When Patrick arrived to collect us for church in Kabwami Parish this morning we were running a little late and still eating breakfast, we finished quickly and headed off, all except Finn who was unfortunately not feeling well today and stayed behind. A relatively short drive but the murram road is best negotiated slowly.
We were met by Joffrey the Pastor and Paul the catechist (lay reader). All was very quiet as we arrived and were ushered into the school office for breakfast of boiled eggs and bananas and wonder of wonders a familiar brand of coffee, better still, there was milk!!
The modest church sits just behind the school and looks very smart with its new coat of paint.
Unusually, there were just two people in the building when we arrived, but Paul beat the traditional drum sitting outside the door, no church bells here, and slowly more people trickled in to sit at the school desks that were being used as pews.
This was a very different service to that which we have come to expect, quieter and more reserved, almost as we would expect at home. People continued to trickle in throughout the service, possibly word had gone out that the Bzungu were in town. Eventually the church was full with 40 adults 14 teenagers and 38 children, Patrick called the children to sit around him at the front to make room.
We prayed for a couple who’s 14 year old son had drowned in the lake yesterday, they had gone to retrieve his body today, life is fragile in this part of the world, just a reminder that tomorrow is never guaranteed for anyone.
His sermon was quite stern about blessing the children by taking responsibility for them, ensuring they received an education, are provided with lunch and learn the importance of good hygiene, so they will be valuable members of the community in the future, all in Lugandan of course. Fortunately, we had an interpreter.
Then back to the school for a traditionally cooked Luwombo lunch before heading off to visit some local homes.
This rural area, as in much of Uganda, is a mix of relative affluence and abject poverty nestled side by side, although most homes here appear to have a reasonable piece of land for growing crops. Crime is also a problem and livestock are regularly stolen, particularly goats and cows.
We are looking forward to returning on Friday for a tour of the school which was refurbished by CHI during lockdown.
We returned to our accommodation with just enough time for a quick swim before we started on tonight’s blog.