Today we were all up bright and early... breakfast at 6:30... Departure for the Watoto village @ 7AM. It took about 30-40 minutes to reach the village. During the drive we drove through some very poor and quite bizzare markets and villages. To give you a feeling for the poverty here, many Ugandans live on about US$1 / day.
When we arrived at the Wototo Village at Bbira it was almost like we entered an Oasis. Our guide Yosam took us on a tour of of the village.
It is huge... I had no idea how big these villages are. This village holds around 400 children. I was bowled over by the contrast to the surrounding neighborhoods.
The village was spotless... as we walked around we saw children doing their chores and sweeping the paths, cleaning the house and garden etc.
After our tour, it was time for work... and I do mean work! We met our foreman, a big guy who looks like he has done some time in the Ugandan army.... quite an intimidating character... I think Katrina has met her match in terms of bossiness ;-)
Isaac showed us how to lay bricks, and taught us our first Lugandan work... "Muchanga" which means concrete. I think it's fair to say we were all feeling a tad nervous at this stage... as we looked around the village we saw all of these beautifully constructed buildings... the last thing we wanted was to build a crappy wobbly building. However after an hour or two (and a fair bit of supervision by some of the "pros". We made good progress.
This was hard, hot dirty work... we are all covered from head to toe in red dust (kind of like the stuff you get out in the Outback of Australia.). However I'm sure I speak for everybody in the team, it was SO rewarding and satisfying. It was great chatting to the locals. They wanted to know about Australia, who were were, what we did etc. We were interested in their lives, Aids, Ugandan politics, etc. Fascinating!
Tomorrow we split up. Katrina and I are going out for a rural trip to meet some kids that Katrina's kids sponsor.... the rest of the team go into day 2 of the build.
Sunday will be a great day... we have a day off building. We go to the church that the founders of Watoto preach at, and then we have lunch with the kids... they prepare a typical African meal for us. We are all looking forward to that.
Monday is our last building day (and a dedication ceremony)... and then Tuesday we go to the babies home... "Bullrushes" where we see some of the orphaned babies that are bought in by the Watoto group.
I hope you are enjoying the updates.