Our first week in Uganda

As promised, some more on what Simon and I have been up to since arriving in Uganda last Saturday. Quoted bits are his words not mine.

 

Saturday: We flew from Adelaide-Dubai-Entebbe with Emirates. Flights were long, smooth and boring which are the best kind of long haul flights.

Our trip went well and we were able to stay up until 8.30 pm last (Saturday) night which would be about 3 am in Australia. By doing this it will allow our body clocks to adjust more quickly. We are staying at a Catholic Hostel and we had the unique experience of sharing an evening meal with a group of nuns.
One of the nuns is doing some work in Southern Uganda and would like us to visit their setup as they run an orphanage and have land that is not being used. She shared the children were only getting one meal a day last year. Hopefully we can visit this place but it is in a different direction for us. There are many needs here and we need to have wisdom on which needs we meet first.
I managed several firsts that first night in Uganda. Not only did I get to meet a nun for the first time, I also was able to try Matoke, a staple food here. It’s a cooking banana and while it takes a bit of getting used to the texture, it doesn’t taste too bad. Not amazing but a lot better than the other major staple food here, cassava.

Sunday:

Today has gone really well. The preaching was at a Pentecostal church in a poor area of Kampala. I spoke for 1 hour about the parable of the sower and incorporated some points about being on guard. At the end I offered to pray for people and had a great response. The feedback was very positive.
After church we had lunch at Mike Mundali’s place and then we went to talk with a Farm/Development consultant and his wife. We were able to get some clear direction for how to proceed with the new farmers that Grow Africa helps. They are very educated and have a God dream for setting up a demonstration farm in Aura [northern Uganda]. They have the expertise, educations, skills, and land. The only thing they are missing is the capital to plant produce on their farm. I think this is where Grow Africa can help.
Mike Mundali is our guide and on our first morning in Kampala and we visited a church near his place. While Simon did preach for an hour and church itself went for nearly 3 hours it didn’t seem that long because the whole service is given in two languages. English and the local language (there are several here, not sure which one!) So everything is said twice. Simon threw me in the deep end a bit and called me up when he started preaching to share something that God is doing in my life. He said to me later that sometimes it’s good to be put out of our comfort zone. Being called to spontaneously speak to 150+ people who don’t speak great English in a tin shed/church in suburban Kampala on my first day in the country certainly was uncomfortable. But everyone here is lovely and told me I did well, so God can use and stretch us! Thankfully I had a translator!

Monday

We visited a Christian High School with 1500 students with them all boarding on the school grounds. They have 125 acres of land which they are doing some agriculture on. They are very keen to do more with the land they have and they have a passionate chemistry/agriculture teacher who will manage the farm development. He also has a small farm himself which we looked at and he is doing well on that land. Some of the students who board cannot afford all of their school fees so they work on the farm to pay their way. Grow Africa will be making an gift of fruit trees to this school to see them develop the farm and this will enable them to offset the costs for feeding 1500 students every day. The other exciting thing is that the students will be learning on the job as they work the land.
Tuesday
We visited the 20 acres that Grow Africa purchased 3 years ago. Although the land has been cleared and improved there are still challenges to work through. I made an assessment of where the land is at and today we will go back to carry out soil tests and do some basic training in agronomy and business management. I was able to connect well with the farm manager and talk openly about the best path ahead for the land. Please continue to pray that we would make wise decisions and make the most of our limited time here in Uganda.
Would love to write more, but it’s nearly 11pm and I’m off white-water rafting on the Nile tomorrow!
Jonathan

Jonathan

Web developer turned farmer. Interests include: my faith, my wife, technology, cricket, farming, ice cream & world events.

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