We had been warned to prepare ourselves for an emotional morning with visits to the Good Shepherd Home at Mengo-Kisenyi and the Bethlehem Home at Busega established by the Missionaries of the Poor. The Brothers devote their lives to caring for orphaned children and house over 400 children. The living conditions are hard to fathom. Each dormitory room contains over thirty bunk beds crammed together. Many of the children are severely disabled and a large number bed ridden requiring a very high level of care.
We were able to assist with some chores… Jonty and Perce tackled the washing, which was piled high in large tubs. We’d guess there would be about 20 loads a day that are all individually hand washed, resulting in about a tonne of washing needing to be done each and every day. Even soiled, wet blankets accidentally slapping Percy in the face didn’t dampen her spirits..! Others helped feed the young ones who were unable to feed themselves, they receive a lunch of half a slice of bread soaked in extremely watered down fruit juice… another eye opener for the team.
Despite their situation, the children again greeted us with their trade mark Ugandan smiles. The 400 beautiful dresses and shorts hand made by the ladies of the Kapunda Sewing Bee which we left behind will no doubt also bring smiles to their faces. Another eye opening experience and one which will remain with us.
Our afternoon visit to Watato’s Suubi village to visit buildings constructed by previous Foundation teams was a stark contrast to the morning’s outing – streets are lined with manicured hedges and stand alone houses have separate dining and living areas. We were fortunate to meet the family of nine that occupy the house than Jonty (and the 2010 team) built.
This evening we were treated to an amazing performance by the Ndere dance troupe. We are confident that our ‘all-rounder’ Rossco will have mastered dancing whilst balancing 10 clay pots on her head before the trip is over. T-Hen has emerged as the unlikely shopaholic of the team having been taught how to drive a hard bargain by the best in the business, Nobs. We are happy to report that he is well on his way to ensuring that his excess baggage allowance is not wasted on the return trip.
Having witnessed such promise this afternoon we are looking forward to heading off to Gulu in the morning to leave our mark on the Watato community. Team 2014 have so far demonstrated ‘stomachs of steel’. There were however rumblings this evening and with an eight hour bus trip ahead of us tomorrow wish us luck!