Tuesday saw Fred and I set off to see our first of twenty lay readers at home, and soon left the seriously potholed main road to arrive at a lovely quiet small village called Bokooka (pronounced Boo-coke- a). Levy lives with his mother, brother and niece. They have about three acres of land they cultivate. But he has spent the last year at the college. We then went on down an equally remote path (got bogged and had to be pushed out) to another village where we met another lay reader – Israel. He had 7 children, the youngest Miriam who we met at home as she doesn’t go back to school until Sunday.
He was so grateful for the sponsorship, (£100 a year for two years). Ugandans always feel slighted if you visit and do not eat something they offer. So, they provided us with water and hard-boiled eggs. Very humbling for us and very special too. It’s something you don’t forget!
Then it was back to the college for a teaching afternoon, 2pm to 4.30pm. I began with Stewardship and pressed home the idea that it’s about looking after something for someone else. We had about twenty students there. It was interesting to see they couldn’t easily think ‘outside the box’ and neither could they easily think of examples (for example, looking after a house for someone or a car or children) but slowly, slowly, they began to get the point and being a steward of, or looking after the planet, was easy. But it went well – looking at how we can be stewards of the planet, natural resources, our time, the church and its resources too. Following on from this, we had a discussion on money, which captivated the students.
Wednesday saw more of the same and then on Thursday the topic changed to Counselling and Guidance. Each day, I have had the seats in different positions around the room, which has foxed them a bit – but by Thursday, they were looking forward to seeing what I had done to the chairs for that session. A girl called Eva took us to her home, which was so humble, and then when we were about to leave, they gave us chickens, eggs, avocados and peanuts; it was completely overwhelming. It is so incredibly humbling – but I cannot say no as they would feel so insulted. So, we shared the produce with friends.
I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed being at the college – it has brought be great joy and huge pleasure.
On Thursday, I decided in the break in the afternoon’s teaching we would give the students something to eat. We boiled our c40 eggs, bought bread and gave them some bananas we had been given, plus a bottle of water. They were very happy indeed! All they get to eat is poshu and beans every day, twice a day. Some of them come from families that don’t eat much, if any poshu, so it has been very hard for them. And they garden at the college, 6.30 am – 9.30 am and then have porridge for breakfast. After that I am not sure when lessons begin, but I imagine they are then exhausted! So, arriving for my lessons at 2pm late, probably was because they were so tired.
Friday, I prepared for the weekend, preaching and teaching and visiting. I lasted about an hour then lay on the bed for 15 minutes and woke two hours later! Now we are away from Mityana for the weekend and already we have found better internet connection, good power supply and all very pleasant. Just bumped into two cyclists who have a month to cycle from Kigali and get to Kilimanjaro. They ate huge pizzas! Building up their strength I said.