Monday, 28 January 2008

The stronger sex?

We spent yesterday, Sunday, going to church and then visiting the tomb of the Bugandan kings, followed by a moving visit to the church of the Ugandan martyrs - Ugandan Christians sentenced to death by the then King because their faith was seen to be incompatible with obedience to him - a sort of modern day Daniel in the lions den story.

Martyn was then out of action for the rest of the day, making regular visits to the smallest room in the house (let the readers understand!).

Today has been a great day. We visited Katosi Womens Development Trust, a partner of MRDF for some 5 years who have been working some 'small miracles' among groups of women who, here as in many other parts of the world, the dice seems especially loaded against.

We met Betty, a real entrepreneur if ever there was one. Her husband left her - and 8 children, and since then she says she's never looked back! With the aid of initial loans, all now repaid, she got a cow (she calls Precious), grew mushrooms, a vegetable garden, and now owned the local shop. Like everyone else we met today, she was movingly grateful for the initial monies permitting the beginnings of this enterprise. What hit me again and again, is that the kind of money that had made such a dramatic difference to her life was less than many of us spend per person on a decent meal out. How good MRDF are at making a little go a long way!

Then followed one after another impressive women: the fish farmers; a teacher with a fantastic little garden for vegetables; a bee-keeper eagerly awating her first honey; and several 'zero grazing' cows (i.e. they are in a pen and are fed rather than openly graze - this cuts down the time needed to take them grazing and protect them, and so releases time for other jobs and ventures). One single elderly woman called Ida stroked her cow (she named Revered Elder One - the cow, not Martyn!) and just repeated her thanks again and again. And again and again Amanda kept reminding these lovely folk that we had not personally given the money, but that it came from the good folk of Methodism.

Absolutely so. So let's keep it up is all I can say.

Tonight, after a horrendous drive back in some of the worst smog I can recall, and a luke warm shower, we are reflecting on the day... and the fact that Amanda has not lost, stolen or mislaid anything today. Well, there's time yet!

We return late tomorow night, so the final blog from Uganda may have to wait on our return. Thank you for all your prayers.

Martyn, Amanda and Sharon.

1 comment:

Sally said...

Thank you for blogging your travels... as for the stronger sex.... hmmm....