Saturday, October 6, 2012

Time is running out!

We now only have four working days! Oh dear, it seems that we have been doing our best to get through everything but still time is not there. It has been a good week with lots happening and some very good things as well as the usual trickier situations, nevermind. So, since I last chatted what have we been up to? There has been a trip to Kampala, meeting with a women's group, another different one, writing up the spreadsheet, trying to organize electricity, building stuff etc. now for some details.
Some things are just not meant to be easy. We decided it would be easier to put the electricity in my, Anne's, name. So, I was meant to meet the electrician in town about 11 o'clock in the morning.Well, after doing some other things I was ready to go, but he came to us. We needed more than the letter from the LC1 it seemed, so away we went. First to find the LC1, managed to go through the little village and nearly got to the place and we were able to ask for directions. But, of course no one home! Thankfully, the phone number was on some documentation and we were able to make contact and she was able to come and meet us. After sharing condolences since her husband had only recently died we were able to move on. Off to the school to find the neighbor because the power was to come from her pole. However, despite seeing her the in the morning earlier she had moved to her other place of work. We managed to get in there, sign in with the visitors book, negotiate our way around and found her. Then, off to the electricity office. Oh, you can't do that in the name of the school, it is not registered(pity you cannot get registered until you have the classrooms set up!) So, new form needed, 50000 shillings, just to change the name on the form! However, the land is in the name of Hopebuilders Uganda, so where is the stamp! Thoughts of a desperate rush home before the office closed for lunch but it was averted as it seemed we would not be able to get the stamp. Drop the electrician at his place of work, and back into town. Even managed to find the welder to pick up a window, got the stamps for the school and home again! Yes, I was exhausted! Ron just smiled, he knew the frustrations from last year! However, I now feel an accomplished Ugandan driver (maybe).

On Wednesday we made a trip to Kampala mainly to meet with the maths consultant for the new secondary curriculum. However, prior to leaving Robert felt it would be good for Ron to give it a go with some officials in town. So, before our 8 o'clock departure I had typed and printed a couple of letters. Think I got the better end of the deal as Ron had to do the visiting of the people. His visit proved interesting! One, he was told the person was in a meeting, and they didn't know when he would be back, what a surprise! The other, after being fobbed off, he was sent to someone who in his words finally listened. This person listened to the whole story of the donations and that people from Australia were being asked to pay to give stuff to people here. I think it was such a relieve that someone would finally listen. Unfortunately, despite being told he would investigate the revaluing of the container to date we have not heard anything. However, where there is life there is hope and so we pray for its release. I had a very different time. It was great to meet with this lady and to talk about the proposed curriculum changes. The reforms for the Ugandan secondary curriculum is a huge amount of work and things are progressing. When I get a chance I look forward to working through the proposed scope and sequence and the ideas presented. I can see that there may well be a significant part I can play in this area and the experience from last year is very helpful as well as the years of textbook writing. So, it is lovely to see how God works in our lives putting different things in place. In Kampala we also got to do a little shopping for our new house, some electrical stuff and some essentials like vanilla beans to take home! I even managed to score a free coffee at a supermarket. The trip home was less than fun with some crazy drivers doing life threatening things, I am so grateful having Ron being such a safe and competent driver.
On the school front there has been some progress. We have interviewed a number of teachers at this stage and even have another one at 8 o'clock tomorrow morning! We are confident with the bursar and need to meet up with her again. The forms have had another mark of approval and we are nearly organized with the fee structure. Just a brochure and a sign for the front. As mentioned earlier we have the stamps. The sports uniform just needs a Tshirt, so I have the name of places to go for that. We have a tailor to make the uniforms so we can get her into action soon making standard sizes so that there is not the pressure at the start of the year. All this assuming of course that students are on their way!
I have spent time going through all the expenditures. We are so fortunate to have our friend Robert K doing such a great job with the building, he has kept great records of all the monies and today we converted all of it into a spreadsheet, now I know why I am not an accountant, it is so much more fun to talk to a class! Now, I just need to put them all together and do all the calculations. So far so good though as according to the budget we are doing well.
Ron too has been busy, he has done some time at the building site and the new house build
Receiving a gift, the lady on the right was my interpreter
ing wonderful kitchen benches and supervising the tiling of the bathroom. In addition he has organized the solar system for the house with solar hot water and solar back up power. The house is presently being painted, there is the solar to be installed, some plumbing to be done and the kitchen bench to be tiled and sink installed. We should be able to move our stuff in there before we go!
Other things that we have had the privilege of doing are many but one significant one for me was talking to a group if ladies in Njeru yesterday. It was a bit wet and so they were slower coming but this lovely
group of ladies meets each Thursday and is called Women of Hope and they are really taking on that name. A interesting mix of ladies with a few older, lots mid twenties to mid thirties, some HIV positive, maybe half, and some Christian and some Muslim.

Great to be able to share the love of God with them. It was fun to be there that day as on the first Thursday of the month they exchange gifts. People had taken great care to wrap up a mug or plate or something else and then a name is drawn and gifts are given. Unfortunately I did not know and so gave only a hug with
The ladies group
a present promised. The excitement was so good,the women in their poverty shared gifts, so special and also so fun. Screams of joy and happiness were shared. Ron arrived back having been doing some solar shopping and they insisted on being introduced,they even sang and danced for him! So much fun, love being shared despite what I know to be desperate circumstances, I look forward to visiting with them again. Interestingly my interpreter was a lovely Muslim lady.
Mama Florence excitingly receiving her quilt
Then this afternoon, thanks to the immense hard work of friends and people who are part of the Sew Blessed group out of our church in Australia, we with Anne-Marie were able to give out quilts to the children and mothers in the new houses. It was such a pleasure. The children knew that others in the village had quilts and starting from the littlest as she was handed her quilt she went to put it carefully on her bed. One young girl came to me about three times and
Sheer happiness
thanked me so much. She is a little older and one wonders whether she has ever had anything to call her own like that. The mothers too were so happy and obviously really appreciated them. It is a privilege to be the bearer of gifts for others and we do not take it for granted.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks again for your updates Anne. Always love the read -always takes me back there. Still praying for you and Ron and for progresss with Jinja Christian School. Hope the last few days are productive. See you back down under.