It's Getting Hot Out Here!
Posted by Uganda Action Team 2011-12 at 13:07 on 11th February 2012
Blog time again!
Hanging in the house: guitaring, sewing, reading and blogging!
Since we last blogged, things have really been heating up round here – both the weather and the busyness of our schedule! And we definitely expect to be doing even more soon because, during a meeting with Pastors Abel, Amos and JB (they are in charge of our programme), we told them we wanted to be worked extra hard in the time we have left so that we can go home tired.
Kids from the village watching us clean the well.
Last week, after a fun trip to the dentist in Kampala for James, we did our first community work of the new year with the guys from Kinoni Technical Institute. We followed Pastor Baker on a half hour walk down to his village where we collected tools and headed to the community water pump. The drainage channel from the pump was completely overgrown with plants, so the water couldn’t drain away. If it was left much longer, the amount of dirty water around the pipe would be so high that the clean water would be contaminated. Considering the pump serves the whole village, including a primary school, things could’ve been quite problematic. Talking to Pastor Baker that day, we learnt that the drainage channel has to be cleared about 3 times a year!
Clearing out the drainage ditch: before, in the middle and after. A lot of work was done that day!
Jem and Alice were the only girls there and were not expected to be much help, but Alice soon showed all the boys up, getting knee deep in muddy water and shovelling away all the mud and silt that had built up around the water outlet. We were really amazed at how quickly the guys from KTI worked, especially considering how hot it was and how little shade there was. We were helping to slash grass, dig up plants and move piles of vegetation although, as we’re not very experienced with the tools, the guys regularly watched us for a bit and then took the tools, completing the job in a quarter of the time it would have taken us! However, James was very proud of his work, especially his slashing efforts where he managed to clear quite a large plot, having failed the week before to make any impact on our front lawn! He also has a nice big blister from it, which plenty of people have been shown.
Us all doing our little bit!
The day after this, we accompanied Pastor Abel to the local Compassion centre, called Kaboyo Child Development Centre (CDC). He was preaching at a special meeting for the mothers in the Child Survival Programme (CSP), which helps mothers care for their children from birth to 3 years after which we think they join the CDC programmes. As well as the Kaboyo mothers, a group had also come from another CSP, to build relationships between the 2 groups. Some of the women gave testimonies about how they had become Christians, with some having faced persecution from their Muslim families, while others told of God helping them through hard times, like when their child was sick and almost died. And after the service, before an amazing lunch, each group performed some traditional dancing for each other, which was amazing to watch, as were the guys doing the drumming, who couldn’t have been more than 10 and were incredible!
Dancing and drumming at Kaboyo.
The next day was a Saturday and we had been requested to visit a Compassion project in Kigesa as all the children meet at the project on Saturdays. Jem, James and Ian went with Pastor Abel and finally arrived there after 2 and a half hours, having got quite lost! We each spoke to the children, basically encouraging them that God has a plan for them and that he’s given them all unique skills that they can use for Him. We had also been asked to encourage them to work hard at school and be thankful to God for all he had done for them, so naturally we also wove that into our talks! The afternoon was really rewarding, as we were able to play football, netball and table tennis with the kids while talking to them about themselves and answering questions about the UK. The project really seems to be benefitting the children and the project leaders are really passionate about seeing the kids’ lives improve, with an emphasis on faith, especially as the director himself was sponsored through Compassion!
All the children at the Compassion CDC Centre, happy and waving!
While the 3 of us were visiting the Compassion project, Alice had stayed back in Kinoni to join in with the next batch of Saturday community work – door-to-door evangelism! Alice arrived at Mama Harriet’s to meet the others on time, but Mama Harriet would not let them leave until they’d had lunch, so 2 hours later they set off for Kabagala. There were 5 of them, Alice and 4 guys from Kabagala and Kinoni churches called Amos, Emma (short for Emmanuel), Isaac and Moses. They ventured deep into the village where they talked and prayed with many people including 2 ill old people, a sick child, a very old Taata and Mama and a surprisingly large amount of drunk people especially considering it was only mid afternoon.
Boys playing football at the Compassion Centre.
We are writing this at the end of a very busy week and we are all very tired and looking forward to a relaxed Sunday of church and prayer meeting, although Alice is leading Sunday School! On Tuesday, while James and Ian went up to Kampala for the next round of dental work, Jem and Alice went to the Technical Institute to teach the one English lesson they had planned. Having taught the class and marked the work, they went back home to sort out some stuff and were just planning lunch when 2 girls from the Technical Institute turned up and said a class was waiting for them! So off they went and found Pastor Baker there, who told them that they hadn’t taught them for very long so he’d got them all together again and we had another hour to teach them! So Alice improvised and had them writing letters to the Queen, while Jem went to talk to the principle to sort things out.
The lyrics for the Valentine's Day song - its really quite catchy!
In the end, we managed to sort out that we would have 4 different English groups and have an hour slot with them each week, meaning we can teach the same lesson 4 times, so it will be a perfect lesson by the fourth! On Friday, James and Alice taught the first 2 groups with a special Valentine’s Day themed lesson. They talked about what Valentine’s day is, discovered people celebrate it in Uganda (only rich people though apparently!), taught the class a song (first group had ‘Better Together’ by Jack Johnson, the second group had ‘Just the Way You Are’ by Bruno Mars) and then got them to write some Valentine’s Day vocab down. As there was time left at the end of the second lesson, they then used the vocab to write a very cheesy love song of their own!
Jem teaching maths at Loyal Foundation School.
We’ve also done a lot of work in Primary Schools, which means that we have to be ready by 7:30am to walk to the schools and tends to result in some early nights! On Thursday we went to Loyal Foundation and Parent’s Academy Primary Schools where Jem and Ian taught maths and Alice and James taught English and PE. On Friday, Jem and Ian headed over to Kabagala Baptist Primary School, where we did the usual helping with marking and corrections and playing with kids. We were really impressed with the improved structure of the days at Kabagala, which now includes at least 4 different lessons whereas before there was maybe one or two each day.
Ian's Circus Skills lesson.
On Thursday afternoon, at 5pm, we started up some lessons at the Technical Institute: Ian with circus skills, James with guitar and Jem and Alice with English for the women. The guys at the Technical Institute were really excited to have a go with all Ian’s ‘toys’ and the ones that joined James on the guitar were really getting into strumming and trying to learn to play some of the Ugandan worship songs! Unfortunately, no women turned up until about 6:30pm, so we just taught them an English worship song which we will be performing as a ‘special’ in the Sunday service! We’re hoping that the boys especially will be able to help some people get really good at both the guitar and circus things, so maybe they can even teach others at some point.
James teaching a bit of guitar to some of the guys from Kinoni Technical Institute.
Today (Saturday) we went with some young people from the churches and the Technical Institute to clean the market place in Kinoni. We went armed with Ugandan brooms made from reeds and sticks, a spade, a rake and some matches. We then swept all the rubbish from the streets into piles and lit the piles, because Ugandans burn all their rubbish as there is no rubbish collection in the village! We’re now preparing to again play volleyball with the youth this evening.
Sweeping the market and lighting a fire.
So, congratulations for reading all that – a lot has been happening lately! Please prayer for us as we continue with our program and especially for the new lessons and youth work. And please comment on our blog – we like to know people read it and also like having more comments than the other teams!
Dumping rubbish on the biggest fire pile we've seen in Kinoni!
God Bless and thank you for all your support,
Jem, Ian, Alice and James
The Super Uganda Action Team
Hanging in the house: guitaring, sewing, reading and blogging!