Uganda 08 - first message

Well, 9 days into our trip I've at last managed to get to an internet cafe to do some blogging and give you all some news of the trip (+ some photos).

It's good news all round... everyone is well (despite the occasional minor upset stomach). We have had days full of wonderful experiences, first in Kisubi (nr. Kampala, the capital) where we had a day's visits around Brothers' school and university campuses before staying our first night here in a lakeside residence owned by the Ugandan De La Mennais Brothers.

After that, it was a 4 hr. road trip west to the Brothers' secondary school St. Charles Lwanga in Kasasa and it's extensive property (boarding school, 2 Brothers' houses, sports pitches, large farm, acres of forest... a beautiful place). We stayed there 6 days making lots of new friends, being entertained in the evenings by the local students, challenging them to (very serious) games of 11-a-side football with referee and kits that we brought with us. The people here were absolutely delighted with the sports and audio-visual equipment that we brought with us. It was great to see that all the fund-raising efforts and donations from people were responding to local needs in a big way.

Yesterday (Weds. 23rd) we said goodbye to our new friends in Kasasa and left in 2 minibuses for Ibanda in the western mountains, via the Lake Mburo National Park where we had very close encounters with a marvellous range of wild animals (to the general delight of the group), including various large and smaller species of antelope (inc. deer-like impala), some zebras, wild boar, baboons, small monkeys, buffalo, umpteen bird species, as well as herds of tended cattle with the most amazingly impressive array of horns.

I'll provide much more detailed accounts of our activities and the people we got to know when we get back. But for now, here are a few snaps to give you a flavour of life in Uganda (where the last 2 days have seen torrential downpours! - photos of the animals will follow, rest assured).

Joint St.Charles Lwanga + Team Win! choir after having sung and played for the Sunday Mass in the school.

Bro. Joseph (Kasasa) and giant Jack T. with some giant jack fruit!! (yes, that is really what they are called)

Some children at Kankobe orphanage, near Kasasa, after having watched an outdoor projection of 'Ice Age' (for over 100 people) using the audio-visual equipment we brought with us.

Kathryn D. with children at Kankobe orphanage.


Presentation of the teams before our final, epic, international match at Kasasa, which went to extra-time and penalties. Soon to appear on YouTube will be a video clip of Simon T. (here wearing Liverpool keeper Itandje's training top, donated by the club) saving St. Charles Lwanga's 7th penalty to win the match for Team Win! (whose side was augmented by some well chosen local talent!). Simon's victory celebration alone would have been worthy of the M-o-M award, but he did play a blinder. But the warmth of the handshakes that followed were testimony to the good spirit in which the match (and the whole visit) was carried out.

I hope to post a couple more messages before we leave for home Friday week. 'Bye for now...

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