Well it is Monday night and it has been a very full weekend. Sometimes I just reflect on days and think I must write about that. I am sure that I will forget what life is like here, though even as I write I know I miss different things that have made each day 'interesting'. This weekend was very busy with many a huge variety of happenings.
Saturday morning dawned, no chance for a nice sleep in, big miss here - do like a good sleep in, especially when that means not needing to be up and going by 7.30 am! Nice normal breakfast, don't think there were even any interuptions. Then, big clean up, get organised for the day. The house needed a bit of work and there were people coming to film in the afternoon. The workers arrived, gave them the mandatory cup of tea and 'escort' (something to go with the cup of tea that often constitutes their breakfast). Clean up, they head off, the painter arrives but he has just had chai so doesn't need anything of me. Ron heads into town to pick up some pipes. Floor swept, with the broken handled broom (thank you workers). Floor mopped, fortunately not in the local way, with a squeeze type mop (thank you Trudi - though it does have a new head). Clothes washed in the local way - yes I can manage that thank you to all my Ugandan friends who are constantly amazed that I can. Beans prepared for the workers' lunch. Finish off and change ready for the 10.00 preschool graduation.
Of course, we are punctual, it is a graduation after all. Well, it was great to be welcomed by our children. Some unfortunately not attired quite in the manner I would have liked but never mind, they were happy. We waited outside for quite a while, the music inside was just too loud! No, we are not that old, the room has bad acoustics and sound systems are not quite of the same standard that we are used to. Then, Robert arrived and we decided to check out the classrooms at the preschool. I had seen them but the other two hadn't. All in the way of planning for the future school (what school you say - save that for another blog post soon).
We were seated, still waiting but entertained by Jessica needing some assistance. First an insect bite on one shoulder that was growing but I managed to stop hurting. Then, she returned with another bite! Quick trip outside to remove any insect remaining and found a biting, flying ant type thing. Ouch!
The proceedings were great when they finally started. The children from all the classes performed and of course we (us as representing the Village of Hope) had students in each one. Even a little fashion parade with little ones in the local gomaz. Lovely singing and dancing and then the awarding of the certificate to the graduants! Yes, in gown, hat and all. Funny for us but a lovely formal ceremony for the children.
Ron got to give a little speech on behalf of the parents. At first it was announced as going to be on behalf of the teachers! He had thought of making a big announcement but without having met with the appropriate people and the headteacher of Joy Primary sitting there in the audience (as a parent), only alluded to it.Nice having someone important to be with as we got to eat first. Big bonus when there are so many people there. Though let me say, catering on a big scale here is done in an amazing way. The food is almost always very similar but they managed to make it nicely, keep it and serve it for hundreds without much fuss at all.
Oh, that's right I forgot, it started to rain during the ceremony. That meant that when the generator failed (because of course the power was out) that it was very hard to hear people and it was quite dark inside as well. Then, there was the issue of the hole in the ceiling and roof so a bit of a flood but not too bad fortunately, people moved easily out of the way.
The rain did stop but knowing that there was lots of mud to get through we piled the 9 preschoolers from the village into the car and took them home. We quickly dealt with a few things at the village but no time to really stop as we needed to get back to our house.
On arrival we were greeted by one of the workers who informed us we had visitors. They were the group coming for the filming of a video! Well, it was three of the group anyway. Still no power, plumber used up the solar trying to test the new rainwater pump from the tank (yes it is in and good). Tried to chat with Anita but my battery died too quickly. The visitors stayed and waited and then gave up on the others coming so left. Cup of tea, essential ingredient of the day.
Ron hopped back in the car and went off to pick up the last two children for House 5. Not a trip I envied him as it is bad enough normally but with the rain the road would also be slippery. He left me to finish preparing my sermon for Sunday. However, of course someone else came to visit to discuss things with us, well me since Ron wasn't home. Then, a bit of time preparing and Ron came and picked me up and back to the village I went. It was so good to see Wyclif and Peace. They both looked happy to come though when arriving at the village they did become a little overwelmed. A wet afternoon with lots of mud made for children who were very excited and these two had come from quite a deserted lonely place. I endeavoured to get them appropriate clothes from the container and make sure all was well. Ron then took the workers home while I was finishing off. Supervision of a couple of houses evening meal was needed. One child missing - not sure where, Robert sent off to investigate. We found out later that he was actually only in the farm!
So, why did we not investigate? We needed to get home because the new couple to look after Suubi House had arrived and Ron had just picked them up. There had been some phone calls in the afternoon I forgot to include! So home to help settle Juliet and Sam, Precious and Blessing into their accomodation. Oh supper! Poor Ron was sent out to find something at Begembe that would be suitable for them and I made a tuna casserole for Ron, Nicholaus and me.
After finally finishing everything the power finally returned and there was a chance to find out how life was in Australia. Final preparation of the sermon and off to bed. Another day gone.
Sunday morning, after a reasonably good sleep up we get. Oh dear, no internet - power but no internet! It was obviously a problem with the supplier but a bit frustrating. Hence there was plenty of time to be ready for church. We had invited the new couple to come as where we go was her church before they had returned to the village. Tiny problem with muzungu time versus African but safely on the way with the extra family. Had a lovely time at church though after speaking to Pastor Robert prior to the service and Ron mentioning about talking about this year at church I was a little overwhelmed by the thought of leaving. Imagine, twelve months ago I was feeling almost the same thoughts and feelings prior to coming! I truly have two homes.
Just prior to the time that we would need to leave to get to the other church in time we had a phone call telling us to take our time. There was no rush as the pastor would not be there for a little while. We delayed and arrived about 10.35 after picking up Nicholaus. The singing part of the service did start at about 10.55 and then the pastor came just after 11.00! Consequently the sermon did not start until after 12.15. It went well. Then, off with the pastor for a quick bite to eat. Fun times, we went to a 'pork joint'. There on the verandah out the front were about half a dozen guys with stubbies on the table, and we went there with a pastor! This is significant simply because alcohol is so abused here that Christians do not drink at all. Well, we tasted some lovely pork (it was a little overcooked for which both the pastor and the chef were very apologetic) but served on a huge metal skewer. It was fun.
Into town to buy some much needed things and to pick up a water container to hold water for the aging, sick father of the two children brought to the village on Saturday. Home quickly to check on things there, out to Kakira to pick up documents and to deliver the container. Briefly home and then on to the village for supper.
This is always a highlight of our week. We get to eat a meal with the children of two households and their mothers. This week was no exception with a lovely meal and good company. After supper comes devotions and this too is a real treat. Last Sunday was no exception. Testimonies were given. "Thank you God for this place and that we are not chased from school like so many. Thank you that we are able to live here." or "Thank you that we are all well for our exams". Or, just looking and seeing these new children so happy and accepted. One child reads a story from the bible and another translates. This too is just such a lovely thing to hear them able to translate with confidence after learning English for such a short time. So many things to be thankful for here in the village.
After devotions we went up to the admin centre and spent some good time with Robert and Millie. So much to share and so little time. Then, finally home to find that the internet was working and so obviously we needed to check how things were back in Australia. At last into bed, another weekend filled to overflowing with so many experiences.