Today was our first full day waking up to the sounds of Uganda, and the children of Gateway Mercy Orphanage (Full of Joy School) were definitely worth the early start. Gateway Mercy Orphanage was started in 2004 by Jovia Kabuye and is now operated by her daughters, Sylivia and Rebecca Nakabuye.
After a huge welcome by the children with their chart topper ‘Full of Joy is my School’ a battle of the bands ensued and the Kain C+C crew responded with a hearty rendition of ‘If you’re happy and you know it…’ only to be out done by the kids, coming straight back at as with ‘Kumbaya’ complete with accompanying dance moves. FoJ = 1; KC+C = 0.
With much ground to make up it was decided that as a part of our cultural exchange exercise, a quick game of cricket was undertaken, back-yard rules applied, so a ball hit over the banana plantation was definitely a 6 and out. Next was putting the AFL’s donation of some Auskick footballs to use, and a couple of future AFL stars were born.
Realising that time was of the essence and had been passing like the speed of light with this very entertaining bunch, we moved on to a quick tutorial of our homeland, complete with true to life imitations of iconic Australian fauna (Insert mental image of Jonty Kain hopping like a Kangaroo here). Jane ‘Crowie’ Prior then led the kids in a story about a Kookaburra with sound effects by Trent (T-Hen) Heneker and backing vocals from the local kids.
Morning tea, bubble blowing, sticker stampedes, boundary fence destruction, more kick & catch and the morning was over and we had to be on our way to our next adventure to UACO – Uganda Australia Christian Outreach, (see uaco.org.au) founded by Judy Steel AO (a retired South Australian nurse) and Dr. Edward Ssembatya.
We were led by Dr. Edward on a tour of the new hospital theatre complex, which officially opened in May 2014. Next was a typical ‘Walking clinic’ visit through some of the poorer areas of the local community. The home visits are for the sick and elderly, who are unable to make it to the clinic themselves for treatment. We were accompanied by Dr. Daniel and his army of assistants, one of whom, Marvin, was a keen follower of our group’s plans in Uganda, and as we later realised one of our most keen followers online.
Throughout the afternoon, Marvin had talked about his passion for Football (we mean the round ball game) and his desire for us to visit the boys under his tutorage at the Football academy, we happily obliged. What then followed was the inaugural Kain Cup… Two, 5 minute halves, 6-a-side contest (and when we say 6, we mean 6 on their team, 12 on ours), which brought out the best in the academy’s young stars, and just a lot of blood, sweat and tears from us. 6 year old ‘Ronaldo one boot’ was awarded Best on Ground, after 2 exceptional goals with Kain C+C taking home the cup in a nail biting 3-1 contest. With bleeding knees, bruised egos and one extremely dirty left sock… we left the academy with the pledge of new boots for all and of a ‘Round 2’ in 2015.