Eloise and Lugazi
Posted by Deb and Dug Benn at 19:49 on 6th June 2011
Well, it’s been another hectic and eclectic few weeks. For those that don’t know, we popped back to the UK for a fortnight early in May and filled up on cuddles and nappy changing with Eloise Grace. What an incredible privilege to be able to travel thousands of miles and meet our beautiful granddaughter. It was such a joy to be able to revel in grandparenthood and wonderful to see Joe and Laura embracing their new roles as parents. As well as stocking up emotionally we also managed to fill an additional three suitcases with goodies – we returned with toiletries, underwear, tools, books, mincemeat and English Cadbury’s to name but a few.
We surprised ourselves with how relatively easy it is to straddle two cultures. We were concerned that driving back in the UK would be a shock, but it was a joy – everyone seemed to go round the roundabouts the same way - although we did keep looking for invisible boda-boda drivers overtaking on the inside or a taxi-bus trying to undercut us when turning right! The lack of pot-holes was also great. Generally we seemed to just put on our ‘UK heads’ and got back into things – although Deb did say “Webale ssebo” when buying a coffee at Starbucks at a motorway service station. She also became quite animated in both Asda and Sainsbury’s at how well stocked and clean they were!
We were very grateful that we returned to both water and electricity in the flat. It took us a couple of days to recover from the travelling - can’t claim jet-lag for only a two hour difference, we were just tired. Since returning we (with Chris) have run two workshops – second module in Jinja and first module in Lugazi.
Pastor Ben had contacted us a number of times – he phoned us, emailed us and visited us. He had heard us speak at the BUU AGM and he was determined we should come to Lugazi and train his workers. We told Pastor Ben that we could only come to Lugazi to run this training if there were sufficient people – it includes group work. He assured us that this was possible and agreed with Chris that the training would take place on 4th June, the first day we had available. On our way back from the Jinja workshop we called in on Pastor Ben. Well, he had certainly risen to the challenge. He’d spoken to local pastors and taken letters to other denominational churches around Lugazi. He created a registration form and encouraged churches to get people to sign up and even started to collect fees. Lugazi Baptist is way off the beaten track, it’s a very humble place, a wooden slatted shack divided into four rooms with a small brick built office. The church is used as a school during the week. It has no water and no electricity – there is a small latrine in the corner of the tiny compound. To get to the compound you cross a rickety plank across a gully and enter the gate. Pastor Ben invited us to his home a short distance away to share a drink. He lives in a tiny two roomed home, a curtain separating the living room and bedroom. He made us so welcome, proudly showing us all his certificates and his graduation photographs. He then insisted that he go and buy us cold sodas and share a drink with us.
Therefore, on Saturday we left Kampala at 7am and arrived at Lugazi Baptist soon after 8am to be greeted by Pastor Ben. We were of great interest to local children and as the delegates trickled in slowly we spent a while teaching the children ‘This little piggy’ (although in our version the third little piggy ate rice & beans) and ‘Walkie round the shamba’. Although our Luganda greeting was well received it became clear as people started to arrive, that we would need to either deliver the workshop in Luganda or have it interpreted! So Chris and Grace delivered their sections in Luganda and interpreted for us – it was a tiring day for all of us. Pastor Ben came up trumps, we had 25 people from 12 churches and three denominations.
We’re excited about going back to do module 2 on June 25th!