Tuesday, 18 August 2009


The starry sky outside is different to the one under which I normally sleep; the frogs and cicadas are keeping up a evening chorus and a bat just just flown into the dining room.
It is hard to believe that only 48 hours ago I was at Heathrow Airport. We had an eight hour flight on which I grabbed a few hours sleep. My friend couldn't sleep at all so, at 4 in the morning, she was reading me crossword clues and, in a dreamy, almost hallucinatory state, the words just floated out of the recesses of my brain.
On landing at Entebbe airport we continued our journey by mini-bus. Everything about this country looks different, so brightly coloured: the red earth, the bright clothes, cerise painted shops, the lush green banana trees. In our guest house we were able to have breakfast and from there we went on to Watoto Church in central Kampala for orientation. Then on to change money and to have lunch. After that we drove to Bbria village to see the work of Watoto first hand.
The village consists of clusters of 10 houses, each lived in by 8 orphans and a house-mother: a family. There is both a primary and secondary school. The children were on summer camp, enjoying themselves out on the sports pitches and I was able to chat with a house-mother, mum to eight 11-15 year olds. Like any mums meeting, we talked over how noisy kids can be, how hard it is to listen to so many voices, how rules are important yet it is important to be flexible.
Back at the guest house we gratefully at our meal, had our devotions and were quick to bed - it had been a long twenty-four hours.
Today we drove to Gulu, in the North, once the heartland of Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army. Now there is peace and the region is gradually being restored. As soon as we were out of Kampala we could see how rural Uganda really is: mud huts in small groups, occasionally alone, scattered in the bush, mile upon mile of a single concrete road, so much improved upon the mud path which the team travelled on two years ago.
We are now settled in a beautiful guest house and tomorrow we begin our small part in the the rebuilding of this nation.

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