Today has been a relatively relaxing day. We got moving by lunch and the health team met to start discussing some possible strategies to address some of the concerns of the villagers while the others went to the school to meet with people to discuss irrigation. The locals are eager to have their clinic reopened. They want access to emergency child birth facilities, access to water, more pit latrines and help with illnesses that are common here like malaria and worms. The children here are a hoot. They follow us around everywhere and stare at us. It’s like have 25 miniature body guards with you all the time!
We visited a school where our host family’s mother went to school. The headmaster and his wife decided to give us all African nicknames. Mine was Namacosay (phonetically spelled). I asked what it meant and they said it means from the Macosay tribe. Hopefully, that’s not an insult!
Primary school education in Uganda is free and they have either just made secondary school free or are working in that direction. The problem is that the school makes a policy that the parents have to send their children to school with grain so the school can cook them lunch. The parents are willing to do that because they don’t have very much to spare so many children end up not going to school. Getting water at the boreholes can take at least 4 hours out of the day and it’s mostly the women and children who do it so they spend most of their day just getting water. Sometimes it takes so long that they drink water from swamps which leads to a lot of water-related illnesses. It has certainly made me thankful for the water that magically comes from the faucet in my apartment and that flushes my toilet. As can be expected, there aren’t a lot of easy answers here but we keep plugging away.
Sorry for the disjointed writing. I have to write outside around a table where lots of people are working/talking so my writing skills are a little compromised.
Thanks for all your well wishes!