“My Inspiration” by Ariokot Anna Grace

My inspiration – Giving Glory back to God

Matthew 15:4 “For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’”

Anna Grace – always prepared to work, rain or shine

I was inspired to do surveying by my Dad who is also a surveyor and has been practicing since 1975 up to date, retired from government in 2009 and now practicing as a private surveyor. I grew up seeing surveying instruments and my dad could over travel and then one time I asked him why he was never home and he said work but I didn’t understand because I was a little gal by then when results for senior four came back I had passed science especially math and physics and those being the essentials for surveying at university, I developed the mind of surveying.

While in my senior six vacation, I started going to field with him and I saw the way he used to do his work with love, care and integrity. My dad loves his work to date and does it with all his heart and life he is so passionate about surveying ,he is someone who can’t  sleep well when things go wrong in field and it will be the first thing for him to rectify the next day ,he does not leave any job unfinished. He has such a big heart that he even used his profession to show love to Gods people through supporting them as well as caring for them, I remember my mum telling me that in each district he went to he would get two best students and educate them and looking at this I told God I want to be like my dad that is to say I want to study surveying get money and not keep it to myself but use it to glorify Your name.

He has mentored some people professionally and spiritually and it’s so nice  that some of the people he mentored have always mentored me in so many ways, they have lectured me , trained  and supervised me for example Samuel Opesa who is a practicing surveyor was  also mentored by dad and Sam has lectured me and taught me many things.  Side Bar – (Opesa Samuel was a student of the Survey Practicum 2014).

I remember interacting with some interns whom he trained with, one said he enjoyed training with my dad because of the impression he got on the first day he reported for internship ‘he (my dad) and others at office welcomed me like they knew me before, the environment was so conducive and in the whole intern period everyone at office showed me love and care as if I was one of his sons.’ Said the internee.

Another internee I remember didn’t have a home in Soroti and didn’t have money for rent so dad decided to bring him home and we stayed with him (internee) for all his entire internship period this inspired me especially looking at how dad balances work and using his life to glorify GOD by helping God’s children and the needy This too inspired me to become like my dad i.e. to have a helping heart. These and many more have truly contributed greatly to my love for the profession and my prayer to God is he should grant me the heart, love and passion like that of my dad.

I must thank eMi for the great chance and opportunity that you gave me to be part of you during my internship it was truly wonderful you people did things just like my dad and this has left me conceived that this is the right way surveyors must do things, conduct themselves and relate with others. I surely should say thanks and may the good Lord richly Bless eMi and continue to provide for all the staff there.

For God and My country

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Field Camp 2018…

1 Thessalonians 5:11 The Message (MSG)

“So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind.”

Field Camp prayer:

Philly: Woow, wooow, wooow field camp is coming next week.

Prayer:  Ooh GOD, as we prepare for this field camp, we pray that you may be merciful to us as we seek for your safety because it’s only in the shadow of your wings that we find protection until the raging storms are over and save us from evil people and murderers ooh GOD. And that you may bless us with the knowledge and understanding as we execute this upcoming field camp. Amen

 

 

 

 

 

Field Camp – Amazima, Jinjj

Ready to go!

 

It’s just after 6:00 in the morning on July 9th, and as you can see a bright cheery bunch of survey practicum students ready to travel.

 

 

 

 

 

Team Three – Philly, Anna Grace and Grace –  A Bad beginning that made a good ending

Grace and Philly working in the rain

It all began with excitement and eagerness to travel to the Amazima sites for a survey field camp.  The field camp was planned to commence on Monday 9th July 2018 and end on 12th July 2018 and was purposed to  perform a  survey around the Amazima sites, capture and process topography data, as well as enable survey practicum students put in practice the different surveying methods and techniques learnt over the practicum period.

On that Monday, We woke up very early to catch the bus and we all left for the trip and on our way to the camp site, we had delicious snacks (samosas) and cake provided by patrick and Joan. Later on when we were about to reach the site in about three kilometers away, we lost track of the route to ‘Buziika’ from ‘Njeru’ and everyone picked out their Garmin_eTrex (hand held GPS) for direction and finally we reached at Amazima site in Buziika successfully.

On arrival, we were welcomed by the site administrators with whom we moved around the site showing us the property boundary  and other topography details. Jajja Joan as usual warmed us up with lots of sweets, biscuits, lollies and water which refreshed as all day during field work. After this, we prepared and began off with the survey work and after departed to rest in our hotel.

On our second day, we arrived on the same site in Buzika and prepared off for the survey by cross checking our equipment list, gather all the required survey equipment before leaving for the survey activities.

After all this, we moved to our survey area, setup instrument(total station) and began work and guess what happened. we had picked about 150 points without checking in to any control and when we had the first check back_sight, we realized that our measurement had an error of about one meter. oooh GOD, we were all puzzled about what could have caused this error and this made us become  frustrated for we had a lot of work data pick in that sunny hot day. We came up with a solution to delete the project and repeat the whole survey work irrespective of the tiresome hours of work we had spent. After more hours of precision work with concise and several checks, guess what! we closed with very minor error of about one millimeter, oooh my GOD! We were all happy, ‘Philly’ became happy as if he had scored a winning goal in the world cup,  Grace and Anna were all happy and began dancing in field.

From then, we became conscious and learnt a lesson that when picking survey data, neglecting small things can cost one the whole project work.  Learning from our mistakes, we became confident and move on smoothly in all the later activities. It was so wonderful to see such a bad beginning made a good ending of knowledge and precious work.

Team two – Benjie, Florence and Emm

Florence, Emma and Benjie. Check out the Maize plantation in the backdrop

Field camp was generally a success for our group mainly because we were highly cooperative as a team, we constantly checked on one another to see if we were all still on the right track and gave advice accordingly.  We had a few challenges here and there but we faced and solved them as a team together with help from the leadership team. Logistics like lollies, water and biscuits were provided time and again and these kept us going and busy.  On getting the second set of sweets one of our teammates explained why we were provided with sweets in the field, he said; “I now know why they give us sweets in the field, I have realized that whenever I eat the sweets I feel more energetic.”

I remember when we set up the instruments; base and rovers, we knew what we had to do and when to do it so we were in perfect sync. Like Jajja Patrick always says, we were always thinking about the next step.

On the third day working on the Buzika site we had to use a total station since the GNSS work had been exhausted but it was a rainy morning. To make matters worse, on checking one of the controls we established earlier we obtained a large error and we kept checking the same point over and over hoping the errors would lessen until we decided to use another control point.  Benjie: “I was the one holding the reflector at the time it was raining and I remember saying a quick prayer for my teammates at the instrument to trouble shoot and take the measurements very fast because I was not prepared to get wet at the beginning of the day.”

Benjie and Florence: We had the GNSS lines loaded in the data collectors, the essence of this was for us to follow these lines while picking points so that we could get sufficient data from the whole site.  As we were following these lines, we reached a point where they were passing through long maize gardens, we had to pass through while looking for the lines in the data collector but these plantations put up a good fight as we had to force our way through with the rovers while taking topographic shots and we got a few cuts on our arms.

Emma: While two of my teammates were holding rovers and following survey lines, I was recording field notes. Beauty about it was I didn’t have to pass through plantations however it was a lot of pressure for me since I had to record details picked by both rovers instantly.

When it came to the Amazima School at Njeru site, we were assigned to take topographic shots via the fence line. The parts where the fence line was passing particularly the swamp were cleared the day before to help us work better and faster the following day. However, coming to the area with the swamp, it was challenging for the team especially one of our team mates who did not have the right shoes for the job. Water kept entering his shoes, to the extent that he could not take it anymore and decided to take them off. The funny bit about this session was that we got a chance to see him sprint for the first time while in the swampy area. Unfortunately, even us the people with the right shoes for the job, got a share of the muddy water in our shoes. This was a really memorable moment for the team.

The field camp in general was a fun and adventurous moment for each one of us, with each one of us playing a role that enabled us to succeed in our tasks as a team.

 

 Team one – Judith, Jennifer and Steven

A day started with a beautiful breakfast prepared at the hotel where we used to sleep after which we would carry the instruments that were needed for the day’s work into the van that transported the entire team. On reaching the site we had a brief meeting in which we discussed the previous day’s accomplishments and challenges as well as plan for the next activity. Every team would then move to their work area and then start off with the filed work. As we worked Jajja Joan would make sure we had snacks to keep us going; they were really nice. Some challenges were met during the field work and most of them we were able to troubleshoot under the guidance of the leadership team. Lunch was served at the specific sites. Work would then continue after a one hour lunch break till 4:30pm in the evening. We would then board and head to the guest house, freshen up and then move out for dinner. This was a very wonderful moment since it doubled as time to relax after a long day in the field. Everyone would order for what they wanted to have for dinner and then make themselves comfortable.

 

Judith and Steven

This was the second and the final day at Njeru site early morning when arrived and started off with checking the controls at the site, on this note we had one control (200) in the bush where our instructor Jajja Patrick slide off when he was trying to break down the tree such that we would be able to acquire satellite and this was thing unbelievable but he always tell us that surveyors are strong people. We went on and completed checking the remaining controls after that off we started the work which we were assigned and then we completed before lunch time and helped the other groups accomplish their tasked. After each and everything was done at 5:30pm we had to set off to kajjansi were we stay, we arrived at EMI about one hour and a half then we off loaded instruments we had used

 

 

 

 

 

 

A “Beautiful Exchange” by Achan Solome 2018 Survey Practicum Intern

 

 

 

 

A “Beautiful Exchange” – Meeting David and Immaculate Lubanga – the Jajjas

2018 Survey Practicum Team Achan Solome is last on the right in the back row

On our return from a long day partly spent at the Buziika and Njeru sites for Amazima ministries on the 11th of July, Victor, the practicum lead decides to interest us in a visit to his wife’s grandparents’ house not far from the site as we made our way to the guesthouse. “He was a surveyor too. I would love for you guys to meet him.” Victor tells us as the driver gets closer. We probe him for answers as we begin to shape our expectations, “How old is he? How long has he surveyed?” He is 80 something and has surveyed for 6 years were what I remember. More questions spring to mind which I keep to myself this time round. Questions like “why only 6 years? Didn’t he love his job?” My questions were later answered in a cosy little home only minutes away.

On arrival, led by Victor, the students took their shoes off at the entrance and proceeded to greet Victor’s grandma in the living room…why do I say victor’s grandma instead of victor’s wife’s grandma? It’s because “here, you don’t marry a single person but the whole family” as Victor so lovingly put it. The students knelt down as they greeted her and the humility and respect that fell upon the room was heart-warming. All of a sudden Joan and Patrick didn’t seem “very jajja” in comparison to victor’s grandparents, they were simply Mwami and Mutyala; Husband and Wife. Not far behind was the grandfather, making his own grand entrance with one of those grandpa sweaters that just make one nostalgic. He greeted us all, who had now filled the room making a circle and facing the grandparents, all smiles and leaning in with eager postures to soak up all they said.

Pleasantries were exchanged and Patrick chimed in with questions of how long he had surveyed and which equipment he familiarized with to which he sought his wife’s assistance, and without skipping a beat she responds “1976” to the year he stopped surveying. In summary, he worked for an American company that was mapping different parts of Uganda and they used Theodolites. He was gone most of the time and every time he returned home, his children never recognised him so he bought cakes to grab their attention. By now, am dumbstruck though aching with a million questions. Then in a move to know about us too, his wife asks us to go around the room introducing ourselves and where we come from. We are spread out from the central, west, south, east and I for one, from the north. To all our surprise, the couple had been to about every inch of the country either through work or their children’s schools. She was a nurse, working at different hospitals around the country, he was a surveyor, gone half the time, yet they made it work and shared 60 years together. You can imagine the shock on our youthful faces…..60 years together! We are the generation that breaks up because our Instagram post wasn’t liked by bae.

He then showed us their wedding picture from 1959 on the wall, very beautiful in black and white, their family portrait, their children and the graduation photos, their visit to Ohio for their daughter’s graduation, their visit to Rome; which was twice, their deceased children and pictures of their tribe’s Queen and King and presents given to them by family. It felt like a fortress of beautiful memories on a solid foundation made in ’59.

I was inspired. The joy that came with 60 years is indescribable. He joined insurance on quitting surveying and is currently a happy farmer that had one of the little girls of his household take us through to look at the poultry and piggery section.

It was a refreshing visit that put a lot into perspective. What is more important in life? Why do we wake up every morning? I longed to have the youth of this generation crammed in the same room to experience what we had for the brief moment, witnessing the testimony of an old man as fit as any of us in the room and his wife with a memory as sharp and clear as it was at the beginning of their beautiful walk together.

Annually, the practicum students get a chance to play with the children in the ministry or neighbourhood during field camp. This year however, there was a hiccup in this tradition. And though we missed the way children help us see the child within ourselves at the end of a long day, I would love to think the different touch the Jajjas brought in holding up the mirror with love for us to reflect upon our lives was a beautiful exchange in itself.