30/07/2012: A Different Sunday Experience
After the excitement of yesterday which included: the school bus breaking down and many nuns offering their assistance, a fun filled family lunch a...
30/07/2012: Compare and Contrast
We were full of anticipation as we made our way through the small alleys to Mityana Baptist church. As we arrived, a Bible study was drawing to a c...
28/07/2012: Esuubi Cafe comes to Kolping House!
Today has been a busy day! It started with a ‘lie-in’ with breakfast at 9am – 1 hour later than normal! (Not that a lie-in is pos...
27/07/2012: Nicole and Phoebes Uganda trip!
We’ve been in Uganda for five days and four nights. Each day has flown by, but have been extremely eventful. Nicole … during my ti...
26/07/2012: Crafts & Decorating
HI everyone at home - missing you lots. We're having an amazing time and met lots of lovely people .Every day we go to see the children where w...
26/07/2012: The Lady Varnishes..
Well, not entirely true. Some of today was spent varnishing - door frames, windows and any exposed bit of timber in the dormitory rooms. In the...
26/07/2012: Blogging with a pen and paper
She may be a bit of a technological dinosaur, but that didn't save her from contributing to the team blog - it just meant somone else had to ty...
26/07/2012: Big Bad Wolf and Risky Play
I've had an absolutely amazing time so far. Highlights include: sitting alongside the Watato choir on the way here, squeezing 21 adults into a ...
25/07/2012: Smiling faces
This morning we were woken up by our new friend Mr cockerel once again and his cries are never ending it seems. Mityana is a town that never sleep ...
25/07/2012: Shine Shine Shine Africa!!!
Today I woke up to the cockrels crying out as Uganda woke up to start a long day. After having an omlette and a banana for breakfast we all set of ...
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Posted: 06:01:45 on 30/07/2012
After the excitement of yesterday which included: the school bus breaking down and many nuns offering their assistance, a fun filled family lunch at Dan Douglas’s, a poisonous snake slithering past me, and then the snake being beaten to death by a band of very small children equipped with sticks and stones and finally a hilarious game of ‘cheat’ with some of our Ugandan friends who hadn’t quite grasped the rules, I wondered what today might entail.
Today began with a visit to Mityana Baptist Church to see all our friends and worship together. There was singing, dancing, waving of hankies and even an auction. The Ekiwumulo children’s choir sang beautifully. The music team was extremely entertaining –particularly when the keyboardist sneaked in the Mr Bean sketch from the Olympics opening ceremony!!!
After church we had a treat of Ugandan style chips, which was greatly appreciated and split into two groups for the afternoon. One group visited the local secondary school the second visited the local hospital.
Having visited the hospital two years ago I thought that I would be slightly more prepared. Unfortunately nothing can prepare you for visiting extremely sick children and malnourished babies. The hospital consists of brick walls, no windows or doors, no curtains, a few rusty beds, which may or may not have a mattress and people trying to find a space either on the floor or waiting outside. The nurses do their best with the very little that they are equipped with; there was no doctor onsite today. The children were being treated mainly for malaria and infections; however treatment does not include water so patience’s rely on their families to camp outside in order to provide this. Without paying first your child will not be treated, equally without loving friends or family to provide food they will not eat.
We were aware that we could not change the hospital but we could spread hope. We sat with the patient’s, sung to the children and spent time showing that we care. On leaving the hospital the sound of tears and pain had successfully changed to laughter and we were cheerfully waved goodbye to.Add Comment
Posted: 05:50:19 on 30/07/2012
We were full of anticipation as we made our way through the small alleys to Mityana Baptist church. As we arrived, a Bible study was drawing to a close.
The whole service was full of contributions from people of all ages – young people led the service, a choir from Esuubi’s school took part and there were testimonies and prayer requests from members of the congregation. People were engaged mind, body and soul in the worship, with the vibrant music lifting our spirits, drawing everyone together as they praised God. There was a special time when Winnie led the gospel-style singing, which nearly raised the roof.
The pastor arrived half way through the service, having given lifts to numerous people so they could attend. He was able to do this because there were many people able and ready to take a lead. There was an obvious care and respect for other members of the community which was moving to see. He then preached from his heart, reminding us to keep God’s commandments and to hold onto verses from Bible as we went about our daily lives.
The congregation were so very welcoming and we left feeling we had already become part of this joyful and accepting community. There is something uniquely special about being part of the worldwide family of God and sharing with our brothers and sisters this morning will stay with us for many years to come.Add Comment
Posted: 19:06:59 on 28/07/2012
Today has been a busy day! It started with a ‘lie-in’ with breakfast at 9am – 1 hour later than normal! (Not that a lie-in is possible as Uganda wakes up about 5.30 am!). In the morning we drove up to Ekiwumulo, but on the way we stopped at some of the houses on the track and gave the families a bag of clothes. These were much appreciated by the families and it was wonderful to see the delight on their faces and the excitement of the children.
At Ekiwumulo we gave the children at the orphanage gifts of popcorn, snacks, socks and toys. The children were very excited and orderly lines some changed into chaos! Again it was wonderful to see their delight and pleasure at the gifts.
We then drove to Dan’s grandma’s village for lunch. This gave us an experience of rural Uganda, leaving the main road from Mityana and travelling down bumpy tracks to a small village. Dan’s grandma had prepared an amazing spread of food considering the conditions that they cook under. Children appeared from other local houses and we entertained them by blowing bubbles and giving them balloons to play with. A commotion coming from the children and frantic beating of a stick turned out to be a tree snake that had fallen out of the tree where the children were sitting! Lunch then resumed! After lunch some of the group went to see a local brick works and others went to visit some of the local neighbours. All welcomed us and it was humbling to be able to meet them.
We returned to Kolping House for a craft fair. Kate had hoped that the Café would be up and running selling local crafts, but as it is not yet finished the Café came to Kolping House instead. There was a wide variety of Ugandan and African craft and a selection of cakes which would be sold in the café. Maddy can personally recommend the chocolate brownies! We all purchased some lovely gifts to bring back home (sorry mum – I did buy you something!).
Maddy and I have found that it has taken time to adjust to the Ugandan lifestyle, but we have really enjoyed our time spent with the children at the orphanage and it is humbling to see what Kate and Jonno have achieved – they should feel very proud! On Wednesday Maddy and I were able to go to Kampala and visit Jonathan, our sponsored child through Compassion. He was really pleased to see us and was particularly happy to receive the gifts that we had brought him!
Our time is drawing to a close and we shall be sad to say goodbye to the children at Ekiwumulo, however we have the Safari to look forward to!
Love to Steve (Dad), Elliot and Mum (Grandma), from Veronica and Maddy xxAdd Comment
Posted: 19:00:39 on 27/07/2012
We’ve been in Uganda for five days and four nights. Each day has flown by, but have been extremely eventful.
Nicole … during my time here I have been doing different activities in the morning, first I did profiling which made me realise how many children did not live with their mums also how many children have lost their fathers due to malaria or other diseases, then following morning me and phoebe did medical and measured their weight and height and to see if they have had their BCG or had any illnesses previously, many of them have had their BCG and a lot of them have been quite ill previously but luckily enough are well now. Today ( Friday 27th July) me and phoebe did some painting in the nursery today and now it is all finished thanks to all the hard work all the team have put in, after lunch we spend time with all the children, it was lovely and we gave out all our presents, me and phoebe joined 2 skipping ropes together and got the children to skip which they really enjoyed, we got them to jump in and out and got it up to 105 jumps J we also painted their nails, they liked to do this by themselves but also liked us to do it with them, I didn’t realise how much they liked digital cameras and how much they like to see their faces back, I’ve got so many pictures that they have taken of themselves. I have realised to be grateful for my warm showers and nice food back home and can’t wait to get home and eat pickled onions as I am craving them soooo much, I cannot believe how much I miss pickled onions (mum don’t laugh!)
Phoebe: I’ve been introduced to the children at the orphanage and I can say each of them have such a wonderful attitude towards life. I’ve really took a shine to a three year old girl called Rita. She’s currently living (along with many more children) at the bottom of the schools hill. With friendly women who treat each child as if they were their own. Each lady has twenty children living in their house. I don’t know how they manage! But they do! Throughout the week we have painted (a lot), taken part in the holiday club, the children’s profiles and medical checks with doctor Simon. As I looked through files of the children’s backgrounds I was genuinely shocked at just how many are at the orphanage for very similar reasons. However despite their tragic pasts they manage to be happy and joyful little souls like they have shown us this week. We have one more day at the orphanage on Monday then we say our goodbyes and head off to the safari.im very excited although I will miss them very much. But I won’t miss the cold showers and the food at kolping house.
Nicole and phoebe:
We have been talking to adults who were previously orphans at the orphanage throughout their childhood. We have learnt a lot about how lucky we are and how their culture and society is so much different from ours back home. It has made us realise that we should be grateful for what we have and for the life that we live. We miss food, comfortable beds, and warm showers/baths, also for the electricity that we have been fortunate enough to have so much, as in Mityana the electricity is limited and therefore keeps cutting out in awkward moments (in the shower), but this will build memories for us. We are enjoying ourselves but missing home a lot our families and friend although we are surrounded by a really lovely and friendly group of people. We are looking for to seeing everyone at the air and giving them great big hugs and slobbery kisses…
Hope everyone is ok and well and home lots of love always Nicole and Phoebe
P.S. when you pick us up from the airport PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE bring pickled onions for Nicole and some turkey rolls for Phoebe… thankyou we really appreciate it… XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXAdd Comment
Posted: 19:19:55 on 26/07/2012
HI everyone at home - missing you lots. We're having an amazing time and met lots of lovely people .Every day we go to see the children where we split the day up with a mixture of crafts & medical in the morning and working on the children's homes, cleaning the windows, staining the frames and painting the walls in the afternoon. Hopefully by monday we will have the last houses all made up for the children :-) Off to church on Sunday and Chris is hoping to join the choir practise on the Saturday evening. On Saturday we are all eating at a family home for lunch followed by a visit to the local school and hospital. On Sunday Chris is going to a Ugandan studio for a recording session to get the children recorded along with drums and keyboard. Looking forward to what the next week brings! Sarah & ChrisAdd Comment
Posted: 18:46:34 on 26/07/2012
Well, not entirely true. Some of today was spent varnishing - door frames, windows and any exposed bit of timber in the dormitory rooms.
In the morning, I was involved in the holiday club, where we made foam animal puppets. The children cut out pieces of foam in the shape of various animals and decorated them with foam bits, feathers and sequins. The foam animals didn't necessarily see all of the decorating, I saw many children with bits of foam and those stick on googley eyes on their faces. Both younger and older children had a great time.
In the afternoon, I met up with three children who are sponsored by colleagues at work. My colleagues, Simon and Wendy had given me gifts to give to the children. All were excited to receive gifts and cards from their sponsors and wanted to me to pass on their thanks. (pictures will follow)
This evening, I have haggled at the market for fabric with the most fantastic patterns and enjoyed the sugary delights that are Mirinda soft drink and raw sugar cane. My room mate, Charlene is currently trying to devour as much sugar cane as possible... 17 and counting....Add Comment
Posted: 16:42:37 on 26/07/2012
She may be a bit of a technological dinosaur, but that didn't save her from contributing to the team blog - it just meant somone else had to type it up! Below are Rosamund's reflections on her fifth trip to Mityana with Esuubi:
What a great joy it is to be back in Mityana and even more so to be at Ekiwumulo. It is a beautiful site and so much building and development has been achieved since 2011 - so there are more houses and more children.
The nursery is being painted this week and there are many "knee-high" little ones eager to have their classes there. The house mama's have such a special role with their family units all looking after one another.
I really do enjoy hands-on painting, varnishing etc. and value each moment I spend here. These children love to be loved and it is so good to have time with them.
Esuubi is amazing and inspirational and is really making a differencein the lives of so many youngsters.
*** THIS SECTION IS FROM ROSAMUND (NOT ESUUBI!) ***
Could you help put the roof on the last two houses that the orphans will call home? Or provide a mat on which a baby class (2-3 years) can have an afternoon nap? Or a storage boxfor nursery equipment?
Get in touch with Esuubi at firstname.lastname@example.org OR feel free to make a donation using any of the buttons below or in the header and footer.Add Comment
Posted: 15:43:47 on 26/07/2012
I've had an absolutely amazing time so far. Highlights include: sitting alongside the Watato choir on the way here, squeezing 21 adults into a 15 seater children's bus to travel to the school each day, mandazai's (doughnut type things), ginger black tea and most importantly the children. The children are incredibly amazing and it is fantastic to spend time with them each day. They seem amazed by everything and love interacting with us.
We've just finished 3 days of holiday club...the first they have had here and it went extremely well and the children have been very excited each day. It has involved taking groups of 30-50 children in either a craft, prayer, game or storytelling activity. On the first day we made CD spiders and a Harecopter from a bunny template. On the second day we played lots of group games such as 'Duck, duck, goose' and random ball games (only 2 injuries!) and today I did some storytelling 'The boy who cried wolf'. I borrowed Ann's giant wolf puppet and introduced him to a very very young child - who ran away screaming (oops) - therefore, I was quite anxious about telling the story to the other 249 children...fortunately they all loved it (phew!).This was followed with 'What's the time Mr Wolf' - Definitely the best day yet.
In the afternoons we have been helping develop the orphanages which has involved sanding down and varnishing several doors and windows. We've also done lots of painting- it is a good opportunity to find out about other people on the team.
We're staying in Kolping House and we've been very lucky... I was expecting very very basic things but we have comfy beds and a cold shower. Sometimes there is enough water... sometimes not (This morning there was enough water to wash one hand...but not the other) So it really hit home how much they rely on rainwater. People start working at 5am out here - scrubbing the floors, moving tables, lots of music and cockerels... so there is no need for an alarm clock.
Today, my comfort zone was tested...usually I'm pro risky play for children but there was a small group of toddlers playing with shards of glass. I removed them but then put them back as they always play with glass (drawing,hopscotch etc) so... I might encourage this at home!!! Looking forward to experiencing a Ugandan church, visiting a locals house and a safari in the next few days.Add Comment
Posted: 19:50:31 on 25/07/2012
This morning we were woken up by our new friend Mr cockerel once again and his cries are never ending it seems. Mityana is a town that never sleep from the music and chattering as you drift off to sleep to being woken up to the man singing, calling people to pray and of course the cockerel! Each morning we are driven to the orphanage in a bus that defiantly lacks any kind of suspension and where personal space is non-existent. As we reach the orphanage, the younger children greet us with smiles and run along beside the bus only to surround us when we step out into the humid air.
At the moment lots of construction work is being done including a nursery,kitchen,administration block and more dormitories, there is never nothing to do! I myself started the day in preparing the dormitories for painting before heading up to the school up the dusty paths to help with the kids club. I was helping run outdoor games including duck-duck-goose where I took a nasty tumble and now have the cuts to prove it.
The children find such joy within the smallest of things from playing high five to polystyrene cups with string and a ball. They especially enjoy having their photos taken, and there are a few little posers amongst them. As well as the children the adults are also so friendly and kind and never don't have a smile or a kind word to say. The positive attitude of people here is so uplifting, what I may carry in my bag for the day is more than these children may ever have in their entire lives but yet nothing can bring their spirit's down.
Due to my tumble this morning, I was unable to paint so instead I assisted in medical checks and although the majority where healthy at this time, the number of children with a past medical history involving malaria was astonishing. After the children waved us goodbye we headed back to the house for a cold shower and a well deserved rest.Add Comment
Posted: 19:15:28 on 25/07/2012
Today I woke up to the cockrels crying out as Uganda woke up to start a long day. After having an omlette and a banana for breakfast we all set of for Ekiwumulo. Yesterday, Chris and I started to record the childrens choir at the school and what an amazing job.
Yesterday we made a start working out how we would piece together the wonderful voices of the children. "shine shine shine Africa", a beautiful song written by their own leader, Wilbur, I'm huming it as I type.
Today we set off for the school ready to start recording. the children had exams today but in between they came and sung for us.Uusing this time we recorded, 'Shine Africa', once again blowing us away with the power in their voices. We are making progress and will continue recording their large but equally amazing repetoire.
Before leaving the school, we found a group of children as happy as can be dancing around the minibus to music playing through the radio. What a wonderful way to end a great day.
When we arrived back at Kolping House, we had time to rest before going on a tour around the local market. Because Mityana is not so much as a tourist attraction but a Ugandan village, the market wasn't full of African craft as you would expect, but a huge variety of food from exotic fruits to fresh meats. Whilst we were there we bought a pineapple, when we asked for it to be chopped up we were amazed at the skills shown. Without touching the fruit and only holding the stalk, he sliced it into evenchnks ready for eating.
We have finished dinner and are now relaxing after a long day preparing for another tomorow. I'm looking forward to recording again tomorw and capturing the amazing vioces for everyone at home to hear.
Really missing home but am enjoying my self alot and are looking forward to the days to come.Add Comment