Monday at the refuge for abandoned children

Ben

Hello everyone, thought I’d start by saying how amazing the trip has been so far. I didn’t really know what to expect before I came here but it’s safe to say it’s been an amazing experience so far and we still have many more days to go. Today we started the day off like we have done every day and we had a lovely breakfast with things like toast, cereal but most importantly the amazing fruit Uganda has to offer.

We then headed out to help out at a refuge that takes care of children that have been abandoned by their parents. They take these children in and try to reintegrate them back into their family’s if they can. As soon as we got there the children ran towards us and gave us all hugs so we felt very welcomed as we have throughout the trip. While we were there we helped them harvest their passion fruits which are their main source of income and that saves them from having to hire people to do it for them as the people that work there don’t have the time to harvest them themselves. What we had to do was pull down all the leaves off the vines and also dig some holes to replant them. It was a good experience as many of us decided that we actually enjoyed a bit of hard labour after having some more relaxed days on the trip. After we had finished up for the day (we’re going back tomorrow) we all said goodbye by sharing a banana together.

We then headed to Hillside retreat Nyore where we had lunch which was again very good. After lunch we decided to go for a walk up a some very large hills and considering I don’t like walking on flat land let alone up a hill it was a good time. The best part about that walk was when we got to the top of where we were going and there was village there. While we were there someone said that we should get out the football we had with us and start playing with them. So we did that and when we were done we gave them the football and they loved it. That experience got me thinking about a similarity between the faith of the Ugandan people and also their love for football. From what I’ve seen from my time in Uganda so far the people have a strong love for both God and football. From our time travelling I have seen so many people that may not have the best quality of living or access to some of the most basic things but yet they still find the time to do something they enjoy which is play football. While we were at this village we saw that the boys played football with just plastic bags wrapped into a ball with string around them. Even though they were in a small village and don’t have most of the luxuries we have at home they still found a way to play a game that they love. When I thought about that I realised the similarity in their faith, these people that don’t have very much still have the most strong love for God and still find the time to worship which I find very inspiring. Hope everyone is well back home and although I am loving being here it will be good to share everything with people when I get home.

God is good all the time.

Joe

Hello everyone! Much like Ben I’d like to start by saying how amazing my experience of Uganda has been so far. The people are forever smiling and welcoming us to ‘UG’, and the landscape is so unique in its beauty!

We started the day by going to an orphanage. Although it is not technically an orphanage. It is a sort of halfway house for abandoned kids collected by the police. They are then taken to the centre where they track down their family and with support tries to reintegrate them. Our job there was to clear the old passion fruit vines for next years crops. We have nearly managed about a third of the plot today, but we still made great progress when you consider the enormity of the task. But our work ethic mainly goes down to the many fresh passion fruits that we ate while on the job!

We then went for lunch and once we had eaten we went on a trek up a large hill. After an hour or so of walking, we made it to the top and discovered a small community hidden from sight at ground level. There we had an impromptu football game in what was one of the most amazing and surreal moments of my life! I think it’s safe to say that we were all incredibly touched in our own way by the experience.

Then as evening came four of us (Josh, Jacob, Jonny and myself) went to Brian’s bible study. As I’m unaware if you know who Brian (aka Mugisha) is, I will give you a little introduction of his behalf. Brian is the youth work and ministry co-ordinator in the Ankole diocese. He also happens to be an awesome guy who has decided to join us on part of our journey through Uganda. We had a great time discussing a passage in romans 16 to do with false prophets and teachings. We also discovered that unlike bible groups back in the UK where there is a 3 second gap between 2 people speaking, in Uganda you essentially have to cut someone off if you want to talk!

All in all today had been the most rewarding for me in all senses and I look forward to the coming days when we hope to be embarking on similar adventures.

All the time God is good.

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