Uganda Trip Team 2017

Here is Raymond’s update. Do take a look at the St John’s Facebook page for more photos of the trip including an amazing photo of a young lion club.

“The second week of our stay has been a total contrast to the first. On Saturday, we got right out into the bush and spent an afternoon at a fishing village by the shores of Lake Choga. We created a bit of a sensation among the local children most of whom had not seen a muzungu (white person) close up. This was as far from the wealth of Kampala as it is possible to imagine. People live by fishing. There were no gardens or vegetable growing. We were shown around by a very intelligent young Vicar called Isaac who had a huge parish to look after and at the same time was educating about 14 teenagers, who were all living in his small home.

He had many sad stories of the reality of life away from the capital. One of the big social issues he was constantly confronting was the purchase of young girls by wealthy men. These girls aged between 12 and 15 would be sold by their families, becoming concubines.

His stories of a culture of hard drinking every evening with men forming drinking clubs on the shore of the lake, was not a side of Uganda we had seen before. He invited us into the hut of his lay reader, which was the kind of dwelling we would all recognise as a typical African village. It was surprisingly cool out of the hot sun. Both had many stories of hostility to the church particularly by men.

Bwaziba school seems to be doing a good work. The reports provided by the headteacher were backed up by the diocese. I spoke to the local vicar who confirmed that the exam success achieved by the children of Bwaziba was very favourable. We saw that the school was now provided with metal shutters on every window, providing security and protection from the elements. Without shutters it is impossible to prevent books from being stolen.

The needs continue to be great. The list of item from latrines to swings for the children pointed to the fact that this is a project we need to support for years to come. St Francis school had provided a huge amount of equipment including a dozen footballs. Once we had sorted the issue of an adaptor to blow them up, they were very enthusiastically received.

Chris Dobson and I stayed in a village about an hour from Kampala with Godfrey Kasana. It was the smallest and most cramped house it is possible to imagine. It had no running water. Nine people were living there at one time, but some of the children are now in Kampala. Godfrey was building a better house next door. It is well under way but clearly will take a few years yet to complete. Godfrey is a teacher of geography, the Diocesan Planning Officer, a pig and poultry farmer and a minister taking weddings and funerals. His day begins at 5am.

We had a good breakfast yesterday, and set off for Balitta school where we were fed a huge lunch. We then visited Kiwoko hospital and were taken to see the chaplain who provided us with another enormous meal. Then we went to see Bishop Eridard Nusbuga who provided us with a third. It was like the scene where the vicar of Dibley ends up eating five Christmas dinners. We staggered home under the weight of Ugandan hospitality.

Shelley is doing fine and spent an evening with Paul Kakooza and his family. They are still waiting for the baby to be born.

Someone asked Shelley if I was her dad. I was not remotely offended. But from now on we will be supporting Kenya.”