And then there was a roof…

Sitting at my kitchen table after a glorious sunny weekend in San Francisco and wanted to share a quick update on the progress of our new dormitory. The foundations have been laid, the walls have risen to full height and at last the roof is going up! As the funds flow in, the bricks are gathered, the roofing poles lined up and the older boys of KAASO eagerly await their new home.

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We have been blown away by the support shown and I am incredibly proud to report that we have now raised over NZD$10,000! A phenomenal display of generosity which means we can now do more than our original dream of just completing the basic construction; we can actually furnish the dorm with double-decker bunks (required by the school authorities – the original motivation for building this dormitory) so that KAASO stays legitimate in the eyes of the government. We still have an amazing donor who is matching $ for $ any donation made between now and the end of September and for this I am eternally grateful. We never dreamed we’d be able to come this far in such a short space of time so thank you, thank you, webale nyo.

I spoke to Rose a few days ago and she was absolutely speechless when I told her the second transfer of close to 7 million Ugandan shillings would soon be in her account. When she finally found her voice she said with a huge grin, ‘Ah Emma, thank you please to all of your friends for loving us. Really, they are loving us and we are appreciating soooo much!’

I’m forever humbled by Rose and Dominic and the world I stumbled upon at KAASO and I am so happy to be able to share with you this story of hope.

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From a foggy city to a village of hope

I have finally settled into a home on a hill where from my window the city of San Francisco sprawls across rolling hills and the fog, ever-present, hangs quietly overhead. It appears that after many, many months of roaming all four corners of the globe, this wanderer has finally put her feet to rest – at least for the time being. I moved to San Francisco a month ago and since then have traipsed far and wide across the city searching for a home, hiked vertical streets, dodged bell-ringing cable cars, and run around madly entertaining guests at sea and on land as the first San Francisco America’s Cup World Series event unfolded across the Bay. I have slowly begun to unpack and plant roots and, ultimately, come to love my new part of the world.

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Meanwhile, in Uganda, progress is being made. Since I last emailed from Paris, just one month ago, we have raised almost $5000 NZD – close to half of what we need to get this dormitory up off the ground. The pile of bricks we started with is rising and construction is ploughing forward. Thank you so very much to those of you who have donated so far, the gratitude flooding out of the village is overwhelming. If anyone else is still interested in donating, we have a truly incredible sponsor who has offered to match dollar for dollar any money received between now and the end of September! A very humbling show of generosity.

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There is a Canadian volunteer, Justin, at KAASO who has been keeping us updated on the dorm’s progress and sending through photos as construction continues. The goal is to have this building finished by the end of the year so it can be opened and the children can move in before Christmas.

Thanks so much to you all, from my little corner of San Francisco draped with African beads and dotted with Ugandan baskets…