Wednesday, January 21, 2015

last few days

Well what a difference a few days can make. The last day in Uganda was spent visiting Jinja Christian School and Hope Community High School. Both Ron and Anne as well as Robert were able to tell us the God orchestrated stories of both these schools. It was great to see how education is helping break te cycle of poverty.

In the afternoon we said our farewells to the village and all the people we have come to know over the last 2 weeks. It is always a mixed time - tears of joy and sorrow being shed. The village children put on some amazing dances - which put team 17's hokey pokey to shame!!  some sodas and snacks finished the the evening and a parting photo at the rock was just the right way to leave.

Since then we have moved countries and arrived in Kenya. What a difference a day can make!! we get to enjoy this beautiful place seeing spectacular scenery and amazing God designed animals. And mixed with some well earned relaxation. It does mess with you when we have such contrast to what we have experienced over the last few weeks. We look forward to God using that "messing" as we debrief our experiences.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Last Day of work - Party Time!!

Yep -  today was our last day of building - mmm and yes I didn't take any photos of our completed work!! maybe next post!!
Today was also Colleens Birthday - so we celebrated with a late night baked cake, a swim and a night out for dinner!!
It feels so good to get the work out of the way and now just enjoy our last few days in Uganda.
A huge thanks to Juliet Sam and Elizabeth who have made our time at Subbi House such a great experience!!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Week 2 - Thursday and Friday

Thursday began a bit slowly at the village but by lunch time house 11 had been fully rendered inside and out. Even some rework was done on house 11. Dale set up his trade school in the community shelter as he gave some of the older boys some apprentice training as they built timber capping for all the walls.  In the afternoon we headed for the Jinja women's prison and the Missesse slums. It was very confronting in both places but was a  privileged to be able to serve the women and also needy families. We finished of the day with a meal at All Friends with the HopeBuilders team where there was some Muzungu vs Ugandan arm wrestling challenges - lots of laughs and great food,

Friday we said goodbye to Paul & Suzanne as they head back to Melb. They received a great farewell from the village children and Ivan was very impressed with the new village computer that Paul provided and installed. After they left the rest of us went a little adventure to some of the lake villages an hour or two out of Jinja. It was a great experience to get out to some of the more remote villages and have people share some of what life is like in these finishing villages. We got to travel by boat from village to village as we saw a part of Uganda that not many Australians have seen - not many of the villages had ever heard of Australia - although Tim Cahil did get some recognition.
Another couple of great days in Uganda...

Thursday, January 15, 2015

More work & fun

On Monday afternoon we visited Youth Support Uganda who are working with disadvantaged youth and young adults. We got some experience on the sewing machines which the current class of trainees uses - more challenging than most of us thought. We then visited the sewing co op began by the class that graduated last year and finally caped of the afternoon with a visit to the new block of land which YSU has purchased and is looking to begin building its youth center on. Farouk did a great job in telling and showing us the story of YSU.

After a full day of work on Tuesday - more rendering and the beginning of some of the kitchen work we then headed of to the village for dinner with the team dividing itself among the houses and enjoying a beautiful meal of beans, irish and chapatti's. It was great to be able to share a meal this way together. After this we had devotions in the 'shed' with some great singing, praying and a word from pastor Glenn.

The posho mill was also up and running today as well with some of the older boys working to get the maze ground and milled into posho for the the village.

Wednesday most of the team spent the day on the water - well actually, in the water - as we had a day of enjoying some white water rafting on the Nile river. Everyone got a soaking, a little bit sun burnt but had heaps of fun. An early night was had as we prepare for a bit more building tomorrow and a visit to the slums

Monday, January 12, 2015

Team 17's Second Week

It started in a unique twist of a Movie Night (Madagascar 2) ,on Sunday evening. Children and everybody had fun especially after the movie where Team members and children treated us with African dancing strokes was really exciting and fun though i was a bit afraid of team's getting back to Suubi because it was getting darker and darker...........So this had to stop while it was still very much enjoyable!!
Amazingly this morning i heard some team members singing these songs moreover in the local language, hope they would be remembering them when they get back home to organise a concert based on African Musical and Dancing strokes in AUS.
From the weekend , its now busy Monday morning, as i post this ,the Team is doing finishing on houses 11 and 12 (painting ,vents fixing),then after Lunch ,all roads lead to Youth Support Uganda for members to see how Youths' Lives are being changed and Hopee built up.
Thanks Team 17 for the great work being done..

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Day 8

Today we began our day on the top of monkey mountain - with a fresh breeze in the air we had to snuggle up to stay warm - but things warmed up as the big ball of orange worked its way through the clouds. We were then off to home of hope for an intense half day digging pumping and mixing - some sore bodies at the end of it.
We had the afternoon off spending some time at the Source of the Nile, the Keep - amazing milkshakes - the market and then to the Gately for dinner to end of another big day in Uganda. #godisgood #greattimes

Today was our last day at Hope of Hope which was bittersweet. It was sad to say goodbye to the kids because every time they saw you they were so happy and to put a smile of these kids’ faces felt so rewarding. We spent our last half day completing the laundry slab and digging a trench from the slab to the road to put a pipe in. A few of girls decided to take some of the kids in wheelchairs for a walk down the road and they got so excited. Because the staff are always so busy, they do not get a chance to take the kids out so it was good to get them out of the house. The girl I was pushing I had not seen smile for the three days I was there and then all of a sudden a small giggle escaped from her mouth and a smile spread across her face and it was so amazing to see. Such a small thing brought me so much happiness. Just taking these kids out for half an hour or so seems like such a small thing to us but to them it must mean the world. Being at home of hope was extremely confronting for me and very emotionally draining, however it opened my eyes to what condition some kids have to live in. However, seeing their faces light up when seeing you was really special and to think I have enriched these kids’ lives in some way is an amazing feeling; an experience I won’t forget.  – Megan 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

1 week down!!

Hello from Coby my second time here and just as awesome you always leave some of yourself behind even after 2 years it is aunty coby everywhere teaching a bit of knitting I thought but I think there where about 30 kids a crazy morning but a few days later they walk around with the knitting very enthusiastic I know I have some more friends here even a few want to come and live with me looking after the old lady ha ha

The Home of Hope, such a beautiful place with beautiful souls. We spent our second day there pouring concrete, carting rocks and pumping bore water to create a laundry and a concrete area for the children to be on, rather than the dirt/mud patch outside the back of the house. In the morning Michelle, Ingrid, Maddy and Suzanne took 5 of the children out in their wheelchairs for a walk along the road…they were so excited. Walking past the school along the road we could hear music playing, something you don’t often hear. But it’s holidays at the moment, where was it coming from? The music became louder and the kids got more excited. Then from behind us, a man pulled up on a pushbike, microphone strapped to the front, a barrel strapped to the back – the Ugandan Mr Whippy Van. Children from neighbouring houses came running, he scooped small cones for every child and we bought our children a cone each. It was a beautiful moment, watching them enjoying their gift, something we consider normal – icecream. It’s those moments, seeing those faces and hearing the giggles that make your heart smile. We come to Uganda to help, serve and give but come away enriched, loved and changed by those who live here.  (Suzanne)

Edith was so excited about receiving her new computer and there was some truely African celebration in the office when Paul handed it over.