Sunday 3rd September, 2023

Dear friends,

It’s been an amazing week, on Monday morning we left Garuga at 7.30am, piled into three vehicles, Ian driving his car with tents, luggage and Vicky, Jessie driving the minibus full of boys, with Alex, and me driving my car with 7 boys and Tresor. Ian knew a shortcut to the Masaka Road, (marrum road – extremely dusty) which probably saved us about 45 mins driving time. We stopped at the Equator where it poured with rain and boys only got out of the cars for a short-call. Tresor, Ian, Tim and Godfrey took the mattresses from the roof of the minibus and rolled them to squeeze into the vehicles!

We arrived at the camp site about 3pm, having driven slowly past zebras, warthogs, impalas and Vervet monkeys. Four boys had travelled by coach with Sam as we were concerned that we would be stopped by the police with too many boys in our vehicles, Ian collected them from the main road. Lunch was ready when we arrived, all basic food for the next three days – posho and beans, matoke and g-nut sauce, rice and cabbage – delicious when you’re hungry! After the tents were put up a guide took us on a walk down to the lake side showing us evidence of wild animals, we saw fruit bats, and hippos in the distance. The guide placed two night cameras to film any animal movement during our stay. Each night we had a camp fire, where Alex from Kenya shared with the boys some of his life story. There were also conversations about what we had seen, done, rapping, singing and advice from me about not wandering around during the night but sleeping!

‘But those who hope in the Lord, will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.’ Isaiah 40 v 31

Vicky and I slept in a cottage at the top of the hill, with bathroom – basic but comfortable with two enormous guard dogs, one who had been attacked by a warthog and felt very sorry for itself. The next morning we drove in convoy to the National Park entrance which was nearby and spent the day on a nature walk, drive and boat trip, seeing hippos, crocodiles, fish eagles all in abundance. Also giraffes, zebras, buffalo, water buck, topi, eland, impalas and many other wild animals. The minibus did get a puncture and the boys doing the motor mechanics course changed the tyre efficiently – Ian then arranged with our guide to take the tyre to be fixed and it was later returned.

The boys loved the experience and want to go camping every year! Everything went well, with no problems and the drive home was uneventful. When we arrived back at George’s Place, even though we were tired we met together thanked God for our safety especially on the roads and the amazing time we had had and also thanked Ian, Alex and Vicky for being with us.

I worked in the office on Thursday and saw Petra and Peace – all seems to have gone well during my absence. Though, we have some forms to fill in for the Government which we will look at next week. Friday I went to George’s Place and talked with many of the boys who wanted to chat about things.

Today, Saturday, the boys have gone to football, to play matches. I bought 4 pairs of boots with me in my luggage and two pairs of trainers so some will have enjoyed using these. The older boys won their game 3-2, and the under 14’s lost on a penalty shot when they drew 2-2. I also came with two skateboards, watches for everyone and packets of rolo’s which they have all appreciated. No reason now to be late for anything! Sula’s mum and sister visited this afternoonand Augustine is also visiting though didn’t come on the camp as we didn’t invite the boys who are working.

Diana is arriving today, she has been in Moyo running a training programme all week, I’m sure we’ll have plenty to catch up on – she will be with me for about a month.

Thank you for all your prayers and support – the verse for me this week has been the one above!

With love.

Jane x