17 October 2007

Count the cost... of your next trip

Uganda has become a popular destination for churches interested in missions… thanks for coming!

Seriously, this post is not to scare anyone away or to say you shouldn’t come… just some thoughts to consider.

Mainly, did you get your monies worth?

Flights to Uganda average: $1600 – 2500 depending on the time of year.

Most teams on a limited budget pay: $25-40 a day for food and housing

Teams staying in hotels pay: $100 – 150 a day for food and housing

A driver… since most won’t brave the roads themselves… costs $100 a day… plus gas at $5 a gallon.

Most medical insurance companies won’t cover the shots and prophylactics necessary to travel to East Africa, which is another $250-500 a person

Throw in the 3 REI outfits you’ll buy, 2 bags of beef jerky and assorted post-Ugandan meal snacks, a power converter for your laptop or blowdryer, a disposable camera and a meal or 2 at the airport is another… $400-500 a person.

Plus your only in Africa once so a 2-3 day safari or 2 day lay-over in London to adjust or readjust… at $500 - $1000

Your starting to look at a total bill of $4,000-$6,000 per person for a 10-14 day trip. Or your team of 10-20… which is average… costs somewhere between $40,000 – $120,000.

Please tell me you came to do more than paint, dig a pit latrine, or sock-puppet evangelism for the kids in the village… because the average daily wage for those types of jobs is $2 a day… so I could hire 10 Ugandans to do those above mentioned tasks for 10 for a grand total of $200… or a savings of $39,800 over the low-ball estimate for a team of 10…

Sorry… sock-puppet evangelism isn’t a paid job so you might need to readjust your figures…

Now… time to take a self-righteous time-out… I myself have had plenty of people paint… its easy for them and easy for me… I hereby publicly repent… I should have done some math.

On the other hand… even though they went back and told people they painted… they came at a time when I was pretty depressed and probably saved me a $39,800 counseling bill… and that’s what they should have reported back to the church… “we just saved a missionary from coming off the field after 7 months… which protected our $60,000 investment of getting him and his family on the field” …maybe it wouldn’t go over we’ll at the “world mission luncheon” after church… but in my mind a much better investment.

I guess I can’t even repent without making excuses… but it’s my blog (insert smiley face here)!

So what should the short-term visitors do?

Stay tuned…


Flo Oakes said...

I wouldn't pay $100,000.00 to see sock puppets.

marcie said...

Getting 7 shots in the arms...$400
Sitting like a sardine on an airplane for 24 hours...$1500
Walking around in goat poo...$80 per day
Killing turkeys for dinner...$150
Setting rat traps...$300
Using a pit latrine in a long skirt...Priceless!
I, for one, had a great time!!!

Actually, hanging with the 'Stones...priceless! (mush mush!!)
Love you guys!

Teenietinyt said...

its all worth it after you eat the grasshoppers!

Wayne said...

Jeff, I agree with Marcie. However I would say: Having been to Uganda on a short term mission trip. ... Coming back to Calif. with a new outlook on how to have a relationship with Jesus...PRICELESS
I hope to meet you as I will be with a team arriving 11/02/07. I love reading your blog and am encouraged by almost all of what you say. Wayne