Category Archives: Uganda

Uganda 2018 – 10th May

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.

Uganda 2018 – 8th May

Tuesday 8th May 2018

Just over a week left in Uganda and today we travelled from Rukungiri to Kisoro. A full journey on tarmac is an unusual experience! A journey that used to take perhaps 6 hours on murram roads took around 3 hours today.

We set off from Rukungiri at about 8.00am, a little late because of a flat tyre, and were in Kisoro soon after 11.00am. Even on tarmac the journey can be quite draining. English people complain about road humps, but our have nothing on Ugandan ones!

Fierce rumble strips which have the vehicle bouncing around

precede a road hump which can be as much as 500mm (18 inches) high! And although painted when first installed, they become much less visible with age.

We travelled via Ntungamo (

and Kabale

before joining the newest tarmac on the route, the mountain road between Kabale and Kisoro. The road was completed about 2015 and climbs out of Kabale before dropping back down to the end of Lake Bunyonyi and then rising again to pass through the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and then dropping down again to Kisoro which is at a height of over 5,000ft. Pictures of the new road are below. …..

En route, we stopped for a short while at the head of Lake Bunyonyi.

The water from the head of Lake Bunyonyi sets off on its journey toward Lake Edward and eventually into the Nile!

The pictures below are © Helen Suk and show Lake Bunyonyi from above.

After the mountain road, Mt. Muhabura and Kisoro were a welcome sight!

Once we arrived at Muhabura View Guest House we spent the rest of the day relaxing and enjoying the views in Kisoro.

Uganda 2018 – 9th May

Wednesday 9th May 2018

We took a walk round Kisoro today. On the journey we took pictures of one of the water tanks that our Parishes funded through harvest giving a few years ago.

One of the other projects which the Good Shepherd in Ashton has supported in the past is Potters Village.

We then dropped in at ‘The Coffee Pot Cafe’ for coffee and cake –

In the afternoon we went with Bishop Cranmer on pastoral visit in Gisororo, a village about 7 kilometres from Kisoro on the Kabale road.

As you will see in tomorrow’s post we will then be visiting the other water tank that was funded by harvest-giving.

Uganda 2018 – 7th May

Monday 7th May 2018

A little shopping in the morning was followed by a trip to an apple farm, or more precisely an apple tree nursery, where we were asked to give a short talk to trainees about how apples are farmed in the UK! Not exactly in line with our expertise but …….

In the afternoon, Stephen and Roger travelled to John and Alice’s home village, Katwekamwe, a few miles outside Rukungiri.

Katwekamwe Church

Views from the hill behind the church at Katwekamwe are below.

Jo’s strongest memory of Katwekamwe was that this was the place where she first experienced an auction after the morning service. Many gifts from local people were made in kind and then at the end of the service they were auctioned off to add to the value of the Sunday collection! The next couple of pictures come from that auction in 2001! At the time, the church had no window glass and no floor. The auction raised some money towards the cost of a floor.

We finished the day with a roast leg of lamb for our evening meal.😊😊

Uganda 2018 – 6th May

Sunday 6th May 2018

Stephen and his daughter Martha.

A friend holds Stephen and Brenda’s first child, Ethan

We attended All Saints’ Church in Rukungiri this morning. Jo preached at the English speaking service at 9.00am, which included a baptism.

Roger was the second of two preachers at the vernacular service at 10.30am. Alice had the unenviable job of translating for a very excitable preacher!

We finished the morning services at about 1.30 pm. A long day’s work! ………

We spent much of the rest of the day relaxing, apart from a short walk to see Gables Vocational Training Centre, another of John and Alice’s projects and one which Ashton-under-Lyne churches supported by contributing to the cost of a borehole and hand pump.

Uganda 2018 – 5th May

Saturday 5th May 2018

After a long day travelling yesterday, we took our time getting up today.

We then had a bit of time around Rukungiri.

Coffee beans being dried in the sun close to Rukungiri Modern Primary School.

The view from our bedroom window.

Rukungiri – A: Rondavels Hotel; B: Gables Technical School; C: All Saints Church; D: Rukungiri Modern Primary School; E: Rukungiri Modern Nursery School; F: the house Roger stayed in in 1997.

And we were able to visit the two parts of Rukungiri Modern School, the Nursery and the Primary Schools. It is school holidays at present, so any pictures of children in school unform in this post are from earlier visits or photos taken by others.

Sheep grazing on the playing field at the Nursery School.

Rukungiri Modern Nursery School above, Rukungiri Modern Primary School below.

Banner from Manchester in 2013.

School Kitchens!

School toilets!

We also visited the home that I, Roger, stayed in with John and Alice in 1997, which is now used by a carpenter.

A plan to travel to Katwekamwe, John and Alice’s home village was postponed because of rain.

Uganda 2018 – 4th May

Friday 4th May 2018

We left the farmland at lunchtime. In the morning John took us on a drive along one of the boundaries of the land that has been purchased. While we were out I asked him about how the project was set up. The pictures below are taken from different points on the boundary of their land and are taken on the zoom setting on my phone camera. The farm buildings are close to the horizon in each picture. They sit in the middle of the land …..

The land that has been purchased is of a very significant size and, as well as providing a good food supply for the primary and technical schools in Rukungiri, it is intended that an agricultural field school will be set up at Kijongobya (in Kyegegwa District) which will work alongside Gables Technical School in Rukungiri and broaden the possible courses of study for those young people who do not go on to higher education.

All of John and Alice’s projects have been set up with trustees and are managed by that group of trustees. They also have a charity in the UK which is run independently by people in the UK …… Rukungiri Orphan Partnership. ( and on Facebook.)

The vision is clearly John and Alice’s, and John is now 67 years old. It is difficult to imagine him retiring but it will happen one day. Between them they have set up teams of competent people in each of their projects who now run those projects without a great deal of interference from John and Alice. John and Alice are working with a group of younger people at the farmland at the moment training them to take on particular management roles. It is too early as yet to appoint an overall manager of the framland project but ultimately that will be the plan …….

They have also set up a school in Kijongobya working on the same principles as Rukungiri Modern. We have already shared some details about Kijongobya Modern Primary School in an earlier post.

One of the boreholes we have helped to fund will supply both the school and the village with water. The next phase of that project is to purchase a submersible pump and generator and to build a pumphouse for the generator and to protect the borehole. You have seen pictures of the water tanks (in an earlier post) which are ready and waiting for the pump.

We were planning to bring a group from Ashton Deanery to Uganda in 2017 but people found the likely cost prohibitive. We planned a two night stay at the farmland as things were a little more basic year or so ago. But we thought that a couple pictures of our room at the farmland might give a good impression of what it might be like to stay there. If you were ever to think about doing so!😇

We also thought that a couple of maps might help place where we have been for the past few days ……

On this first map, Kampala can be seen on the extreme right and the village of Kijongobya is marked by the blue ‘flag’ it is about 25km south of the Fort Portal road at Kyegegwa. The grey/black line to the left of the picture is the international boundary with the DRC (the Democratic Republic of Congo).

This larger scale map shows the Katonga Game Reserve, ths Katonga River and Kigongobya District (still marked by the blue ‘flag) in a little greater detail.

This last map shows Rukungiri in the centre (red ‘flag’). Mitoma which is marked onnthe first map above can be seen to the north-east of Rukungiri, Lake Edward to the north-west, the international boundary is visible on the left of the map. The towns of Kabale and Kisoro appear to the south along with Lake Mutanda and Lake Bunyoni. The international boundary south of Kisoro is the border with Rwanda.

And some pictures of people ……..

Us with John and Alice

Jo with Specioza, Stella

Leon and Elius

Elius and Roger

We travelled via Mbarara to Rukungiri, arriving at about 8.00pm.

We had a quick meal and then retired to our room where we had our first showers in a week. That sounds worse than it is. At the farmland, we were provided with buckets and jerry-cans of hot water to wash in, and in a while the bathrooms will be equipped with showers. Water pressure will be low, as a high level water tank has still to be installed at the farmland, and there will need to be more than solar power or wood fires to heat water!

The night time temperatures in Rukungiri are lower which means getting to sleep is a little easier. Although I’d (Roger) have to say that I am sleeping better here than in Ashton!😴