Annika Bengaard, standing left, and Madi Goss updated members of the Plumas County Board of Supervisors on their upcoming trip to Uganda. Improving education conditions in at least one area of the country is included in the program’s plans. The two students showed previous trip projects with a slideshow. Photo submitted

Supervisors learn about students’ trips to Uganda

Two members of the Rural to Rural program heading to Uganda in May spoke to the Plumas County Board of Supervisors on March 7.

Group representatives Madi Goss and Annika Bengaard discussed previous trips and upcoming plans to return to the African nation.

A typical trip to Uganda involves a meeting with Gerald Mbabzi who runs a coffee plantation. Previous participants have learned and participated in the process of growing, picking and processing coffee beans. This is a more primitive operation because this plantation doesn’t have the modern equipment other plantations use.

December Lazarus, another person trip participants get to know, runs a village preschool in Bwindi. One of the projects participants were involved with was putting a brick foundation in the school.

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One of the students explained that children wear uniforms to school, but they go barefoot. Chiggers are a big problem and they enter the children’s feet as they sit at their desks at the school.

“The school looked abandoned when we got there,” one of the presenters said. Since then they’ve sanded walls and painted some of the youngest children’s classrooms at another school. They also helped provide windows.

“It rained every day,” Goss said about the last trip. “It was really a fun experience that’s for sure.”

“Do you buy the materials there?” asked Supervisor Lori Simpson.

Goss answered “Yes, we try to help the local people as much as possible.”

Students in the Rural to Rural program raise their own money for the trip. They typically stay three weeks.