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DAY 29


It’s not quite the end yet as my final farewells were yet to come. I woke early to no power and my torch, with the batteries removed, was in my tin trunk, so it was back to bed until dawn allowed me to grope around in the semi-darkness. With all cases closed and strapped except for the one I leave behind, I could relax. My dirty washing was piled high in the blue plastic bowl and all would be clean and packed in the remaining case for my return hopefully in October. I could now settle down on my porch and complete the Monday diary but who should appear around the corner but Obwongo! He propped his bike against a tree and handed me two crude wooden spoons (mingling sticks) for Lynne and Michele but I handed them back saying they were too rough. So, he found a stone and settled himself down on the low stool to smooth off the edges and continued to interrupt my typing. I asked him in no uncertain terms to remain silent if he was to stay so he sat sheepishly with head bowed and hands clasped towards the ground with elbows extended between his knees. I could continue typing but then we both smiled broadly and started to giggle if that’s what one does in Kumi. How foolish of me to think that my diary was more important than interaction with Obwongo. My opportunity would be gone tomorrow and the typing could wait. I listened to his ramblings with more patience than usual until I had to take breakfast before Charles, the driver, arrived.

Saying good bye to Grace and Anne never gets any easier but it had to be and we set off for Kampala with Harriet. Unfortunately, we got behind about twenty extra-wide lorries each laden with huge pipes overhanging either side and crawling along at a snail’s pace and with little hope of us overtaking. Finally, we disregarded any oncoming traffic and went for it making the vehicles coming towards us move off the road otherwise we would still be on our way. The traffic always jams in Mukono and today was no exception. Poor Charles had no choice but to inch forward little by little making barely any progress until an opportunity to branch right occurred and we took to the side roads. A short cut or not, actually moving was better than the jam. Harriet was accompanying me as she was looking for a hand sewing machine for Kyazike who we saw on Tuesday 19 March and would try in “Game”, a vast supermarket in Lugogo Mall, whilst I visited Banana Boat next door to buy my usual empty case-filling Ugandan items for home and making sure none would detain me by the airport police in Schipol airport as has happened previously. No suitable sewing machine was found so Harriet would scour the city for one tomorrow and how she does it at seven months pregnant in the noise and heat of Kampala is beyond me. I left her there to take a public taxi while Charles and I continued on the new Express Highway towards Entebbe. We met up with Florence at CoRSU Hospital and, together with her daughter, Martha who had typhoid, we stopped at Faze Three for a meal. Time to leave to check in at the airport and my time in Uganda had finally been completed.

On reflection, I can categorically say that we have achieved what we set out to do but it does not just happen. It was all due to team work and the preparation done by Harriet and Ruth before my arrival, during our time together and their continued efforts yet to come. Ruth will already have bought Lazarus a black trouser belt and Adongo her new tin trunk so that she can safely lock away her belongings. Our many children on the waiting list for orthopaedic surgery by the Dutch team will be worked on next week, Rose in the Nutrition Unit will continue caring for the malnourished babies we have had admitted (I await news of Godsgrace). Ten tricycles and ten wheelchairs will be delivered and distributed and so on.

So, it is with my heart filled with gratitude that my thanks go to Harriet, Ruth, Rose and Peter, our driver, our volunteer mobilisers and all others who have been involved. I can never thank Anne and Grace in the Guest House enough for their loving care and always given so willingly. I have not mentioned many others but none is not forgotten.

It is now back home to continue with our fund-raising efforts so that we can continue helping others less fortunate than we are.

Our new website compiled by Lynne Williams is at

May God bless each and everyone of you!

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