A Ugandan friend who lives in Austin, Father Isidore Ndagizimana, suggested I should see the hills of Western Uganda and visit his hometown, Kamwenge. He said that his family had guest rooms, and would be happy to receive me. After many weeks of work - and because I love new places, the idea jumped at me!
Fr. Isidore's nephew, Faida, traveled with me from Kampala. We first had to sit in the big bus for two "blasted" hours until it filled so we could leave. After two hours of waiting - and six hours to go, the muzungu fear kicked in - how soon will they have "short call," and where? I must say, it was worth the wait and ride. Western Uganda is truly picturesque, to say the least. The landscape: rolling hills, thousands of banana trees, tea fields - plus many other types of fruits and vegetables can be seen that are grown there. It stays green the entire year, with plenty of rainfall. The small village in which the family lives reminds me of a small town in Arkansas that used to be our vacation site when I was young. Clean, small, quiet, set high in the hills amid beautiful foliage - just a fantastic village. Absolutely loved it.
Father Isidore's family (my hosts) - a brother, Patrick; his wife, Prudence; their two-year-old son, Michael; nephew, Faida, and his father, are the type of people that make you smile as you think about them, knowing God has smiled on you in letting you meet such wonderful people. Micheal is full of pep and energy and has the biggest, mischievous grin. He is adorable! I was so glad I went for a visit!
While there, I walked to a nearby secondary school, and found they had received many boxes of books. Books for secondary students were mixed in with adult novels and nonfiction. Of course, I couldn't have that. The young librarian, Dinah, and I went to work pulling all those appropriate for the students and created a good - but smaller library, organized, and ready to use. Dinah was inspiring. She and her husband gave up good jobs with Watoto Church in Kampala, as they felt they should move to Kamwenge and start a church. Her husband teaches in a secondary school, as well as pastoring now. They really have an amazing story of how God has provided for their family. I will try to share it later, with a picture of her. During the day, we erupted in laughter often, talked about our families, shared God's miracles in each of our lives, shed tears, and held hands for prayer - PLUS put the library together! All in a day's work ...
It was a totally refreshing weekend.
Next email - the trip home. One flat, two flats, three flats, four ... . Really, I couldn't make this one up!
Love and thanks for the prayers. Keep them coming! I seem to need them constantly!