We arrived last night after an 8 and a half hour flight, travelling over 4000 miles. After inspiration offered by such cinematic delights as Inside out, and Cinderella (directed by Kenneth Branagh) with their ‘messages at different levels’ we were keen to embrace the adventures offered by the Cress Trip 2015. After a friendly welcome at passport control, a smooth passage through customs, we, accompanied by 20 larges suitcases, emerged into the warmth of midnight in Entebbe – straight into the arms of a dear friend. Fred Taban, his wife Perispeter and son, Sunday, had traveled from Arua, NW Uganda, to greet us, and what a welcome we got! Flowers for Caroline, hugs for the rest of us, and a nightmare of congestion for the authorities at the airport trying to keep the forecourt clear. How special it is to have such friends, and we look forward to seeing Fred in a few days in Kajo Keji.
Today we have celebrated Jeremy’s birthday,relaxed a bit and eaten a lot. We had a good mini meeting this morning exploring our hopes and concerns for the trip, and set a standard of study and focus we will continue for the time we are here.
Money exchanged and local SIM cards purchased we had a wonderful time with 3 students sponsored by Cress families. Anna is a student nurse from KK in Kampala who has aspirations to return to her country once she has qualified to lead nursing and midwifery care there. It was lovely to talk with her.
Nelson is studying to become a science teacher and Beatrice is also studying to become a teacher. These young people have opportunity to make the most of their future and that of their young and troubled country thanks to the generosity of their sponsors through CRESS. We were able to give them gifts from their sponsors in the UK and will bring back photos and records of conversations we have had with them. It was a lovely couple of hours.
We have just had supper by lamplight in the garden of the guest house, local fish and fruit, accompanied by the extraordinarily loud sound of crickets and birds. It is great when the noise of nature drowns out that of the local disco!
We will sleep well tonight after rains cleared the air and we settle into our new surroundings.
We are well, happy, comfortable and getting ready to face the challenges that are emerging, determined to ensure that Cress continues to make a difference.
Written by Maggie Metcalfe