Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Transportation Costs

One evening we all sat under the moon together talking about very spiritual things (while playing cards). A phone call came in that prompted a very long discussion about politics. A local election was nearing and the candidates were campaigning for votes by calling all their friends. The part of that discussion that intrigued me was this.

Like America, various locations are established for voting. Unlike America, many people in Uganda and most of them in Karamoja cannot afford to go to those stations to cast their ballot. The cost could be close to $30 just to get to and from the voting location. Given that most people in this area would not have $30 for the entire year, voting was out of the question.

As another example saturated the discussion…conferences. Conferences, schools, and workshops are typically held in Kampala because it’s a central location. What this means, though, is that 50 or however many people must pay for transportation to get to these very valuable resources. Without the resources, growth and development cannot take place. Yet, for Pastor Martin the cost of transportation alone eliminates any hope of ever attending such a thing. For me to come to Takora, I paid the following:

1.      Boda from home to main road = 1,000
2.      Taxi from main road to Kampala = 2,000
3.      Taxi from Kampala to Jinja = 6,000
4.      Taxi from Jinja to Mbale = 10,000
5.      Dump truck from Mbale to Takora = 15,000
6.      Taxi from Takora to Mbale = 15,000
7.      Bus from Mbale to Kampala = 20,000
8.      Taxi from Kampala to home stage = 3,000
9.      Boda from main road to home = 1,000

That means I paid almost $40 round trip. Though not a new revelation, one of the most valuable attributes of Surprised by Hope is the fact that we can meet the people where they are. We reach those who cannot otherwise have access to quality tools because of financial limitations. So…thank you. Thank you to everyone who gives to Surprised by Hope so that teaching and ministry can happen in far away places.