Meet Nico!

(1 of 3 chapters on the same subject)

Dear Friends, My thoughts most recently have been on the students in Uganda we continue to support with the help from a few special friends, two of whom I have not actually met!
Many of you are familiar with Nico the deaf boy, well he is the latest student we have decided to help. Do you remember, he collected my water from the borehole when I stay with Innocent in the village of Nawanyago?

Such a wonderful happy character and always there to help me in any way he could. Even to the extent of popping out of the bushes to help me put on and fasten my sandals as I step down from the steep raised veranda. He made me feel ancient but in truth I really appreciate his help as I dread slipping! It’s really lovely how he cares for me and for others.
When Nico wasn’t doing chores for me or digging in the field for his parents we shared many happy times sat in the shade looking at books where I realised he was signing to some of the pictures. Apparently he had been given a few lessons in sign language a few years ago at a school run by an English charity but again there was always ‘some little money’ to find which was impossible when his family is so poor. I was concerned that when the other children in the village were at school Nico was always hanging around. So I got Innocent to make enquires about Nico and he was told by his parents that when he was born Nico did respond to sound and then he lost his hearing possibly from contracting measles. As he grew up the family never got any help or advice about his hearing as they don’t have any money to pay for it! Well we now know that Nico is profoundly deaf. Innocent took him to an ENT specialist at a hospital in Kampala where he was tested and this was the conclusion. His parents have several other children who go to the local state school when they have surplus crops to pay for the ‘free’ state schooling’! But there is no facility for deaf children like Nico.
Once again I asked Innocent if he could search out a school for him and, to cut a very long story short, Nico is now attending the school for the deaf attached to Maria’s Care, originally a children’s home, and by coincidence is where I stayed and worked when I first went to Uganda in 2002, right up to 2007 when I branched out on my own. I loved my time living and working with the deaf children at Maria’s Care and was really pleased that Nico now has a place there, amazing! The school will help him progress with his signing and to read and write, and also study other subjects. In addition he will be taught a skill such as carpentry and tailoring which will give him a chance of employment. It’s fantastic that Nico has ended up at Maria’s Care. It’s a small world!


A thank you from Nico!

If you’re on Fb please view the video below of Nico enjoying dancing using just the vibrations through his feet of music from a wedding in the village. I enjoyed my entertainment!


Dear friends
It’s a while since I have been in touch with you but things are still moving along slowly. Funds are gradually building for my projects in Uganda from my doggie sitting and also selling items friends and neighbours donate. This week I sold golf clubs and a small tv and received enough to buy several life saving mosquito nets that I will be delivering in February. Thanks to all who have donated items over recent years, please keep them coming! And of course a big thank you to all who entrust their dogs and cats into our care in exchange for a donation. I think they enjoy their stays or visits as much as we do!
Be back soon!

Change of plan

Dear Friends
I’ve decided not to go ahead with my idea to build a four-room classroom block at Brain Trust Nursery and Primary School, Uganda. One reason for this change of plan is that very few people backed the idea by pledging the finance needed but, probably just as important, I felt in my heart, and eventually my head(!) that I really didn’t want to take on another large project again with the stress of a great deal of fund raising which I knew it would entail. Thank you to those who have pledged money, I hope you’re not too disappointed and that you will go on supporting my small but even more important mosquito net project that is certain to save many people from the misery of Malaria and therefore save lives.
I smile to myself when I remember just how many people now have happier healthier lives purely because of your kindness and generosity. You helped me deliver 1000 nets in just 18 months so, you might know what I’m thinking, could we deliver another 1000 nets by 2021, the year I turn 70? I’m all for it if you are!
I shall be returning to Uganda in February but I’ve already had donations for more nets, some people wanting to use their net donation as an alternative gift for a birthday or anniversary, and of course Christmas is always approaching!! Any requests for nets to be delivered for a celebration dated between now and February are dealt with by my wonderful friends in Uganda who are always there to look after me and help on my projects.
I am still very enthusiastic about giving talks to schools and adult groups, plus of course, looking after my doggie and pussycat friends or in fact any of your family pets either in your home or for sleep overs and holidays in mine, both in exchange for a donation!

Look forward to hearing from you and ………………………. THANK YOU!

Hover over or click to see full photo and read captions


I love Spring, and singing!

I do love Spring……..and singing! Just got back from a walk round the fields but without the usual doggie friend. It’s great having one stay as it gets me some exercise and fresh air, and of course raises money for mosquito nets and my other projects in Uganda. Just lately we’ve had charge of Roger, Florence, Isla, Gonzo and Socrates the cat, though Socrates prefers his solitary walks! Today I was singing my heart out as I walked briskly along going quiet as anyone approached me. It was only when I passed a man and his dog for the second time I realised I hadn’t been as quiet as i thought as he was happily humming Drea-ea-ea-ea-eam, dream dream dream!! Looking forward to having Bob next week but I might keep up the singing too!! Please get in touch if you would like ‘your best friend’ to stay with us for a few hours or a few days in exchange of a donation to Uganda. x

Trees in aid of mosquito nets!

Dear friends I have been given several bare rooted trees to raise funds for my Uganda projects. There is  Wild Cherry, Rowan, Hornbeam, Birch, Walnut and oak. If you would like any of these in exchange for a few pounds donation for mosquito nets please get in touch ASAP.