Fortunately, airlines send out email reminders about flights because our flight was earlier than we had thought - usually we leave in the late evening but this time it was 7 pm. All worked well, with tidying up our stuff at home and still managing to have a little time to catch close friends, and families. No need to catch up with Mark, he headed off to Uganda Boxing Day due to an unexpected vacancy arising in a team. <Great opportunity for him to return as he has been before and to see what we are up to in Uganda. Another blessing as he was available to go and was ideal for what the team needed.> The trip over was uneventful, no exciting conversations, no dramas (cases came in 0.3kg under weight each!), no sickness; just lots of sleeping, watching of movies and a 2 hour delay in Dubai on the plane to make sure it worked properly - which obviously it fortunately did!
We were picked up at the airport by Richard a local driver who we can rely on and who drives really well. We were able to have dinner with the team which was lovely as see our friends at Suubi House and then share devotions with the children at the village. As usual they welcomed us warmly and it was so nice to come and have this as the first thing we did with them. Our house (on the school land) is wonderful. It is a two bedroom home with a big kitchen/dining/lounge room. It also has a little alcove for a desk just off the main room so that we can keep our papers neatly away. We already had a bed set up so it was only a matter of putting on sheets and off to sleep. We had a good night though we did wake early. Overall, the jet lag hasn’t been too dramatic and we now believe we are sleeping better than when we left home!
The whole project is progressing really well, our house was much the same as we left it which was to be expected, though there are now nice entry stairs at the front of the house. We do really love the view of Lake Victoria and appreciate the lovely breeze that blows through. The school building (housing the 4 classrooms and the offices) now has a roof, and each of the classrooms has floors. The ceilings in the offices are nearly completed. There may in the future be ceilings in the classrooms but at this point in time we will wait for more finance for that as it is not essential. The toilet block is looking very impressive at the lower end of the block of land with great facilities and apparently has been modeled on the council planned ones. I’m pleased there is a separate staff toilet, I managed to avoid going to the toilet at school when teaching here! The septic tank (not something one normally talks about) is a massive thing and very impressive. It is a huge hole that then has a brick structure build in and then it will be plastered – the plastering inside is still to go. The best part of the trip to the toilet block though is being able to look back up the site to the school building; it is a ‘good look’ as you can see from the photograph. At present metal window frames are being placed in the windows and there is a new entry door at the front of the offices.
We have had some good opportunities to join with the team which are doing a great job at the village. They are definitely a team of hard workers and full of initiative. It was fun to see the wheelbarrow that had the tyre held on with a screwdriver, some wire and a couple of other things! Mark, recognised the time saving value of using his father's ute to transport bricks (and children as a reward for their labour) up from the lower end of the village to the top. Joining with the team for devotions was lovely, the children are so talented and move so easily from one song to another, with different people leading and everyone knowing the words even the little ones most of the time.
New Year's eve was a bit of a disappointment for me, after a lovely time with the children, team and mothers at the village we came home. Neither of those were the disappointment, it was that I was so tired I couldn't keep my eyes open and headed to bed very early. I had hoped for a lovely time of talking, praying and seeing the new year in with Ron in the place that the year is all about. However, I was in the place, Ron did the praying, and I did the sleeping.