Bill Brick

Fellows Blog Posts by Bill Brick

Dec 1, 2008 UG Uganda

Not long ago, I was trapped in a mind numbing corporate cubicle, devoid of spirit, trading my time for money. I fantasized about days like this. Well, not exactly.

Grace didn’t tell me we were going into the field today. I was wearing my best clothes – navy blue slacks, a pressed white shirt and shiny black loafers, prepared instead for a day in the office. Naturally I was excited to join her and seized the opportunity without hesitation. “Nkokonjeru,” Grace replied when I asked her where we were going, “it’s not far.”...

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Nov 16, 2008 UG Uganda

They seem to always be where you are, which is to say everywhere, as repellant and inescapable as a maelstrom of gnats. Step around one and you bump into another. You politely wave them off and mumble “no, thanks” with a disingenuous smile. Making eye contact might suggest interest or intent; or worse, invite confrontation. So you learn to ignore them. Faceless, nameless, spiritless ghosts you look right through and beyond. They don’t appear in travel magazine teaser shots or in the imaginations those publications sell. Their sole purpose, it seems clear, is to detract and annoy and chip...

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Nov 7, 2008 UG Uganda

Poverty is a riot of inconsistencies and mysterious shades of complexity. Today, after a long week in the field, I’m wondering how anyone could possibly work their way out of the despair they inherited with birth when so many forces conspire against them, especially women.

Poverty is defined as a condition of unacceptable material deprivation, according to a particular society’s standards of what’s acceptable and what’s not. Poverty is widely acknowledged to be a multi-dimensional condition; however most efforts to measure its extent and...

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Oct 7, 2008 UG Uganda

I came across a flier this morning that I found as humorous as I did frightening. I wanted to share it with you, perhaps deepening your insight into just one of the many day-to-day rituals of being a Kiva Fellow in the field. This is a sequel, of sorts, to my earlier blog. I promise to move away from (no pun intended) the transportation theme!

I paraphrase:

Public Transport in Uganda: Be aware. Be very aware!

Over 2,000 people are killed each year on...

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Oct 6, 2008 UG Uganda

The 41 km road from the airport in Entebbe to Kampala is an endlessly spreading slum, the road choked with traffic and with boda-bodas and minibuses that serve as public transportation and which obey a vague set of driving rules. The banks of the road are littered with broken-down vehicles and garbage, and burning piles of garbage, and with ramshackle-looking developments. I can’t tell if they’re incomplete or if they’ve been left to deteriorate; every structure has heaps of sand and rocks and blocks surrounding it. The warm equatorial air is thick; the sun filters down through...

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Sep 18, 2008 UG Uganda

Everyone is this is room is an experienced traveler.  Collectively, we’ve ventured to the farthest corners of the globe.  Most have spent time in the developing world.  Yet, the excitement level is off the charts as we prepare for our adventures.  I’m humbled by the extraordinary company I find myself so privileged to among.  The learning challenge surpasses my expectations; there’s so much to learn!  This the type of volunteer challenge I’ve been seeking.  One that satisfies a profound social mission while providing a meaningful life expereince and a rare...

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