Saturday, April 30, 2011

Its a Busy Village!!

Life at Village of Hope always has something of interest going on. With 32 children, there is never a dull (or even quiet) moment, particularly now that they are all on 5 weeks holiday.

We have had our own little dramas at times. Steven, one of the new boys, broke his wrist when he fell over. An xray was followed by a plaster cast, although it was off in 2 weeks and he has been fine since. I think he enjoyed the daily ritual of having his arm wrapped in a plastic bag so that he could bathe, then coming back to have the sling applied again.

Then there was John who bit his tongue when he fell over. He managed to take quite a chunk out and so we decided to take him off to a clinic to get it checked. With service that you could only dream about in Australia, John had been registered, examined by a nurse, who called in a doctor for a look, who scheduled him for surgery and in he went, all within 25 minutes. After the surgery to put several stitches in, they decided to keep John in overnight and he was very brave through it all. A couple of days without solid food and then all was well for him too. It only kept him quiet for the first day, then he was back to his old self.

Easter was chocolate free, but was instead celebrated with special meals of chicken and rice for lunch and turkey and matooke for supper. There were sodas as well and during the afternoon we went on an outing. The park turned out to be a part of Jinja golf course, so we had to move when balls started flying over our heads, but eventually another space was located close by and several games gave those who weren’t climbing trees some fun.

This week there has been opportunity for different groups of children to get some extra classes in (much) smaller numbers than they get at school to learn some of the basics that they may have missed out on. The admin building is usually abuzz in the mornings with puzzles and reading and writing and drawing and practising number recognition and even letter recognition. To see the faces of children as they begin to understand is amazing.

As well as this learning, many of the children are eager to help with various jobs that are going on. Anne usually has ‘help’ preparing dinner as the children want to learn about different ways of preparing food. The moment I look at a ladder or pull out my keys to open the tool shed I am swamped with willing helpers. These kids have held tools while some repair jobs have happened or walked down to the site of ‘Mission House’ to carry some tools home or to clean up off cuts of timber to be used for the cooking fires.

Another group of girls have been quite amazing. This group of 4 teenage girls have spent each afternoon this week in the garden, digging the ground with hoes and planting seeds. Now is the time to do this with wet season upon us. I’m not sure where I would have to go in Australia to find 4 teenage girls who on their own, with no pressure from anyone else, would show the dedication necessary to work so hard in the garden for so long to achieve their goal.

As well as all of this good stuff, there have been times of sadness as well. Last weekend we heard of an accident at the lake where 2 children had drowned. Today we found out that one of them was a boy that Trudi, our visitor, had made some connection with. On Thursday morning we received a phone call from a friend at YWAM informing us that a boy of one of the families who live and work at the YWAM base had died the night before, collapsing suddenly after playing football and eating supper. The boy was well known to the children of the village as he attended the same primary school as them. Again we are reminded that even more so here in Africa, you cannot take life for granted, and we should all be thankful for the life we have.

Some photos of our outing - games being played and children with delight on their faces

Hoppo Bumpo!

A human pyramid

Peter and Maliko

Sebudde and Purpose

Monday, April 11, 2011

Another Weekend of Celebration


This weekend there was yet another birthday to celebrate. Trudi, a visitor from Oz, had a birthday and organised a trip to Lake Victoria for the children.

Trudi has made some connection with a couple of fishermen, and arranged for them to take the children out in their boats for a short ride. For most of them, this was their first visit to the lake and they were all very excited.

As well as the boat ride, they amused themselves on the foresore with various games and just watching those in the boat.

Ronald, the fisherman, also put on a short display of fishing with his net, and despite being in the wrong place at the wrong time of the day, managed a small catch of 4 fish, which we blessed the neighbours with.

As the rain arrived, the children retreated to the bus and returned to the village for an ice cream.

Sunday Night.

On Sunday, Robert Kafeero, the director of Uganda Hopebuilders made an appearance at devotions to talk about the role of the family. He entertained the children for quite a while and engaged them in his lesson very well.

Another reason for having Robert come was that the village presented bibles to all of the children in primary 4 or older.

One or 2 already had small "Gideons" bibles, but 8 children were each presented with a nice new hardback NIV. The mothers presented the bibles, and Pastor George and his wife Jeska were on hand to pray for the children as they received them. It was a great night.