We woke up to the fantastic news that the 16 missing cases have been located! According to a rather helpful chap named Roger, our cases are on Ugandan soil and should be delivered to the guest house later today – remains to be seen if the 15 cases we receive are the correct ones, but let’s not get caught up on detail.
And so. To the village we go! We were greeted by 300 children who had prepared a selection of songs and dances to welcome us to their school.
Once the children were all back in their classrooms we split into teams and got to work!
Following the incredible welcome from the school, we were then offered refreshments so we were slightly late in starting the mornings teaching activities (all in Ugandan time!)
The team started in P1 (6&7 yr olds) splitting the children into 3 groups. The groups then rotated between activities led by the team focussing on fun maths games, designed to give the teachers ideas of ways to make lessons a little more creative and away from the blackboard. There were challenges of language, especially with he little ones, but luckily the counting of 10 using fingers and thumbs is universal.
Our armed guard, Laban, (who works as part of the Presidents protection team) came into his own at the school and stepped in to help Sophie and Karenza with translating, happily encouraged the children and joining in – complete with gun and military uniform! We asked him if he’d had a good day, and he replied, ‘no, I’ve had a great day!’ Laban is becoming more a part of the team every day.
Due to the suitcase situation, Val and Clare were limited in what they could be doing. That didn’t stop Val tending to a little girls knee, much to the fascination of everyone in the immediate vicinity.
Sarah has a fabulous physio bed, hired from the local hospital, and spent a busy afternoon treating some of the local women, giving advice and assistance where possible. The women needed no encouragement to hop up on to the very comfy ‘bed’ and were happy to spend some time being administered to and looked after.
Ian, Derek, Andy, the two Pastor Steve’s and a local friend John spent the afternoon in the community. They went to an open air social club where they found 20-30 young men hanging out and playing pool. The guys agreed to listen to a story if Ian gave them a game of pool – although he claims he did the polite thing and ‘let’ them win, deep down we all know he was probably thrashed fair and square. Unbelievably, every single young man then sat and listened intently to Andy, who was assisted by translation and his amazing picture book – for a around FORTY minutes as she shared stories from the Bible and the gospel message!
Jo, Rachel, Val and Clare had the privilege of meeting with Joan, wife of village Pastor Steve, and we were able to introduce her to the reusable sanitary towels. It was actually very moving; Joan was thrilled with the pads and her reaction alone made every single second of the 24hr event worthwhile.
In the afternoon, Jo, Rachel and Clare were joined by Joan and set off into the village, meeting women (and scaring the children who had never seen a white person before) inviting them to come to the church on Friday if they’d like one of the sanitary packs. The response was amazing; the need more evident with each passing group of women. What was particularly lovely was to see Joan slowly move from being our translator to taking t lead and explaining to the women herself why we were there and what we had for them. The local men gave us space to chat to the women, and they shared with us how difficult it is to endure periods, with the cultural taboo surrounding menstruation making it impossible for them to ask even their husbands for the money to buy what they need.
All in all, a superb day, and our evening was rounded off with Jo very appropriately talking about joy.