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Uganda-Report 2019 – Habibas Birthday

By Jens, 11/15/2019 - 12:45
Uganda-Report 2019 – Habibas Birthday

Namaganda, 15. 11. 2019 (Deutsch)

I wake up in the middle of the night thinking I'm suffocating. It's still hot and sticky. I'm sure the oxygen in the air in here is about to run out. I tear the door open. Pleasantly cool and fresh air streams in. Let the mosquitoes eat us up. It's better than suffocating. The door stays open for the rest of the night. Outside the moon is shining, the stars are twinkling and the cock starts to crow (later we will learn that it is now two o'clock in the night because the crazy cock always starts crowing at this time).

Sleeps much better in the fresh air. When we wake up the sun is already shining. Outside we already hear the children cheerfully. As described, the area where our huts and our "washrooms" are located is fenced in. This reminds a little bit of a zoo, only that in this case we are the exotic "animals". Especially now it looks exactly like that. Because today, for once, all children are at school on time (and maybe even some who don't belong to school at all). Close together they crowd along the fence and try to catch something of the strange Muzungus. Surely our wide open door increases the general tension. When we leave our hut there is a cheering outcry. We wish all children a good morning and try to ignore the curious looks as best we can.

For breakfast there are potatoes and matoke again as well as fruits and new spaghetti, after cooking briefly fried with egg - delicious. When we come back to the huts after the refreshment, the big children are just at Ina's for room service. Our hut is already tidy, the bed is freshly made. On the bed is a tray with a carafe of fruit juice and glasses. With such an affectionate care we do not dare to say that we actually prefer to stay in a hotel in Kamuli. Okay, we survived one night, and with an open door it was quite possible. Maybe we can manage a second night and then talk to Eddy tomorrow ...

Before today's highlight, Ina and Raphaela are taking part in the Nursery Class (pre-school, from 3 to 6 years). This is a special experience. The teachers put all their physical effort into their lessons and the children learn a lot through singing and dancing, i.e. the combination of taught content (and simultaneous learning of the foreign language English - mother tongue of the children here is Luganda) with movement and music. In addition, there are usually two teachers in each class with the little ones. In this respect, schools in Germany can certainly learn something from the Visionary Learning Centre in Uganda!

Then it's time. Today is the birthday of our godchild Habiba. She's turning four. Eddy has organized a big, two-story birthday cake. It was specially delivered from Kampala (it is hard to imagine how the logistics work over the distance and the existing infrastructure). And of course the proud godparents have a big package with them. Habiba is still very shy and insecure towards us strangers. The other children watch the unpacking ceremony spellbound. We are very happy that so many teddies and dolls are on their way to Namaganda because of the great support from the Raphaela Blumenbunt fan circle.

Habiba gets a short "Happy Birthday" serenade from the children, then it's off to the delight of all the big cake. Of course all the children and teachers get a piece of the sweet pastry. Habiba proudly hands out the cake in her new blue dress. The little girl is very happy today, as you can see.

After lunch - potatoes, matote and again the delicious fried spaghetti - we drive shortly to Kamuli to buy more drinking water and toilet paper. In the afternoon a whole bunch of children will set off with us to visit some of the other godchildren at home.

The first stop is Swaibu and Paul, the godchildren of Kasakaire Wilber. The brothers have a handicap which, among other things, means that their scalps cannot tolerate direct sunlight. That's why you can always see them walking around with a cap on when they are at school. Disabled children are often rejected by their parents. Thanks to the support of the Visionary Learning Centre and the sponsors, Swaibu and Paul can live with their grandfather.

The next station is then Habiba's family. Raphaela is very happy to finally meet Habiba's mother Saphinah. The single mother of 7 children is 33 years old and, like Habiba, a little shy. Her oldest son is 19, Habiba is the youngest of the family. It is a good thing that the big daughters Salama (13) and Amina (14) live in the school. Also the original Habiba doll, which many surely know from the dolls manual and which Raphaela sent by parcel earlier this year, is still there and enjoys continuing popularity.

Then we visit the one godchild of Evelyn and Axel Huhn, Brendah Jamira and her mother. Evelyn has given Ina many presents and a lovingly written letter to Brendah, which is read by the older children from our accompanying train and translated in Luganda. A very emotional moment for everyone. And the music box in the little green caterpillar fascinates all the children who are present.

Finally we want to visit Tapenesi, but the other godchild of Evelyn and Axel is not at home today. But her grandmother, who she lives with, is here. And Tapenesi's grandmother is a very special person. I don't know what it is, but this mature woman radiates a sovereignty and warmth that is rare in this form. Spontaneously we get a bowl of corn as a present. We are looking forward to seeing her again soon when Tapenesi is back and we can hand over Evelyn and Axel's presents.

The day ends with interesting conversations with Eddy and his father on a balmy African night. For dinner we have potatoes, spaghetti and fresh, grilled corn. The door of our hut remains open, provisionally covered with a mosquito net (more to our reassurance ...). We sleep well.

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