Even grandparents can have adventures!

The birth of Donnez de l'espoir à l'Ouganda

Our little guides

With Simon and our little guides

Sleepy

Little tomboy

Oldest lady

Inside the house

A journey, a last visit to Grass Roots and 3 final visitors.

Yesterday in an impromptu visit to Adam's home village we were privileged to meet more members of his family and to visit the farm where they raise crops and livestock. 

The area is to the west of Masaka and the scenery is different.  The landscape is much more undulating and for all but the final five minutes or so the road is tarmac. 

We passed a number of villages en route and became aware that white faces were, if anything, rarer. 

The vegetation ranged from bananas and coffee to papyrus and more barren Bush where goats or cattle grazed. 

This farm, when we arrived there, is flanked by workers huts including a small colony of Somalian refugees who have been employed and housed by Adam's brother.  The children are sent to school but also help with smaller animals like goats and chickens. 

The workers have garden areas where they can grow their own food.  It works as a community. 

We were made welcome and introduced to everyone in the main house. 

Farming is fairly intensive with mixed planting coffee plants and bananas can be under planted with tomatoes and cassava. 

Gradually one little girl aged 3, who herds goats with her stick came and head my hand and 2 other 3 year olds tailed us as we were shown round the immediate area of the farm.  Open sandals were not an asset to cross the dung splattered corral but the view across the spread of the farm with its silence and birdsong was amazing. 

Simon, Adam's nephew, told us that we would be welcome to come and live there! 

Then back at the house my 3 year old goat herder sat on my knee and fell asleep.  Heart melting stuff when a child trusts you to that extent. 

Then it was time to leave and we journeyed back to Masaka and treated Adam and Simon to a drink and snack in Grass Roots, saying our goodbyes to them at the same time. 

In the evening Brenda arrived with only 6 bags as she had been busier than anticipated 

Alex, the head teacher arrived and we gave him some art materials. 

Finally Lydia arrived to bring something we had ordered as a gift for a neighbour and brought me the gift of a hand knitted blanket.  I was gobsmacked. 

She is such a lovely girl and hopes to train as a nurse. I am very minded to support her. 

This morning it is raining and we are due to leave for Kampala before our flight tomorrow. 

Certainly it is sympathetic scenery.  We will leave a little bit of our hearts he

 

Goodbye Lydia and thank you

Leaving Golf Lane

Final visit to a school, recycling and planning

Doreen time was in operation on Monday morning in that our proposed meeting time of 12 noon became 1-30 in reality. 

We were to revisit Isaacs school where our sponsored child Pamela and her brother Alan and sister Pauline are pupils. 

This was the school that had had no roof and brick covered uneven floors 2 weeks ago. 

The school was in operation when we arrived and children were being housed in 2 classrooms. 

We did a drawing session for 33 children, the last of this trip. 

This time à portrait and again the problems of translation. 

Despite my grand gestures about size relative to the paper and proportion and placing of facial features, the little ones tended to produce little faces with eyes at the top of the head but the older ones did manage some credible efforts. 

The photos show more. 

Again we finished with a group photo and the picture was again donated to the school as were the remaining baby clothes as both female teachers had young babies. 

We left the school and proceeded to visit the recycling site. 

This is a relatively new venture sponsored by Coca-Cola and linked to the Masaka marathon. 

The local people are encouraged to recycle plastic bottles and hard plastic and are paid by kilogram for what they return. 

À factory in Kampala produces bricks completely made from plastics which retail for less than the cost of concrete. 

An educational programme being run at individual centres teaches of the environmental issues relating to plastics and the ecology and teaches planting in plastic bowls, or making chicken huts from plastic bottles threaded onto bamboo. 

A very interesting visit followed by a final visit to Plot 99 and evening with Adam at the hotel planning our last day here and the remainder of our time after leaving Masaka before the long journey home

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A much needed rest

Sleep didn't come easily on Saturday night and, when it did, it was rudely shattered by a noisy group of revellers arriving back on our corridor at 3am.

I was awake until after 6am then. 

But the morning was relatively leisurely and I caught up with the blog and then the rain began, so that and the accompanying thunder meant that we were confined to barracks for the next hour. 

Even the roads in town are eroded and potholes abounds that on our walk up to Plot 99 we had not only avoid mud and potholes but judge whether passing traffic was going to splash us with the ever-present red mud. 

We spent the following few hours chatting to each other and the friendly staff, and just watching the wildlife and chilling. 

At 5-30 Doreen, her son Dan, the nephew, Nathan, who she is raising as her own and Mabel an orphan she has taken in again to no financial gain. 

The extent of her own poverty is such that she cannot always afford to feed them.  Life here is hard. 

In the early evening when we returned to the hotel Adam had returned and we spent an evening catching up and talking about our mutual adventures during the previous fortnight. 

Today we are to return to the half built school we saw a fortnight ago and give the children there a drawing lesson. 

We are also going to visit a recycling centre which has a forward sighted mission to improve the problems of plastic pollution in Uganda. 

Birds attacking jackfruit

Nathan, Mabel and Dan and Doreen enjoying a meal with us

Kitchen staff at Plot 99

Lydia, one of the waitresses

Buffalo with birds

Pretty dove

Art lesson teacher's efforts

Working hard

Final outcome

Concentration

Final visit to the village for now!

We set out for our final visit to the village for this year with mixed feelings. 

Three weeks ago we didn't know these people and went out to the village with some trepidation. 

Now we feel at home with them.  The children clearly adore us and we are treated like family. 

We arrived by 12 30 and were welcomed by a group of excited children. 

 

At first we sat in the church building and waited. A little later Doreen suggested we might like to see the women in the kitchen so we walked through a banana plantation to the hut where a huge cauldron was bubbling on an open fire. 

This was a cornmeal porridge which served as breakfast for the children. 

We were given a cupful each and it was good of a little bland. 

Children sat in bits of shade drinking theirs whilst the women chatted, some trying out a few words of English on us. 

The afternoon brought my art session in which I was able to provide the children with their first ever introduction to painting. 

Imagine it for a minute, not one of them had ever held a paint brush or used paints. 

Everyone was able to keep the end product and from the delight of the mother's I can imagine that they will take pride of place in several of the huts locally. 

Just after that we were all served food, rice, pork and gravy.

Then something we found incredible happened. 2 little children appeared, the elder aged about 6 and the younger probably 4.  They had walked on their own from the nearest trading post some 3 kilometres away.  Why? 

To see the muzungu!  They both came and did the traditional low curtsey.  I took the younger one on my knee where she snuggled in closely and fell asleep.  Some of the women claiming that I must have healing hands. 

Both the children and the women sang and danced for us and I was close to tears when I told them how happy we were to know them, how we felt like part of the family and promised that we would be back next year if we were still alive. 

That met with whoops of joy and hugs from everyone.  One woman as she said goodbye called us Mummy and Daddy. 

We met Kate Oakley and her group briefly in the evening and collapsed into bed before 11pm exhausted but exhilerat

Painting for the first time

Distribution of paint

Sharon painting

Deo painting

Shanitah painting

Concentrate

Finished artwork

Sunset

Persith gets her bag and mattress

Liberty has a mattress now

Just watching

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The children singing for us

The women singing and dancing for us

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