DAY 1 – MEETING PARTNERS AND THE BISHOP

A good night’s sleep and a leisurely start to today saw us all feeling a lot better than we did last night.

After a short walk to St John’s Church, Kijjabwemi Ian and Carmen felt like they had never been away. A tour round the new ‘House’ being built for Rev Canon Patrick (or so we thought). The building is enormous, is this something of a extravagance we wondered? Until Patrick explained how; two of the rooms and one bathroom are for families who need temporary accommodation; one is for visiting dignitaries; one room is for church meetings and conferences. The area of the building for his private living consists of one family bedroom with bathroom and a living area. Patrick has four children of his own and two adopted children!!!!! This building is a Parish resource, not an extravagant private home. Once again our western assumptions have given us cause to eat humble pie.

We met with the ‘staff’ who administer the Sponsorship Project in Uganda Field Assistant David, Harriet who assists him, as well as working as a teacher at the senior school and running Sunday School, and Patrick’s admin assistant Talent. Their enthusiasm and commitment to this work is a joy to see.

We saw the piggery project funded by CHI. The local youth are assisted to care for these pigs, they learn animal husbandry skills which serve them well in these largely rural communities, as the pigs breed they are given to local families in need to help them become self sufficient. They in turn pass on their first born piglet to another family. Throughout this process they are supported by the church and as faith grows, many come to know God and His love for them. We also saw the sewing machines purchased with CHI funds, these  are used to teach sponsored children, and others who attend the Saturday project sewing skills a means of providing for themselves in the future. For security, when not in use, David stores the machines in the small room he calls home in a building on site.

  

We were shown the vegetable patch which provides food for the project and training for the children. Every opportunity is taken to give these youngsters the skills required to provide for themselves in later life.

After lunch we set off to meet with Bishop Henry Katuna Tamale and his Diocesan admin team. A relatively new Bishop this was our first meeting with him, we were made very welcome and will forgive him (eventually) for making us sing, we don’t think he will ask us again!!!! We also met his wife Rev Canon Elizabeth Katuna and had very interesting discussions surrounding her work with Mothers Union.

Meeting Bishop Henry and his wife Elizabeth

Then off to Bexhill High School to meet with some of the sponsored children, this is a senior school and these children board here as it is too far to travel daily. Although very shy they assured us they were enjoying being at this school, and their head teacher told us they were all very good students. We also met a very eloquent young lady named Pauline who told us she hoped to become a doctor. Her English was exceptional and we have no doubt she will achieve her goals.

The two Paulines

We arrived back at Banda in time for a quick swim before dinner. How very civilised.

 

 

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