Greetings to you all,
I hope you are well and the Easter season also went well. Just like the Easter season last year, this year Easter was also never the same like before the pandemic. Much as the churches here were allowed to gather, none was allowed to gather in full capacity. All worship places are only allowed just about ½ of the capacity. Church wasn’t the same because on the Saturday before Easter Sunday, the Archbishop of the Catholic Church in Uganda succumbed to what was confirmed as a heart attack. He was found on the floor of his house in the morning of Saturday. The country has been mourning him and the state gave him a 17 gun salute as a send off when his body arrived at the Kololo National Air Strip. This was the sad part of the Easter holidays.
This week was short for obvious reasons that Monday was Easter Monday, I was able to visit a total of only four Mamas: Harriet L, Lilly A, Irene L and Sarah N.
I will start with the one that I was excited to see or made me excited during the visit. Irene had a beautiful smile on her face when she saw me, she was very thankful for what we have done for her. At the time of the visit she was seated in her salon with her daughter and youngest son who was eating his lunch. She said, “This is what I told you Andrew,” pointing to her son who was eating, “I can’t stay without work.” She was clearly happy that she can now afford a meal for her family. Secondly, she had finished connecting electricity as she had promised when we offered to pay for her connection fee. I was happy to see her happy and her salon set up.
It was also nice to see Sarah N. of the goats. It had been a while because she lives a bit further than all the Mamas. I was glad to hear she is doing well, her foot has made progress and was healing. It has improved her mobility for now but her back still hurts, so she still doesn’t dig as much. I found her peeling cassava with her little 3yr old granddaughter. Usually families that practice farming in Uganda will grow cassava and sweet potatoes, these are staple foods for most families majorly because it’s cheap and easy to grow. Cassava is peeled and sliced in thumb size strips and then boiled with salt and served with beans and other sauces. Other people will do the same but deep fry them and use the cassava as accompaniment for tea during breakfast.
Her goats are doing well and she has two of them pregnant, so we will wait to see what happens in a few months. The goats look healthy and she said she has the vet visit every month to provide them with care, which is a good thing. The goat house still looks fantastic and she has ensured the kids keep it clean, so I was glad to see that too. It was worth the long ride I must say.
We have a local saying here in Uganda usually used to refer to lacking money or having nothing in the pocket, we say “…the sun is shining in your pockets.” Lilly A. has not had a good few 3 weeks, having only 2 orders for table cloths and pillow cases. Otherwise she has not had much success with the African backpacks she made early this year. We had been trying to help her pick it up so we provided her with a fabric fund but not much improvement yet. Lucky enough is that she presents with a hope that everything will better up soon.
Finally I went to see Harriet L. after she had called me to go look at the house she had found. Unfortunately, I didn’t like the house. It was located perfectly by the road but it was a bit small, the owner wanted rent worth five months and yet it looked like a dump, the floor was wet and the roof had a few holes. It is not the way we do things usually because we allow all the Mamas to make their own decisions about the businesses they want. This time round looking at Harriet’s business — dealing in fabric and tailoring goods — a dump was not something I could call a pass on. I couldn’t let her go on with selecting this particular place. I asked her to keep looking until she can find a more secure and better conditioned place.
This week went well and I am proud to be a part of a life changing journey for Irene and her family. I want to thank you all who have made this possible. I wish we could all see the smile on Irene’s face and then her son eating his meal was priceless. Thank you for putting food on the many tables of the families we work with. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to do much towards the end because I think my body is playing with me, I feel weak and a bit tired but don’t you worry because I don’t give up. I will be here. Thank you for supporting us once again, thank you for reading and following our blogs. Means a lot.
I wish you all a wonderful week, Stay Safe, Maintain Social Distancing and never forget to be Sociable.
Director Progs, Uganda
ISEE Solutions Society