Thursday, September 27, 2007

International Aid and Fundraising Frenzy!!!

Hi everyone! Thank you so much for visiting my site. I really appreciate all of your support as we gear up to go to Ddegeya Village, Uganda in......a month! Holy cow, that's soon!

There are so many things on the horizon...I am SO excited. Here is some of the awesome (and not so awesome) news:

1.) We met with one of the leaders of an organization called "International Aid" today and spoke with her about a new device they've made called "A lab in a suitcase." It is the coolest thing ever! It is a suitcase filled with 70 lbs worth of diagnostic devices, such as a beautiful microscope, centrifuges, a battery, solar panels to run the equipment, and SO MUCH MORE. The devices can be used to test for the top 3 diseases in Africa: TB, Malaria, and HIV. What an amazing gift. They are giving one to us in order to collect preliminary data, so they may better understand how it works "in the field." This organization is also working for the World Health Organization, Doctors Without Borders, and so many other clinics in the exciting! Please check out their site at:

2.) We are broke. Yep, you heard me right. Absolutely broke. We literally spent our last dollar to wire some money to the Ugandan workers who have been working so hard to build our new laboratory (it looks amazing.....we had to stop building, though, due to a shortage of funds...we WILL come back and finish the roof, dangit!). Here is a breakdown of our current fundraising goals:

- Sept 28: last Friday of the month wire to John -at least $503 (+ $30 wire charge) for John and the nurse's salary for the month of September. If possible, also send $1,980 so we can pay off our construction debts + $200ish for John to move around during the month to get all our solar equipment and malaria supplies ready. TOTAL goal: $2,683.

- Sept 30: pay 1/2 of Gail's bill (grant writer). Her total bill is $2,145.00. TOTAL goal: $1,072.50.

- Oct 8: pay $400ish for the water testing and soil testing kits for Kenji. He wanted to look over the kits and review them prior to travel, so this should take priority over the books, in terms of what is purchased first. I might be off on the total. TOTAL goal: $400.

- Oct 15: $300ish for the 3-4 tropical disease books from Amazon. TOTAL goal: $300.

- Oct 22: pay remaining debt of Gail's bill. TOTAL goal: $1,072.50.

- Oct 26: last Friday of the month wire- at least the 24 days of salary for October. TOTAL goal: $604.

- Oct 29: fundraise $2,000-$3,000 for Uganda trip and all it entails. This will include the 500 malaria tests and the few other necessary items to make testing possible and safe. It will also include the salary for the translators, chef, extra medications, and Ugandan doctor assisting us. TOTAL goal: $2,000-$3,000.

HELP!!! I am not sure if this can be is going to take a bloody miracle. If you or someone you know has a couple bucks to spare....please think about contributing to Engeye. We would so appreciate this!!! Much love and I hope you see that there is a good cause behind my desperate plea for donations ;) Take care!


Sunday, September 23, 2007

November 2007 Dream Team!

Hi all!

Just a quick little update on the Engeye trip this November. We have
some new people on board, who we are SO excited to welcome!

Here is a list of the Engeye dream team (The A Team) as it stands, and what
people are individually working on to prepare for the trip =) Feel
free to write to the group and introduce yourself!

1.) Neil - MD/PhD from Columbia: malaria project, treating patients, music!

2.) Daniel - MD/PhD from Columbia: malaria specialist (we are SO
excited to have your expertise, Daniel!) and treating patients

3.) Kenji - PhD in engineering from Caltech: Solar panel superstar!

4.) Ing - Masters from Clark: Public Health needs assessment
specialist. In addition to helping with the malaria project, Ing will
work on questionnaire(s) to truly get at the heart of what the people
need from us. If there is time, perhaps we could have focus groups to
do this, followed by brief educational sessions (HIV, malaria

5.) Janie - Masters from USC in epidemiology: If Janie can come, she
will be working hand-in-hand with Ing on similar projects =)

6.) Marc Freiman - 3rd year medical student from AMC: malaria project,
treating patients, music (guitar, baby!)

7.) Christy - Marine biology from SDSU: Helping Ing with needs
assessment focus groups and educational sessions. Also, she will be
bringing a camera to take hardcore footage for a future documentary.

8.) Venus - Engineering degree from Notre Dame: Venus will be
troubleshooting irrigation problems at Ddegeya village and working
closely with Kenji.

9.) Misty - MD/PhD from AMC: Swinging from chandeliers. Right. Ha.
Malaria project, treating patients, needs assessments, and hopefully
acting as an effective anti-coagulant to maintain the "flow" of it
all. We'll see!

10.) 5 Rwandan medical students who are 4th years at their medical
school: They will be treating patients and observing what we do. How

What a great team....the A team, baby!

If you haven't already, and are interested, please send me a lil blurb
about yourself, how you got involved with the clinic, and the specific
role you hope or do play. We are working on creating a lil booklet
for the 5 Rwandan students, as a "thank you" for helping us out during
the week. It would be cool to keep in touch with them as well, so
feel free to include your contact information.


May the visas trickle in.....

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Engeye News!

Greetings Engeye Friends!

Welcome to our first-ever newsletter! We are excited to share with you our progress over the last several months.

Team Engeye members and volunteers have been putting in serious overtime of late, with the most urgent priority getting ready for our November trip. We are in a fundraising frenzy, to ensure the trip and all of its goals will be a great success. If we are able to meet our objectives, we will be one step closer to improving the unacceptable living and health conditions in rural Uganda. We have witnessed a need much greater than that on our own soil and are determined to make some noise. The daily suffering, easily preventable diseases, and unnecessary deaths cannot continue.

As always, our Ugandan connection/team member/ace-in-the-hole John Kalule has been working tirelessly to bring everything together on his end. As you can see below, construction of our vital on-site lab is well underway! Our goal is for construction to be complete by the time we arrive so we can begin to stock and equip it. We expect it to provide greatly enhanced diagnostic capabilities as well as extra income for the clinic.

Thanks to a 24 hour solo (yep, that's right, all alone!) run/walk-athon by Kenji Sasaki, who raised a total of $5,000, we’ve been able to make the progress that we have with construction of the laboratory in such a short time. His video on our site is a good watch!

Becky Thiebes, a business and litigation attorney from Foster Pepper in Portland, OR has joined the Engeye board of directors to assist in legal questions. We are so thankful and appreciative for Becky's generosity and selfless interest in our project. She continues to be an awesome support and resource.

Sadly, Dr. Bob (pictured below – under the solar panel) won’t be able to join us in November due to health concerns, and Stephanie and Brooke will have to remain behind as well. You’d think that that would be a problem…
But no!

Misty immediately stepped up to the plate and assured us she was ready to lead the team on her own. Also recently voted onto the board of directors, Misty's positive and enthusiastic dedication is a real inspiration. She has been and continues to be an integral part of why Engeye is a successful non-profit organization. What will Misty and the team tackle this November?

Thanks to help and guidance from Allison at the Uganda Village Project, the November team plans to carry out mass malaria testing with a malaria "quick test" AND treatment. We hope to begin to generate some accurate statistics in the region and curb a lot of unnecessary morbidity and mortality.

No surprise… our rock star of a supporter, Kenji Sasaki, will be installing solar panels! Yes! First time ever for the village to have electricity! We hope this is only the beginning of a major push to bring dependable electricity to Ddegeya village. With any luck our LED headlamps will be history. After solar has been installed, we have determined that our next step needs to be to raise the necessary $8,000 for the transformer so we can supplement our solar with the regional grid. As soon as we complete these electrical requirements, doors will open that we never thought possible . . .

Several musically inclined individuals from the November trip are going to provide music lessons free of charge to the village children! Another very exciting "first"-- music and instruments! With all the work the children have during their days, we can't wait to introduce a fun, creative outlet, and a break from carrying heavy jerry cans of water.

Through Misty's AMSA connection, we've been lucky enough to have befriended 5 awesome Rwandan senior medical students who will join us for the entire November stay. We’re so excited about all that we will learn from each other and hope this will be the beginning of a long friendship.

The continued generosity of Green Tangerine Media, our talented and gifted website designers, reminds us that random generous acts of kindness do exist! At no cost to us, they revamped our entire website. We added some long overdue pages, including a page dedicated to John Kalule, who leads all efforts in Uganda. He and the nurse continue to see an average of 40 patients every day. Check out the new site!

One step closer to raising the standard of living, now 40 village children are wearing shoes! With 5 boxes on the way, we hope this number will soon climb to our goal of 500! This project was inspired by and continues to be run exclusively by 4 dedicated women who decided to take this matter into their own hands. We will continue to update the site as new shipments arrive.

Out of the blue. . .
Two women at Northwoods Health System read an article about Engeye and are loading us up us with free, brand spankin' new supplies for the clinic. Now our only worry is whether we can tote them all down.

Dawna Heising, a marketing and public relations specialist, has been a continuous strong supporter of Engeye and is helping us spread the word about the suffering that continues in Uganda. Recently she nominated Engeye for the Point of Light award and the team has already received their autographed newsletter from Mr. George Bush! Pretty darn cool!

And finally . . .
We are considering the sponsorship of two of the most gifted Uganda men that we’ve had the pleasure of meeting, giving them the opportunity to earn certification in mental health counseling. Dr. Joe will sponsor one, and Engeye the other.
After the two-year program, gaining life-enhancing skills for themselves, we have faith that their counseling skills will allow them to give back to the community – providing a service in mental health that is currently nonexistent in the region.

And there still is so much to do!

But we continue to bear in mind that "a man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive; and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done."

John Kalule, wrote to us from Uganda today, "You might underestimate what you are doing, but let me assure you that you are doing what the government has failed for many years. Therefore your efforts are highly appreciated and cherished."

Thank you all for your continued support.
We ARE making a difference.
Your donations enable us to change the unacceptable living conditions in Ddegeya Village.

We hope you and your families are happy, healthy, and enjoying the small things in life.

Team Engeye