Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Uganda - MOH Day 5

It was to be our final day on site, which seems to have come around far too soon., and we were split into 2 teams for morning/afternoon shift work.

We had been invited by the IN team Paul & Tom to visit some of the other families around the area, some of which are less than fortunate and live far below the nominal Ugandan bread line. Many families are without mothers/fathers due to approximately 15% of the population being HIV positive. Other husbands are polygamists, allowing them to have more than 1 wife (some have 3 or 4) which not only means they are absent from their homes a lot, but the multiple partners plays right into the hands of the virulent HIV virus.

I wasn't visiting until the afternoon, so i made my way up to the site with the others. The sun was beating down but thankfully, we had made such an impact on the building over the past 3 days, that there was less hardcore work to be done and mostly included helping to finish the dividing walls and general tidying up of the site.

It was hard work none the less and to emphasise the workload, I've managed to wear a hole in my leather work gloves - you just cant get the quality these days.

In the afternoon, after another stirling lunch, we took it easy until we were bussed around to visit the families that IN sponsor and therefore enable to get to school. We were guided by Peter, a local social worker, who took us via the village into the jungle, where small pockets of people live in small 2/3 house settlements. The life they lead, truly, makes you aware of the difference between us and them. The vast majority of people we met were happy and very welcoming, but the standard of living is vastly different as you would expect. Children (who are lucky enough to afford the $15 a month) have to walk up to an hour and a half to get to school, for 7:30 in the morning.

We were introduced to 8 different families, one specifically that Peter was very proud of who had successfully been sponsored and had just qualified as a primary school teacher, all she needs now is a school, oh, hang on.....

I could go on and on about the kids and how, despite their circumstances are bright happy and enormously charismatic, not to mention beautiful, you could take photos of them all day every day, and all your pics would be great (massive disclaimer).

Its sad that this part of our trip is already over, as we make our way back to Kampala tomorrow. What is brilliant is that David, the site leader, believes the contribution of work from us, has saved them 5 days, and they were able to start pouring the cement pillars today, a full week ahead of schedule. If that doesn't make me feel warm and fuzzy i don't know what will.

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