Today was the best field day yet. Jess and I started out early, picked up the FAOC team and were accompanied by Tugume and his mother. We were going to their home village Kahenda so they wanted to come. Tugume wanted to sit in the front with me (he loves having a good view). Even though the drive to Kahenda take some time, our journey was great. I payed Ugandan music on my ipod and so the whole trip, Vivian, Alice and Mama Tugume were singing in the back while Tugume was dancing on my lap and Jess was driving. Children here are born how to dance. This eight year old sure knows how to move his body!
Once we arrived, we left Tugume and his mother and proceded with our day of beneficiary monitoring. The landscape here is beautiful. We spend the day climbing hills, walking through beautiful pastures overlooking the valleys below and being greeted by very wonderful people. This parish is very isolated. The roads to get there are very steep, rocky and narrow and would be almost impossible to get up during the rainy season. There are no medical centers in the area and there are only some primary schools for the children. Most of the members here are widowed grandmothers caring for orphans and their grandchildren (their children have either left or have died). Some members didn’t even have enough money to put a house on their door let along pay for the school fees to send their children to school. Many others are working (at even 70 or 80 years of age) very hard to pay for their grandchildren’s school. Some are also working very hard to care for their goat that they have received from FAOC. Not all members have a goat pen yet, so as a way to help some of those struggling, Jess and I provided enough nails to either build their goat pen or complete their pen. The grandmothers who were provided with nails were very deserving and very very grateful! Once these members have a sturdy pen, we will also provide them with locks as well to keep their pens secure.
We are also going to be providing members (new and existing) with goats in this parish. There are so many members here that women have been passing on many of their goat’s offspring to other members to ensure they all have goats. However, members are not profiting from the goat because they are being passes on to others. We will address these problems by changing the pass on scheme and providing more goats to the parish so that more people’s needs are met.
As our day in the parish came to an end, we met Mama Tugume and her family. They had prepared a large meal for us (Matoke, G-nuts and rice). Some of her children stay in the village and we had brought some running shoes for them. They were so grateful for their nice new shoes!
We headed back to Mbarara and arrived late in the evening with Tugume and other’s singing on the car ride home. It was a great day!