The morning went much as many other mornings did. I went to P2, hoping to see Shamim before I left, but she was sick. She is often sick (I was concerned about HIV, given that her parents died of it, but she is negative). I decided that I would buy vitamin supplements from Beth to give to her at school each day, as she probably can’t get a very balanced diet at home (you eat what is harvested), and so much of the year she is probably low in vitamins and minerals. I’m not normally the biggest vitamin fan, as I know a lot of people just take everything they can, which isn’t good for them, but I think in this case it might actually be a help. The Omega 3 Salmon oil+ will hopefully be good, as she probably doesn’t get any fish and limited protein.
After break I went to P5 for a maths lesson, then P4 for a science lesson. The teacher spent most of the lesson asking me about the education system in Australia. They were especially impressed with the HECS scheme, where you don’t have to pay for the university degree up front, but do so when you are working. Here it is all up front, which makes university degrees (especially long ones) out of reach for most people. I know 3 people have asked me to help them go to university – one directly, the other two in more indirect ways. It is very hard, especially for those wanting to study medicine or law.
I ate lunch, and then Ignatius interviewed me for my send off. One of the questions (because all the single young males apparently want to know, and all the mothers of single males – Christine has already offered me her son!) was, of course, my marital status. I was defined as, “single, and contented but available”. I also specified that I want 20 children (it’s my main deterrent here – actually, it’s my main deterrent in Australia too, and very effective), and Ignatius said, “Well, that rules me out. I mean, I could have 18, but 20!”
The send off was nice. Ignatius was MC; Dan and Anne made a speech each, I made a speech, and we exchanged presents. I gave the textas the YPs gave me from my church, and a PSB from me. I was given a handbag, a purse and a pair of thongs (flip flops). Them Richard (who is a pastor)lead everyone in prayer.
Then everyone hugged me and said goodbye to me. I passed out my email address to everyone who wanted it. People made requests of things for me to bring with me when I come back – things as diverse as a 3 translation Bible to laptops (for 3 different people – even 2nd hand ones cost a lot more in Uganda than in Australia, which makes them massively out of reach for most people) to duplo and books for the library.
I spent the evening praying and reading. There is a lot of need here, and there is so much that needs to be done. I cannot possibly help all those who want help and request my help. But I can pray that God will make a way for these people.