Today we had the immense pleasure to visit the villages of Kamuli & Namwendwa. After such a long delayed travel time the team was ready to see some beautiful faces in the villages. Kamuli has been partnered with Hearts & Hope since being founded in 2011, so there are a lot of familiar faces & relationships!
Although sleep was short it was very restful for us all and the team was up early ready to hit the road. We drove the 90 minutes from Jinja (our home base) to Kamuli and the fun began. It was great to see the first-timers' faces as the children danced and sang for the group - always one of my favorite sights and sounds.
We handed out packets in what seemed like record time and had the rest of the afternoon to just play - and play we did!
My favorite activity was the attempted tug of war game that resulted with half of the “tuggers” to fall to the ground in uproarious laughter. Then they just got up and continued to pull - the game never ended! We did eventually lose the rope to a villager but I’m sure it will go to good work for someone!
Jackie Kline, now on her second trip with Hearts & Hope, was blessed with seeing her child Benjamin again. The bond between those two is priceless - they are truly family.
We handed out sweeties and had to get on the bus. It's always difficult to say farewell, but we can all confidently tell the community that we'll be back - whether it's us individuals or others representing us on some future trip.
We then headed over to another village, Namwendwa which is just a short drive from Kamuli.
Namwendwa does not currently have a partner, but Hearts & Hope was able to raise funds to purchase some land for them and install a clean water well there in 2016. The people of Namwendwa say "Thank You!" to everyone who attended Party With a Purpose in August of 2016!!!
It is always good to see the contrast between a village that has had a partnership for such a long time and one that only has the basics like Namwendwa. While they have access to clean water, the children always are dustier and in very tattered clothing as they are not provided with uniforms for their small school.
However, the smiles they give and joy they spread are no different.
We spent a few hours playing with the children. Then the women picked up a game of net ball (which is like basketball, but given the fact that we're playing on uneven dirt, dribbling is not a possibility). It's a fun game and all of us ended up laughing and having a great time together!
When we were back on the bus everyone was overwhelmed with happiness at how wonderful the day was. Dinner was spent with the usual card game tournaments and most of the team was in bed by 11pm.
On Wednesday we are headed off to Mbulamuti and can't be more excited!
Thank you at home for your prayers for this team. It has been a fantastic time so far, praise God!
Hearts & Hope is a nonprofit organization focused on unlocking the potential of people in Uganda through relationships with people in the US.