We arrived in Jinja around 1:30 in the afternoon. There were several “jams” along the road from Kampala to Jinja and so the journey took longer than we anticipated. Imagine that!
We stopped at the market in Jinja to buy paper and at the HH4U office to pick up a box of candy that had been already been purchased by the staff. Finally, we were off to Kainagoga!
Kainagoga is a village where a small parcel of land has been purchased, and a well and latrine have been added. The school is housed in a very temporary, rundown structure. Today was the first day of the school year, a day that is not attended by many students.
We met with the 15 students who are sponsored there and had some fun with watercolors and crayons. Later, we played with beach balls, kickballs, and soccer balls. The kids truly love the attention they are given during our visits!
Yesterday was the first day of school for primary schools in Uganda. Typical attendance for the first week is very low; Kainagoga was no different. I suspect the student to team member ratio will be much higher today!
There is a home for disabled children next to the school in Kainagoga. We had a chance to tour it during the afternoon. Thirty-seven children live there - many of them dropped off on the porch overnight and left. Most of them have cerebral palsy. The experience was difficult to handle. There was a large bulletin board near the entrance with each child and caregiver's photo; underneath the pictures were the words of Jeremiah 29:11:
"For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
I love that verse, but it was especially powerful in relation to these kids.
We handed out "sweeties" and headed to our hotel in Jinja - but not before flinging close to 400 pieces of candy out the window of the bus on our way to the main road.
Check-in at our beloved Sunset Hotel International was a breeze and dinner under the stars was as divine as ever.
Overheard at dinner:
Dwight: Well, that was great stir-fry cashew chicken, but I didn't taste one cashew.
Tom: Uh, well, that's because you ordered the Szechuan chicken....
Excited about heading to Nakabango today! Hello to our families and friends!
Hearts & Hope is a nonprofit organization focused on unlocking the potential of people in Uganda through relationships with people in the US.