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9 MARCH 2019

The weekend has arrived quickly and I’m expecting three visitors who are members of SI (Soroptimist International) Tororo as I am of SI Darlington and District. We have formed an official SI Friendship Link and we met in November. Sophia, Winnie and Rhovin were staying overnight but, in the meantime, I had some time to myself, a rare event. Not for long though as, first, Goretti arrived with a letter about her hard life and hard it is for sure. She is married to Gerard Moses, the blind man, who is unable to provide for her and their two children. She is a strong girl both mentally and physically but was suffering from back pain which is not surprising as she will have lots of digging and hoeing on the land. It does her good to share her problems with me via an interpreter and I am willing to listen. They both don’t want any more children and I was pleased to hear they had been to the Family Planning Clinic but, being devote Catholics, I hope their choice will be effective. Then, Sam, sports teacher, arrived with his fair share of woes to tell me followed by Obwongo with Ocopoo who had finally decided he was doing well if he exchanged his £1 coin for only 5,000 UGX. Obwongo had brought his wife, Marjori, and I was shocked to see how much weight she had lost and that she was no more than the shape of a stick insect. She had been unable to receive the prescribed medication from the hospital OPD as she had no money and this worried her greatly as she was hanging on to all hopes that this would cure her. I had not decided yet to pay Obwongo for the two drums he had made me but this could solve Marjori’s immediate need although I doubt the medication would have any long term benefit. If prophylaxis is beneficial, then this would be a good example. I paid over the odds just a little for the drums but to see the relief and gratitude on the faces of the old couple was worth it.

That was the end of my free time and a car arrived with two of the SI ladies, Sophia and Rhovin, with one arriving later. The three were to stay in two rooms but they wanted to be all in one room so they could chatter together so beds were moved and they were happy.

Following our lunch, we walked over the airfield to Adesso School where the Girl Guides were waiting to greet us to present their programme of dance and a tour of a replica of their camp in Entebbe last August. The photo of the Girl Guides surrounding a replica grave requires some explanation as, due to lack of the written word, to them the name of the Founder, Baden Powell, is spelt Burden Paul! After meeting the Head Teacher in her office where we admired the school's volleyball trophies, We joined in the dancing without much skill on my part and we agreed it had been a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon. The SI ladies emphasised to the girls the importance of education for girls and encouraged them to aim high, not always easy from a rural school. The Chairman of the Board spoke at length of the challenges of the school but we can only do what we know we are able to do.

A pleasant evening over supper was spent and we retired early knowing that we were attending 7 am Mass in Kumi Town in the morning.

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