Dear Friends of St James
Thank you for all your interest and support during the past year and in fact since I first got involved with helping to build a school in Nakakabala, Uganda. The progress we have made has been beyond my wildest dreams and I cannot emphasise strongly enough the difference you have made to the lives of many children, their families and the wider community. I am so very grateful to you all.
I hope those of you who bought kilos and kilos of our Discovery apples in September and the children who picked them, enjoyed them! You donated well over £100 to St James for the apples!
Several of you ordered the St James ‘Happy’ Christmas cards too and I am still busy making them. Profits from card sales are well over £150 already! I enjoy making up the cards as the happy faces of the children at St James always makes me smile!
There is more good news from St James. Two weeks ago the oldest children sat for their National Primary Leaving Certificate in the completed Hambridge Hall and James is expecting good results again. What is different this year is that the children did not have to travel miles to another school for their exams as St James is now registered as an Exam Centre therefore saving money for their transport and exam fees. Also two other schools came to St James to sit their exams and paid St James for the privilege. Next year James is hoping many more schools will use the facilities we have provided which means more much needed funds for St James!
James is constructing a new piggery. The poor pigs have been a bit neglected so this is good news as the animals projects are so important. The chickens in Georges Den are doing well and the goats and cows too. James has other ideas for raising money for the school so I am looking forward to hearing about them when I see him. All aiming towards self-sufficiency for St James.
It has been a real pleasure recently being able to share all the fantastic news from St James. I am really looking forward to my trip to Uganda to see for myself all the amazing progress that’s been made since my last visit a year ago, especially to see everyone enjoying the fresh clean water ‘on tap’ so to speak!
No longer will I feel guilty having my ‘shower’ each evening because the children have had to carry my water from a distant borehole. The only downside is the water when I bathe is going to be freezing as it will not have been stood around all day in jerrycans!!
I’m also can’t wait to see the completed classroom block ‘Hambridge Hall’. I still smile at the thought of a hall being named after my family, though they certainly deserve the honour with all that they put up with from me!! The hall when divided by sliding doors, provides four classes of children with a safe and comfortable place to have their lessons sitting on the 200 new desks you bought.
I will be emailing photos of all the changes that have taken place and of course keeping you up-to-date with all that I get up to during my five weeks stay. Yes, I only intended going for three weeks to attend James’ eldest sons wedding and stay for Christmas, but the air fare was going to be £1200! If I wait to come back until 10th January it goes down to £656 so I’ve just got to stay! The prices fluctuate so much because it is Uganda’s main tourist period when many come to spend time on the banks of the Nile and Lake Victoria; to visit the various National Parks and view the Mountain Gorillas.
I am very grateful to my wonderful husband for letting me go and spend Christmas in Uganda. I won’t be cooking his turkey dinner this year but I can guarantee he will have a better meal than I will! We plan to go out for a pre-Christmas meal the weekend before I leave to make up for it!
Thanks again for all the interest and support it makes my ‘job’ so much more fulfilling. In the next newsletter please read about our next challenge which is to build and equip a clinic at St James! We would be so grateful if you could help with this.
Love Gerry x