance an optimistic outlook on life. Look for things to celebrate and then get out of your chair and dance!




Are You Thirsty?

When was the last time you were really thirsty? I don’t mean the feeling you have after a work-out or yard work in the sun. I mean the thirst you feel when it has been way too long since you had a gulp of cool, clean water, when your tongue feels like it’s swollen and stuck to your teeth, when all you can think of is the sweet sensation of crystal, cool water relieving your distress. Have you ever felt that way?

Millions of children feel that way every day–and the only relief they will get will be an unsatisfying, small cup of unclean water, carried for miles from the local watering hole which is used by both people and animals for their daily needs.

waterhole, reduced

On our last trip to Uganda, despite many bottles of water and careful efforts to stay hydrated, I felt that way. The hot, dry day, baking under the unmerciful equatorial sun, had depleted me. Trudging up a long steep hill, I desired nothing more than cool water, yet I was in a place where that resource we take for granted was just not available. I felt that awful thirst which only lasted a relatively short time before I was able to obtain the water I needed. Yet I won’t forget that feeling and it breaks my heart that millions of children rarely get relief from their thirst. I hope it breaks your heart as well–so much so that you do something about it. Partner with us to provide that necessary water to children and their families in Uganda.  Click on this link to donate now: http://www.ugandangold.com/


Thank you!

We’re back home..

Traveling half-way around the world is not to be viewed lightly. It takes time, effort and energy. The rewards from traveling half-way around the world, however, make the time, effort and energy well worthwhile. I was privileged to visit the Wambabya coffee farm and be part of Jessca’s celebration. I know that the workers on the coffee farm are hard-working and dedicated to growing great coffee. I learned that our coffee workers are also caring, energetic and lots of fun.


The CEED business manager, Herbert Asiimwe, planned a terrific party to celebrate Jessca’s 17 years of work with the Ugandan Gold Coffee farm as the farm manager. There was music (with a DJ!), a fantastic lunch, singing and dancing and a few speeches that were testimony to Jessca’s hard work and devotion.


I also got my first taste of obushera–a local drink made with millet and many other ingredients. Jessca’s obushera is famous.


Traveling half-way around the world is arduous and time-consuming, yet the people we meet and the time we spend with them will be remembered for a lifetime.

January 2012 Trip to Uganda Update

Notes from January 2012 trip to Uganda …

  • Jatropha farm project …We visited the Jatropha farm. Plants are larger than when last seen, probably 6 to 8 ft tall. There are still 10 acres planted.  A 6.5 ft diameter by 15 ft deep tank is being installed near the river to provide a year-round source of water for irrigation. We installed a section of drip irrigation piping just to demonstrate how it can be done. The pump for moving water from the river-tank to the irrigation system has been purchased but not installed as yet.  Last year’s crop amounted to only 1500 kg (150 kg/acre). Hopefully irrigation and fertilization will improve the yield. Some harvesting takes place throughout the year.
  • Jatropha press … to extract the bio-diesel fuel oil from the seeds: We visited the Hoima machine shop that had built the press based on drawings supplied by Graham. They did a beautiful job. We tested the press and found the following:
  • Input = 12” dia x 3.5” deep bowl of seeds … bulk volume = 0.23 ft^3.
  • Output = 250 ml of oil (required about 10 minutes of press operation)
  • Assumptions: Each bag of Jatropha seeds weighs 50 kg (110 lbs) with dimensions of approximate 3 ft x 2 ft x 1.5 ft (= 9.0 ft^3). Then the approximate bulk density of the seeds is:  110 lbs/9.5 ft^3 = 11.6 lbs/ft^3.
  • Using this bulk density, the seeds we used weighed: 0.23ft^3 x 11.6 lbs/ft^3 = 2.67 lbs.
  • The oil produced = (250g)/(454g/lb)x 0.82 (specific gravity of oil vs. water) = 0.45 lbs.
  • Then the yield of oil from seeds = (0.45lbs/2.67 lbs) = 16.9%.
  • Total oil estimated from this years’ crop = (1500kg)x(2.2lbs/kg)x(0.169) =  557.7lbs.(or … 557.7 lbs at 6.15 lbs/gal = 90.7 gallons).