Today we were scheduled to visit Kaleere in Rakai Parish about a one and a half hour drive south. After a night of heavy storms the rain was in no hurry to let up, we set off a little late with some trepidation. The last half hour of the ‘road’ to Kaleere is something of a challenge on a good day and today was not a good one. During a short stop to change up some money (we are now multi millionaires in Ugandan Shillings) a phone call from Canon Eriab in Rakai advised us the road to Kaleere was not passable it had been washed away, and our schedule would need to be adjusted.
After meeting with Canon Eriab, and a very muddy stumble to the ‘facilities’, we headed up the hill to Rakai School instead. Of the 257 students, 50 of whom are orphans, virtually none are able to pay their school fees. A meeting with the head teacher and some of his staff explored the possibility of an income generating project to involve the Church, school and community. We await their proposal with interest.
It was cooler than normal for Uganda and, whilst we found it quite comfortable many of the children in their thin and thread bear clothes were visibly shivering. all we could do was hug them to try and warm them up.
As we came out of the meeting the children were leaving their classes for lunch, at least, some were, many others simply waited around at the top of the hill, they could not pay and therefore cannot have lunch.
We heard how the CHI provision of water tanks following our last visit means water is no longer a problem and the children do not have to walk to the lake, and brave the hippos, to collect water.
This school are also in dire need of new toilet facilities as the existing pit is full!!!
By this time we were nearly as wet and muddy as the children, so we carried on down the hill to view the Eucalyptus Trees funded last year. There have been problems with drought and termite damage but around 7,000 of the original 10,000 trees are growing well. In another two years these will provide a cash crop for the benefit of the community and can be pollarded each year.
Then it was back to the office for further discussions with Eriab where we handed over the camera we had bought out for him. His previous camera had been stolen, which made providing the required photographs of the projects something of a challenge. He seemed very pleased with his gift.
With the rain finally easing up we bade farewell and headed for home with a prayer for better weather over the next two days, Ian is preaching at Kaleere Church on Sunday, we really need to be able to get there.