Life is so full. This week has been particularly that way. We have had so many different things happening, with lots of variety and challenges associated. Some of these I will tell you about. It is the wet season here and that means that the roads can get quite muddy. It also means that the roads get graded more but not necessarily in the best means possible. Hence, a grader ripped up the water pipe. Yes, you guessed it no water. Fortunately we have a water tank (thank you WaterPros) and were able to use it. However, children do not really understand (and others) that one needs to be careful with the water that is available. So, by Wednesday we had literally run completely out of water! Not good, but fortunately (for us) other people in Uganda do not have running water and so water could be obtained in the jerry cans from the local bore. The water did happen to go off after Ron and Trudi had been digging up and fixing some drainage! Poor Ron, also had to get water for the building site from the creek. Then, to cap one day off, one of the children managed to trip and bite his tongue needing a hospital stay and stitches!
We also had the privilege of going to take some of our children back to their place of origin. This was really pleasant and something we see as very important. This visit was interesting as we had three children all from the same small area. So, we were entertained by a bigger group, rather than individuals. Entertained is the correct word as we were given fried rice (that is rice that is fried) with some meat. This is such a humbling thing. We were offered sodas and thinking to save the family costs we declined...so cold water (ok we will drink local water that hasn't been boiled)- no bottled water was also produced. People give out of their lack and we give out of our plenty. One fun thing happened and I hope you can see it a little from the photo but a little girl of about 18 months came up to me and, as is the culture, knelt down - so cute seeing it with someone so young. There are always lots of emotions from these visits but it is so important for the children to see their origins.
Another fun(?) thing was that we needed to go to Kampala, Ron and Robert met the MP on Sunday and he had said to come on Wednesday. However, just as we were picking up Robert at 7.00am we discovered there was a burial that one of the people would be attending so that plan was pushed to Thursday. So, to Kampala Thursday morning early. I managed to do a little shopping and have a coffee with Trudi while the men went to the parliament. Interesting trip home as we went through a number of 'riots' in about 5 townships. These relate to people not being happy about huge amounts of money being spent on fighter aircraft and on the swearing in of the president. They are called walk to work because the fuel prices have risen so much. The opposition leader was shot walking to parliament by the army is my understanding! A group of students were sprayed with tear gas when they had only walked as a group and had not disturbed anyone. The 'riots' involve rocks being thrown, shops shutting and I am not sure what else (we saw some rocks on the road and some tyres being burnt). Then, the police/army come in with tankers and tear gas trucks. We did not get any tear gas but had to drop Robert in Jinja and he had to wait for at least 30 minutes in the one place - anyone who moved would be arrested!
Oh, that is right about Wednesday the power also went out! No power, literally no water and Ron, Trudi and I headed up to Bugagli Falls and had a swim in the pool (see photo) and a meal out.
Friday, we got to visit some children that may come to the village in the new intake and pray for a grandmother with diabetes. It was also interesting to drive through the big Kakira Sugar Mills. It is a huge complex that supplies workers with everything they need within its confines. There is a classy primary school (presumably for management children) and then another one that looks more similar to the local primary schools, a hospital, supermarket and post office. People do not need to leave. The problem arises for people that they then don't have land and if the bread winner loses the job they are chased from the property. The standard of housing was also interesting, starting from Australian type home and then moving down to what we visited which was a room on either side of kitchen. It was concrete rendered but very basic and it sounded like the one room housed a large number of people. Then, we were able to take another child to visit his grandmother who had moved and it was hard to ascertain where she had gone. Fortunately the grandson and grandmother were reunited. This was important and we also visited other needy children in this area. One family in particular stood out to me. The mother has TB and AIDs and looked like she was on her last legs. The children were out collecting scrap metal. The concern that was expressed though related to the fact that one of the children wasn't sponsored for schooling. It seems that there is a lot of education sponsorship but the children needed a mother who was treated and good food for themselves! I was also able to pray with her and will be going back in the near future. It seems so often our visits with one purpose provide us with other things to pray for.
In amongst all the different things happening to us there is lots of fun. The children are now on school holidays for what seems like about a month or more! They have all had exams (even the preschoolers I gather!). The children give us so much love and fun. They try to teach us the language - never too sure whether we are learning Lugandan or Lusoga but hey it is all good for us.
The photo is one of the mothers and the children having fun - we had the camera for house group photos and it set everyone off wanting photos!
You will be pleased to know that at this present moment we have both power and water! Plans for the new house will have to include solar power that can do a lot - it seems it is needed. In the three and a bit months we have been here the power has been out for at least 4 weeks.
As you can see, there are nearly always plenty of smiling faces. With the new children as they settle in it is great to see more of their personalities and also to get to know the older ones too. Such a big family though!