I have already posted a number of photos but I am sure you will be interested in the details of the visit.
As I have already mentioned the storm yesterday disrupted our intended starting time.
So, eventually it was afternoon before we left.
We bought petrol for the car Doreen has been lent and biscuits and lollipops for the children and left Masaka on a mud road leading through an area of marshland to a variety of little settlements and mud or tin houses
We now became more than aware of why setting off in rain would have been impossible.
The road was misshapen with deep ditches at both sides and a number of ruts and potholes in it.
The same variety of vehicles as we had witnessed on the road from the airport, were competing for road space and motorbikes bearing huge wide loads, for example we saw 2 bikes following each other and both bearing 2 seater sofas.
Sometimes the distances between vehicles were miniscule both in terms of length and width.
We progressed past banana and coffee plantations and 2 pauses for roadworks and eventually reached the home of one of the elderly ladies.
We were invited to enter her home and greeted her with the luganda words Olie otiya, perhaps not the accepted spelling, and she grabbed our hands and shook them for several minutes.
She was humblingly delighted to meet us. A friend and helper of hers arrived and repeated the intensity of greeting. Doreen delivered some food and some money to the old lady and we left.
The same humbling feelings were to follow us all day.
Outside her hut some local children arrived and stared at us. Then, wooed by lollipops, they decided we were OK, apart from the baby clinging to his brother's back who screamed in terror at the white ghost in front of him. He was probably about 6 months old and unlike many of the local children would never have seen a white person before
The journey continued until we got to the village and met some of the children including the 3 we sponsor and those sponsored by Pat and Debbie. We will see all of these children individually later to give them their specific gifts.
The children sang for us as greeting and I took photos and my camera was passed to both Doreen and Jeremy to take different shots as the time went on.
A bench had been brought out of one of the huts and carried out onto the field so that we had a seat and events moved on.
Doreen had warned me that she would ask me to tell a story so I told them about my family and telling stories through the generations.
Doreen translated as I went on and the news that I had 4 children and 13 grandchildren there was a huge ullullation from the group and the 3 adults who had joined us.
Then Doreen asked me to organise a game. My mind was blank so I got the children into 4 groups and asked them to get into order of age eldest at the back of each line.
I then pointed to a tree and said that the groups in turn would move to it, round it and back to their place. The first group were to move like monkeys and make monkey noises, the second, lions, third, crocodiles and 4th wild dogs. Then come back to the line.
They loved it. In the second half each team chose 2 representatives to move to a different tree, again making their team's noise
Lollipops and biscuits again were gratefully accepted and that and a bottle of water delighted children and adults alike. Normally all water has to be drawn from the local well and isn't clean and certainly would make us ill.
Now the children really began to warm to us, touching our hands, feet and especially finger nails and, after disliking my feet for as long as I can remember, was told I had beautiful feet.
Finishing these activities we were invited to go to the church and meet some of the adults.
To children, now swarming round us and all trying to hold our hands, led us to the church and installed us on the most comfortable seat where we sat and some of them did a dance for us.
Then we were invited to eat. People were dispatched to find a knife and fork each for us and another bench miraculously appeared. The locals eat with their hands so cutlery is a rare luxury.
The meal arrived a single plate of beans, cassava and matoke. Doreen and the 2 of us shared it.
Then, we needed to meet some of the villagers and then, the next bombshell, we were going to speak to everyone with a loudspeaker.
We made the brief statement of who we were and how special it was to meet everyone. We said that we could not provide more than we are currently sending but that we would tell our friends and their friends about the village and hope that they might be willing to help.
Just before we left an early lady, the mother of the local minister, arrived and gave me a handful of rafia bracelets she had made and wanted me to wear and to give some to my friends.
Before we left I put on 2 of her bracelets and got of the car to show her. She beamed, wrapped me in a hug which moved into a dance which the children applauded and an ullullation erupted.
What a day!
On the way home on a frighteningly high mound of roadworks mud we had an extremely near miss with a motorbike and skidded frighteningly but miraculously remained on the road.
In the evening we went for a light meal and a drink to Plot 99 and thence to bed back at the hotel and with the aid of a lovely warm shower and a little white pill I had the best sleep since arriving here.
We will see what today holds.