Ode to the Orphanage

A second day in Masindi. The garden of New Court View has never disappointed. The fantastic red and yellow flowers (don’t ask, I have no idea) catch my eye and I can’t help but take a pic. Oops, I haven’t noticed the couple sitting in the round hut which is right behind the plant and now they think that I was stalking them.

As I casually walk back to my table to sip my cold water, the heavens open. The rest of the floral photo shoot will have to wait (I will be sending postcards home via Touchnote app, so need to get good ones.).

This morning we headed to the orphanage. It’s one of my favourite walks, that path out of Masindi. It snakes downhill past the last houses, over the stream and then up through a forest, until you reach the blue gate with the words Family Spirit on it. And you are home. The children are always happy to see visitors, any visitors, and will inevitably try to engage you in a game of football.

This morning was no different, immediately the boys quizzed Mike about cricket and ‘please can we play some’. He could do nothing but promise a game. The babies have been carried out for an inspection and I ended up with little Joel, who was found last December as a newborn left to die in the swamps. I can report that he is lovely little boy.

Another little foundling was Blessing (called Veronica Blessing after me, as we were there when she was found and bought a few months worth of milk formula for her). I last saw her as a tiny baby and, she is now walking!

While we talked to some of the older girls and cuddled the babies, the rest of the children were queueing outside one of the classrooms for a medical checkup. A local hospital have decided that it would be far more efficient if the nurses and doctors came here rather than lugging around two hundred kids up to the hospital. So for the first time they have come to check the children in their home. It’s things like this, that are really making a difference.

The rain has stopped now and the waiters at the hotel are sweeping the water out of the restaurant. There are errands to run: order a new car battery for the orphanage truck (the older boys have to be taken everywhere so that they can push it until it starts), check if the local pharmacy stocks enough stuff to fill up the first aid boxes (we will be getting one in each dormitory), get some phone credit on our Ugandan SIM card and buy presents.

I was going to pop into my favourite fabrics shop and say hello to Restie, the proprietor, but it seems that she had finally sold up and moved to the UK with her British boyfriend. Oh well, we will have to have the traditional ‘Restie Pizza’ without her. Good luck, friend.

Signing off now, off for a cold beer before dinner. I suggest you do the same. 🙂img_0846

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