Dear Friends of St James
I have been home from Uganda for just over a week and gradually settling down again though I always find it far more difficult than settling into my Ugandan life! I hope you had a lovely Christmas. I was greedy and had six Christmas’s! I had a wonderful time in Uganda though very different from my usual as the children were all on school holidays. I took out books to read, music to listen to, videos to watch but never used any of them as I was too busy having fun!
It was really good to be able to spend more time with friends and ‘family’. I spent a total of a week with one of our Ugandan ‘daughters’ Florence in Kampala, at the beginning and end of my stay, and then with my other young friends in between, many like Florence have been helped with their education by my family and friends. But mostly I was living with James and this enabled us to talk a lot about St James and try and iron out some issues. The school holidays also allowed James to take me on ‘tours’ of places of interest in Uganda as we had done for him when he came to the UK!
It was great to catch up with all that has been happening at St James and seeing Hambridge Hall in use was wonderful. James and I would like to thank all of you so much for raising money to buy 200 desks, fifty for each of the four classes in the hall.
I hope that one day there will be a desk for every child at St James! As you see by the attached photos many of you asked for your desks to be named and we gave the job to a local unemployed man who wanted to earn money to help feed his family. I wonder what the children will make of the names on their desks when they return to school next week at the start of the new school year.
I have also attached the YouTube link to a video I took inside Hambridge Hall showing the four classrooms and the new desks. We still have to finish the walls, and more importantly put in the ceiling. We would like to do the ceiling as soon as we can find the money as the pounding of the heavy rain on the metal roof during the wet season is so loud that teaching becomes impossible. Also now St James is a National Exam Centre the noise will not help those trying to concentrate on their Primary Leaving Exams every November!
Thank you once again for all your interest and support for St James. If you know anyone who could help us out with raising money for the ceiling please let me know. For instance, do you know anyone in the building industry that might like to sponsor the completion of the classroom block by building the ceiling and/or finishing the walls? The children and teachers at St James would be forever grateful to them and you!
Thanks again for all the interest and support for the children at St James Junior School, Nakakabala, Uganda.
Will be in touch again soon with more of the newsletters that I am writing up!
Love Gerry x
Click here to watch the video of the classrooms and desks