Wednesday 16th May 2018
Just a short post for today.
A quiet day in Kampala with SimonPeter and Lisa and lovely lunch in Cafe Javas in the centre of the city. An afternoon reading before a late evening drive to theAirport for our 11.30 departure from Entebbe.
Should be back in the UK before 9.00am tomorrow.
This is the last of our posts from our trip to Uganda.
Tuesday 15th May 2018
Up at 6.00am ready for a prompt 7.30pm departure from Kisoro. Cranmer was up to send us on the way with a prayer for safety on our journey. A comfortable and relatively new car picked us up and as we climbed over the pass between Kisoro and Kabale we found ourselves in thick early morning cloud. We encountered a lot of slow moving lorries on the road and did not pass through Kabale until 9:10am.
We then encountered a significant accident between two lorries on the steep hill down from the Kabale hills. It looked as though a lorry and trailer tried to take a sharp bend at too great a speed.
From Kabale to Muhanga we drove through steady heavy rain. Just after Muhanga we hit thick fog with visibility down to little more than a car-length in front of our vehicle. The rain intensified once we cleared the worst of the fog, so it was still very difficult to see through the windscreen!
Rain and low cloud continued through Ntungamo and the Ankole hills, and on to Mbarara. By the time we reached the Mbarara by-pass at about 11.00am then weather was beginning to lift. The road between Mbarara and Masaka is older tarmac and the traffic heavier, the humps harder to see. By the time we reached Masaka (1:00pm) the clouds had lifted somewhat and the rain had stopped.
We stopped at the Equator (but didn’t get a photo at the circles) for a lunch of guacamole and sweet potato chips at AidChild’s Equation Cafe’ and Gallery, Kayabwe.
Arrived safely at Whitecrest Guest House at 4.30pm.
Monday 14th May
A gentle morning started for Roger with an early rise to watch the dawn over Kisoro and Mt. Muhabura and to post images on Facebook. Today is our last full day in Kisoro. We travel to Kampala tomorrow. It will be a 7 hour drive. Bishop Cranmer has negotiated a good rate for us for the journey. It will cost us 570,000 UgSh ….. sounds a lot but it is about £120 at the local exchange rate. Mid-morning we walked into Kisoro and did a little shopping before having lunch at The Coffee Pot – Guacamole and Chapati.
In the afternoon, Bishop Cranmer took us to the border with the Congo and we were given permission to cross and return by customs officers.We had a different experience at the border gate at the other end of the crossing. The customs officers for the DRC were great, they allowed us to enter the DRC temporarily and even gave permission for photographs to be taken, but then a relatively young man not in uniform who had a big car, called us over and threatened to put Cranmer in jail, then he took my phone and scrutinised all the photographs before giving us a stern rebuke for taking photograph without permission.
We wondered who he was, the customs officers told us to take no notice of him, they had given permission for the photographs. Still, it leaves one wondering, ……… given that government structures are weak in the DRC and given the story in the news recently of two British people being kidnapped and then released in the eastern part of the Congo.
Anyway, we got our 10 minutes in a different country!☺ We got a few photos to prove it, and Roger did not, in the end, lose his phone!After our border experience, we stopped off on the south side of the main road at a small hill, Sagitwe and climbed it. In the past, it was a volcano and the caldera still remains. The whole hill is intensively farmed. At the top we also had a good view of the Virunga Mountains.We spent the early evening with Cranmer and Hope, and then completed our packing.
Our home over the past week has been Muhubura View Guesthouse (http://www.muhaburaview.com) which is owned by the Diocese of Muhabura. It sits on a hill overlooking Kisoro and the Virunga Mountains.The Guest House from the Bishop’s compound.
It is very close to the Bishop’s house.
Sunday 13th May 2018
An early start today, heading for another confirmation service. This one is also close to the DRC border and in Hope Mugisha’s home village of Buhozi. We arrived for 10am and left at about 2.30pm.Roger discovers that drumming is not his forte!￼
First order of the day after arriving was our second breakfast. The processing up hill (steeply up hill) to the church.
The church was packed (literally – there was no room to process to the altar as the aisle was full of young adults and children sitting on the floor).
The church was roasting hot😥, but we loved the service and Roger got to preach for 45 minutes. It is a pity that cannot happen often in Ashton-under-Lyne!😏 Should we try to make it possible?Do not fear, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name. You are mine. (Isaiah 43:1-4).
33 young people and one adult from Buhozi parish were confirmed.
It was about 1.30pm when we processed back to the vicar’s house for lunch and 2.30pm when we left to head back to Kisoro.
Two pastoral visits with Bishop Cranmer completed ‘work’ for the day.
The evening was spent at the Bishop’s house with a meal prepared by Phoebe their youngest daughter.
Thursday 10th May – Ascension Day 2018
Today is Ascension Day, we have not climbed a mountain but we are living at approximately 1800 metres (around 6000 ft) above sea-level and the two villages we visited today with Bishop Cranmer and Hope are much higher. Hopefully that counts!
In the morning we travelled to Nyakimanga a small highland village right on the border with Rwanda, I guess it is about 2000 metres above sea level. Our parishes in the UK funded a water tank for this village at harvest-time 4 years ago. Jo and I visited in October 2013 to see the village and to see where the tank would be built (it was the dry season). Children were walking long distances to collect water and so were unable to attend school.
I visited again in April 2015, when the tank was under construction. It was the wet season and the scenery was much greener.
In July 2015, Bishop Cranmer sent a photograph of the inauguration ceremony for the new tank.
Today we have been able to see the tank completed and see just how important it is to local people.
Nyakimanga is in the south of the diocese. Our afternoon/evening visit took us to the northwest of the diocese and meant travelling out of the diocese on the main road to Kabale and into Kigezi Diocese, before turning off onto murram road and heading back into Muhabura Diocese. This was another visit to a family in mourning.