WOW! 38 nets sponsored, and Mailies hits Uganda!

Dear Friends, Thank you so much for the mosquito net donations, and over such a short period of time too! I’m happy to say that the bundle of one hundred nets I orderedhave been delivered to Jinja and even more importantly, my niece Mailies has arrived safely in Uganda from Johannesburg at the start of her ‘Ugandan experience’!! Living and working in the two areas where I am based on my visits to Uganda.

Mailies is staying in Jinja with Amasa, the son of my good friend Godfrey Mwase, who has been a helping hand and my guide in all things since my first years in Uganda. Amasa is at home after successfully completing his A Levels and is waiting for university to begin in September. He is very happy to show Mailies some of the highlights of the tourist capital of Uganda as Jinja is on the shores of Lake Victoria and the River Nile!

So for the first few days she is going to rest up and be a tourist, though I think it will be a matter of a ‘change is as good as a rest’ when she sees what we have planned for her!

Then on Wednesday 8th August, she and the mosquito nets will travel to Nawanyago where one of her jobs, with the help of my young team, will be to deliver the nets doanted to more of the children at Brain Trust Nursery and Primary School whose parents cannot afford to purchase one themselves. Charles, the head teacher, still has 70 children on the ‘neediest of the needy’ list who are still without nets, so 38 is a great start!

Malaria is still the biggest killer of young children in Uganda and the sad fact is that some parents don’t even name their children until they are over 5 years because they fear for their young lives! Pregnant women and the elderly are also at high risk of dying from secondary infections such as pneumonia when they are weakened with malaria. So a being able to use a mosquito net can make such a big difference to everyone.

The nets are hung using the pieces of material supplied with the nets with the addition of string where necessary, and attached to the ceiling above with nails.

It is also important that each family is given the correct directions for washing their nets as they cannot read the printed instructions on the bags. Ugandans love to wash clothes with great vigour but we have to advise them to wash the nets only very occasionally as they are inpregnated with an insecticide which increases their effectivelness greatly. The insecticide will only last twenty washes so the less washing the more protection they will have from mosquitoes an other disease carrying insects. So we instruct them to wash the nets very gently and as little as possible then lie them on towels in the shade to dry, not in the hot sun! We also warn them about the dangers of having a naked flame such as a candle near the nets as they are very inflammable. This fact I learnt during my last visit from Bosco, a member of the family we sponsor, who recently qualified as a nurse and has been treating babies and toddlers with horrific burns after the net that is protecting them from mosquitoes catches fire and the child has not been able to escape. Awful!

Jeannie donated this and another two nets for me to deliver when I was in Uganda last month

So friends IF you would like to contribute another mosquito net that would be wonderful! Let’s see if we can give every child on that ‘neediest of needy’ list, protection against the Malarian mosquito! If you would like to please make a donation of £5 and I will make sure Mailies receives it and can deliver your net. You will receive a personalised photo of your net being delivered, or you could donate your gift on behalf of someone else as an alternative birthday gift?

Thanks for your support once again and also for giving Mailies the opportunity of this humbling experience.

In anticipation!

Love Gerry

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My niece Mailies is going to Uganda!

In less than a week today on 4th August my lovely niece Mailies leaves Capetown, South Africa after a year studying at the university and she’s coming home to continue her studies at Leeds university, via Uganda!

After avidly following the stories of my life in Uganda over the years, Mailies wants to experience a little of it too, meet the lovely people who make up my Ugandan family, stay in their homes and gain an understanding of the daily struggle they and many in their local communities face.

Mailies will spend most of her two weeks living in the rural areas I call my second home and I would love for her to be able to deliver a few mosquito nets, to those who still do not have one. Since I started this project in September 2017, (only last year!), with your wonderful help, my young Ugandan friends and I have delivered 800 nets! I would love Mailies to have the opportunity to participate in my project even for a short time and deliver a few more of this life saving gift.

If you wish to, and are able, please could you spare just £5 to sponsor a net? You will receive a personalised photo of your net with those who receive your special gift, which will help them avoid the miseries of Malaria and could possibly save their lives!

Please message me on here or email me on gerrysuganda@gmail.com

THANK YOU!

PS Sorry I am rather slow at catching up with all the news from my recent stay in Uganda. I will get round to it, I promise! My excuse is that since Mailies announced she was able to visit Uganda I have been working constantly to organise my friends and family there to give the best experience they can in the time allowed. Mailies is going to spend most of her time in rural Uganda just like I do and I am sure the experience will live in her memory for life!

 

24/06 Same project, different car!

Well that was a much calmer, constructive and productive day, though maybe not quite so many laughs as yesterday and certainly no paddling in flood water to cool me down! Today we delivered over fifty nets compared to less than twenty yesterday. We had an extra pair of hands too, John Baptist Zaake who I have known since 2002 when he was twelve and living in the children’s home where I spent my first stay in Uganda. It’s lovely being able to keep up with some of these young people watching them grow into fine adults and parents. John is now has a wife and son. It’s like coming home every year when we meet up. John’s job today was to explain to the receivers of the nets how to look after them, washing them only occasionally and very gently, hanging them in the shade to dry, not the sun as that has an effect on the chemicals the nets are treated with. We want the nets you have generously donated to last as long as possible!     One thing that was rather tiring for the boys was that the ‘new’ car had its problems too! Alex had told me that it had a small problem starting – that was very understating! Firstly we realised that the spare wheel had been stolen from the car which I had parked right outside my window overnight – bit spooked by that as it feels as if someone has been watching me, and I’m sure they have! People are so poor here that unfortunately some will take advantage of any chance to make money! I had to be push started by the boys as we realised the battery was dead and when we went to the local petrol station it stalled again! The whole day was spent trying not to let the car stop which was very difficult with the tracks we were following. In second it had no hope so I was keeping it in first a lot of the time which of course is not good for any vehicle! The boys advised me that from now on I should park the car in the petrol station overnight as the armed guard would look after it for 2000 Ugandan Shillings (40p!). I was a bit dubious about this but I have learnt to trust my young friends, after all they live here! I asked Innocent to tell the Askari that I would give him a bonus at the end of the week and he was very happy with that and the car was looked after very well – his bonus was 10,000 (£2) and he was over the moon with that!

Guess what? I’m there again! The bar where the best internet is. Ok I do have a beer in front of me and my team is enjoying a Nile too! Click on the first photo to see slideshow x

 

 

23/6 last episode of this particular cars saga!

3 pm – We’re out of the flood and delivering nets again! But the internet was much better when we were in the water!!!

An hour later this is what I reported – I thought we were ‘out of the water’ as we got on and delivered some nets but now the battery is flat!!! Thank goodness one of the young friends I have helping me is a trained mechanic! He was permanently disabled when knocked down by a car and completely lost the use of one arm and partially a leg but guess what, he has just fixed the car with no tools and is driving! You’ll be pleased to hear I have organised another vehicle for tomorrow if I survive!

And then, guess what? We had to return the same way, through the flood! But this time my one armed hero Fazie is driving. Thank goodness its an automatic!

and lastly – Just helped push the car back though the flood! Yes it got stuck again! Thanks to the walking sandles I’ve had since climbing Kilimanjaro in 2001, I stayed upright! Im enjoying my nice cool feet now! Thank you to my friends Innocent, Charles the head teacher and Fazie my disabled but extremely able friend who is now driving me home! What a day!

Last posts from a very chaotic day – I can see the main road home but we’ve just run out of fuel so Innocent has gone off with a can to find some! Apparently the petrol station is not far away thank goodness!

We are back!! The dead bear has been replaced where it belongs and I can’t wait to have a ‘polite’ word with Livingstone when he comes to collect his pile of junk! I know we have been laughing all day and I wouldn’t have missed the fun and companionship BUT that man actually put our lives at risk, in oarticular mine as, if it hadn’t had the forethought to take four 1.5 litre bottles of water with us along with bananas and other snacks and other items, I for one could have been made quite poorly! The good news is that we are home safe and sound and dear Judith Innocent’s mum has made lunch of four pots! We will be having another meal of similar portions tonight! It is 17.23 now!

Just before we went to return the car I had to get a phto of it and my trusty team Innocent, Fazie and Charles! Doing what they are good at, pushing!!

 

23/6 continued! Latest episode re car and net delivery!

Ok, latest episode!! We filled up with fuel but still didn’t get very far because, when I needed to reverse, guess what? Reverse doesn’t work! So out the three men get and push! That’s ok, I’m just driving!!!
We did manage to deliver a few nets on behalf of Marton Primary in Congleton. These people are so happy to see a Mzungu and especially thankful for the life saving gift. Ar the same time we were giving pens and pencils out to each child. These had been donated by the ladies of Marple Methodist Church and also our lovely niece Vicky Smith.

Please click on first photo to see titles. And then the latest news on this wonderful car….The internet is great where we are…..please scroll down to the video!

Now the latest news on this wonderful car….The internet is great where we are……….

Oh how I just love Uganda!