One of our memorable visits was at our first school - Namirembe Primary. It was track and field day. Two of our favorite events:
- ‘Are you ready for school?’ – 5-year-old students stripped down to their underwear, putting their clothes on a mat in the middle of the dirt courtyard/drive. They then went back to the start line. At the whistle, they raced for the mats, stopped to quickly put on clothes, shoes, and backpacks - and then raced like the wind to the finish line! Really cute.
- Older students had a small rubber tub full of water. They had to set a glass pop-bottle in the middle of the tub and fill it up by scooping with their hands. Each then balanced the bottle on his/her head and headed for the finish line! No bottles fell off heads! Wow!
At Kasubi Primary, chairs were arranged in small groups, and we were able to spend time visiting and eating with the teachers - which we love to do. Many of the schools had welcome ceremonies planned. New members of the teams are always shocked when they look out at the sea of 3,200 students at North Roads Primary. Walking in classrooms of 150 - 200 students is also surprising. It is hard to imagine without seeing.
The team left on Friday for a safari at Murchison Falls, with Scott Porter leading. I will travel on safari with the 2nd group.
Our Kampala schools held their second annual reading competition on the 24th. Each school had already held its own competition. Eleven (out of 12) of our schools sent competitors to the all-school competition.
The students were able to choose their area of competition. A few examples included:
- write a newspaper article in proper format, summarizing the book;
- read a nonfiction book about a country and write a letter to your parents describing what he/she saw on his/her travels;
- make a brochure advertising their book for readers.
The students were in first - seventh grade. I can’t say enough about their presentations. One seventh-grade student had read a book about angels on earth. She was dressed as an angel and had pictures, and her presentation was done on a large piece of colored paper. Books described ranged from Little Red Hen and Cinderella to War of the Worlds and Harry Potter. It was an amazing day.
Orphanage with Melissa and Mercy:
Yesterday evening, two of our team members who remained behind, Debbie White and her son, Caleb, and I accompanied Melissa (my nephew, Cody’s, wife) to the orphanage she has been helping, while waiting for Mercy‘s adoption to finalize. It was so sad to see the small bedroom with three triple-stack bunk beds - which is sleeping quarters for 16 girls. Five of the girls have to sleep on the concrete floor.
Melissa has arranged so many things for the kids thanks to supporters. The 69 orphans have new school uniforms and shoes, food, school fees paid, etc. I am so proud of Melissa! We laugh because we are so much alike - both totally at home in Uganda and busy doing good work, despite the difficulties. Sometimes we just look at each other, and say, “I know - you understand.” It has been a huge sacrifice for her to be away from Cody, Emma, and Avery, and we both wish she could leave for Kansas tomorrow - but the good she has accomplished for so many children here is simply beyond words!
A friend from Austin, Lynne Dobson, is in the process of doing her 2nd wheelchair mission to Uganda. She has once raised funding to provide approximately 500 wheelchairs for people here. I asked Lynne for four wheelchairs. Yesterday we took one to the orphanage for a 17-year-old girl, Rachel, who is crippled - with many other things wrong, including having HIV. She had been lying in bed, but after receiving the wheelchair, she was up and all smiles. She was able to move the wheelchair by herself and lock it in place when she stopped! What a blessing that chair will be! Many thanks to Lynne. Three more to be delivered!
I’m sorry this has been long - but every day has been packed and there is so much to share. Thank you for your continued prayers and support! I wish I could package the gratitude expressed by those here for the libraries and zip them to you through email. Together, we are making a difference on a daily basis.
My love and best wishes to you.
Madame Trudy :)