21 & 22 June – Reporting from Wallet Pub, Nawanyago, Uganda

21/06 And it’s still pouring! Well that was a great session I had at Innocents bar, Wallet Pub, last night showing the excited children as their new desks were delivered. And I’m here again now and the rain is thundering down on the corrugated roof! No, I didn’t mean a session of the ice cold Nile Beer Innocent sells!!

So good to hear from many of you once I’d managed, at last, to put a post on Facebook. For some reason it is much easier to post on my Gerry’s Uganda WhatsApp Group but you need to own a smart phone to use WhatsApp. If you do want to join though I just need your mobile number. I will continue to put the posts on Facebook though and of course eventually on my website but the news won’t be as it happens!

Because I stayed so long at the bar (only one Nile, honest! Though they are big bottles!), the journey home was in the dark and also it was raining heavily which brought the temperature down. Though I tried to keep down and sheltered behind the driver, I was actually cold on the boda (motorbike taxi)! I hadn’t thought of taking a coat.
But as soon as we arrived home the smell of food and the “welcome back” from Innocents Mum Judith and his wife-to-be Betty soon warmed me up. They had got a spread of ‘starters’ for us – fresh pineapple, roasted g-nuts and roasted maize! I started tucking in then remembered the meal they were busy cooking on the veranda!! I had lost a stone before coming to Uganda, reckon it’s on its way back on again! Oh well I have to keep my energy up don’t I!!!

22/06 I drove a car tonight for about one minute, straight into a ditch! Watched by many amused locals! The reason this happened, my excuse…….
Tomorrow we start delivering mosquito nets to the most neediest of families who have children at Brain Trust PS. Innocent said he knew someone who would lend us his car for the weekend and we were to meet him down at the bar. There was still plenty of light left at the time we had arranged to meet but just down the road from the bar the car was in pieces! Several men, I wouldn’t call them mechanics, were working on it. It took several hours, yes hours, when I couldn’t even have a beer because I would be having my practice drive, or so I thought!
By the time Livingstone appeared with the keys it was pitch black, the trading centre was heaving with people and the main road very busy with it being Saturday night.
I wasn’t that keen to try out a strange car in this situation but what could surely go wrong, the car!! I got in but couldn’t find where to put the ignition key, fumbling round in the dark. Innocent and the owner were already sniggering when I suddenly found it – under the ‘dead’ long haired bear lying on the dashboard!
There was no inside light in the car and it was pitch black outside so it was pot luck what I could find plus the fact that I’m not familiar with an automatic. Anyway I got it going and followed the men’s advice to turn hard left off the grass verge and into the road. ‘Suicide’ taxi buses were hurtling about along with masses of boda bodas. I decided this was not a good idea at all so stopped the car and told the men I would practice tomorrow morning. What I hadn’t realised was that I had stopped with one side of the car in a ditch! I had only followed instructions!
I went back to the bar where Charles, the head of Brain Trust PS, was waiting to discuss plans for tomorrow. He pointed back in the direction of the car where it was refusing to move for anybody. I went to find out what the problem was. Innocent had put a little local fuel in it just to get us to the big petrol station tomorrow, and when I had stopped the car it was at an angle, the fuel had all tipped to one side preventing it working and starved the engine of fuel. I walked back the few metres to the bar and minutes later I was on my way home on a boda!
I’m still debating if we will have a car tomorrow! 100 mosquito nets donated by Marton Primary School in Congleton are a bit heavy to carry and we have a lot of miles to travel in and out of the tiny hidden away hamlets. Will let you know!
PS That ‘dead bear’ has to go if I’m driving!

New desks arrive at Brain Trust Nursery & Primary School, Nawanyago, Uganda

Lower Park Primary School here in Poynton have been supporting my projects in Uganda for many years and they will be thrilled to see their fund raising buying some much needed desks for this lovely school in Uganda.

Great excitement at the end of the day when a lorry load of desks arrive at Brain Trust Primary School Nawanyago, a gift from Lower Park Primary School in Poynton along with a strong cupboard for the books I will be delivering soon! All these were made by a local carpenter of good hard wood. Innocent had said he would arrange a lorry for the delivery and I thought he meant over the next few days but no, here things happen quickly when you least expect them too or when a paid job is on offer! Innocent just told me I should go down to school and await delivery and who am I to argue! It cost me 30,000 Ugandan Shillings to deliver ten desks and one big book cupboard. That’s £6!. I didn’t intend to go into school today but I’m glad I was there to witness the excitement of children and staff alike! Just wait until I take down the teaching charts and the books you have helped me buy!

Innocent who I stay with is the young man in red with the red rucksack. Charles the head of the school is in white. The elderly man who comes to thank me teaches reading and writing to the younger children. He told me last year that he is retired but not tired!



Alex and Hannah’s wedding day!

As many of you know my family and friends have been sponsoring Alex and his family through their education since I first met the family in 2008. Alex is the eldest of my ‘Ugandan family’ and I was thrilled to hear he was to be married to Hannah and of course I just had to be there! I wouldn’t normally go to Uganda in our summer months but I could not miss this very special occasion of our first ‘sponsor child’ getting wed!

The wedding was a real mix of two cultures Alex’s family from the little village of Kasozi and that on Hannah’s side from San Diego, California. People asked me what the wedding was going to be like and my answer was always the same that it was going to be Alex and Hannah’s wedding, and it was! It was the coming together of two cultures, many wonderful characters and personalities, lots of laughter and bucketfuls of love. This was Alex and Hannah’s wedding held at a beautiful location, on a very hot day with refreshing breezes off the River Nile.

Photo slideshow – just click on first photo. Videos not the best but please hang in there and I think you will find them interesting!

Mum Monica walks her son Alex down the ‘isle’!

Hannah the bride is walked down the isle by her Uncle Mike who is carrying her beautiful daughter Selah

They take their wedding vows

As Alex places the ring on Hannah’s finger the village ladies cream their traditional wail on celebration

The Bride and Groom wash each others hands

Mr and Mrs Kasenke – Alex you can now kiss the Bride

Alex and Hannah have their first dance to the loud traditional wailing of the village ladies

There and back and now reporting in!!

Dear Friends

I am so sorry you have not heard from me since I left for my month in Uganda. It became impossible to get onto my website from where i was living in Nawanyago. Many of you chose to join the WhatsApp group I created as I was able to connect to that easily with the internet that was available to me. To those of you who were unable to be with me during another wonderful visit I am going to try and put my story on here – one day at at time!

Will be back very soon!

Love Gerry