Hi all, a short post to let you know Gerry is back home safely today after an exhausting journey from St James – it started at 8am local (5 am GMT) on Saturday, via Jinja, Kampala, Lake Victoria hotel, Entebbe airport, Kigali airport, Brussels airport and finally good old Ringway, eventually getting to Poynton at 11.15am today (Sunday). Tea and toast have been consumed – now it’s snoozing in front of catchup TV. Give her a day or two or three and she’ll be back on this blog with the latest news. Best regards Norman.
Tuesday was a day of memories mostly good but a little sad too. Alex picked Gem and I up to go and visit his family in Kasozi but I asked him if we could go to Kamuli on the way to do some shopping and t go and look at Maria’s Care where I had first lived and worked in Uganda from 2002 to 2007. It had been a home for orphaned and destitute children. Also I have been keeping in touch with Godfrey one of the ‘old boys’ who became a teacher at the school, in fact teacher to Alex and two of his brothers. Godfrey is also a church leader at the Kamuli Baptist Church where I met him the first time I visited the church at Christmas 2009 where Maria Maw is still very much a part of the church community as many of her children and their offspring still attend. Godfrey, along with Alex, John Baptist and many other ‘children of Maria’ still think of Maria’s Care as their home but it is a very different place now.
A belated post from Gerry.
When I need a break from the quietness of St James I give my good friend Innocent a call and he comes on his motorbike and takes me back to his bar, Merembe, Peace Bar, though it is far from peaceful as he has music playing constantly, people popping in and out and the local buses have a stop right outside. But I relax and enjoy the coming and going, chatting to the locals though limited by our understanding of each others language, and watching the children who live either side enjoying being children! Today young ones were playing with a mat rolling up inside it, laughing and fighting like children the world over. Two older boys were swirling around and around one of the metal poles that holds up the roof of their tiny room seeing who could keep their feet off the ground the longest. When they saw me videoing they performed even more excitedly! I will put it on Youtube when I return to UK! Continue reading
Ruth’s cooking is improving, thank goodness! When I first came to St James all cooking was done on an open fire, a pot balanced on three stones with wood in the middle. But of course when it rained as it has done recently the fire went out and everyone went hungry! Now we have a small kitchen partly paid for by the parents, with a wood saving oven which is also supposed to be smokeless but its not quite that good but a great improvement. I can now stand in there without coughing my heart out and the health risk to those doing the cooking regularly has been reduced enormously! Continue reading
I am sorry, I wrote this news a while ago but had forgotten I hadn’t emailed it to my husband to put on the website. Sometimes after I have completed a story there is no signal to send. I shall have to check if there are others waiting to be sent!
Although I don’t have the pleasure of working with the children at St James this visit I see many of them in the village and some pop in here to say hi. I often find then sat quietly outside my door when I come out. They don’t knock, just wait patiently. I also try to visit friends I have made over the years and today it was the turn of relatives of my dear friend Innocent. We caught a ‘suicide’ bus to Kamuli town. One of the front seats with the driver was free but I learnt from a friend that although that is the most comfortable place to sit it is also the most dangerous in an accident. There is a particular seat I now insist on if it is free, to the annoyance of the conductor who likes to be in charge and to the amusement of the other passengers who are all squashed in like sardines but like someone who stands up to these often rude men! I don’t like the seat immediately behind the front seat as there is a thick metal bar going across in front of me which may stop the whole bus caving in on impact but would also be very painful to be thrown on it by the impact. The back seats are so claustrophobic though apparently the safest as there is an ’emergency door’ behind (the boot!) but I prefer the one immediately behind the hunched over conductor who hangs out the window shouting constantly for customers. I just think he would make for a softer landing if I was ever thrown forwards and of course the convenience of the door! Hopefully I will never have the opportunity to find out if I am right or wrong in my opinion! Continue reading