I would four-fold love to see this be about the birth of Christ, the savior but alas, it is not even close-well not directly. Going by His teachings, “Let the Children come to me”, let’s say it is almost there.
What started out just as a group of young ambitious individuals culminated into an amazing journey. It all started with a WhatsApp group that brought together Rotaractors from different clubs getting to know one another on a more than Rotaract platform. With the end of the year right around the corner, so was Christmas. Going by what Rotaract stands for: Fellowship, Service and Fun, it was within our means to make shine someone’s Christmas.
Into the rain, were our minds, brainstorming to identify an ideal place for a planned project. A babies’ home was identified in Jinja-Sonrise babies home-and what was left was the hustle and tussle for funds and materialistic support. To help steer us to a successful time in Jinja, fundraiser were as well organized ranging from a Movie Night at the Red house where it was “WE ARE THE MILLERS” showing on the big screen (read:tundubaali in Luganda) with 3D SonyMax sound. Then there was a Karaoke night at Alleygators-Garden City where I can angrily comment that the adjudicating machine is really mean. There were friends of mine that spent even more than 3 minutes on the podium but earned 0%-standing ovation. The final fundraiser was a Gamers’ Night back at the Red house that had games ranging from FIFA 14, PES, NFS, Ludo, Playing cards and no dancing. Therefore, whoever was spotted dancing to a tune or claiming “Dj louder”, “That’s my song” and the likes was liable to a fine that was used to boost the coffers.
Saturday 21st December 2013 was the day for the project and off we were to the district of Source of the Nile aboard a bus save for a few that had to man boda-bodas like Rasta Solo and had to find us at Namawojjolo. It is culture that if you Easterly in directional movement, you have to stop at Namawojjolo so as to get a tatse of Chicken (read:marabou storks), roast bananas (read:gonja) and the likes so that stop was inevitable.
After a fun-filled journey of rampant, sharp, disturbing and temper triggering exchanges, we were at the doorstep of our eventual hosts. They were expecting us but they were not expecting us. The head of the home was, and hadn’t left word of our eventual visit but ofcourse we couldn’t detour so they had to accept us. After a few looks at the group, the runners of the home made a rather interesting but true observation. One vividly said, “Katonda atuwadde ba malayika abalalu” which is Luganda for “The Lord has sent us stubborn Angels!” That’s was the first impression we had driven into their heads. We blended in pretty well and roles were marked out as we had to divide labour so as to ease our work at the home. A few guys had to stay back with the girls and help with the kids and changing diapers while others had to get ingredients for our food and the rest into the kitchen. It was at moments like this where it was discovered that a few guys had that fatherly touch as they were really good with the kids in the likes of Godwin, Martin, Eliot and Lewis. Back into the kitchen, truth was being discovered and ironed out about the project’s head cook-Maria. Apparently, she had interned at a school while in her P7 vacation and handled all the school’s meals alone. Also, she handled the late Mandela’s multi-national state funeral catering all by herself. In other words, all our fooding was in the most capable hands.
Time was winding down slow and the food time, one I was anticipating for now two hours was nigh. It was food time and cut-caking (read:cake-cutting). It is no secret that I love cake a lot so I had to take a front seat next to the serving point-just right behind the kids. It was a very sumptuous meal is all I can say because it repaid my patience. It was night time and yeah, time to party. On the outside, we had a “swahaba” working round the clock to secure for us the spot with the funkiest VIP interior-yes VIP, and the best sound and music. We didn’t want to disrupt any plot our Dj Mis Mas had for the weekend because he was also on board. We checked into Queen’s Palace Bar at abt 11pm and I must confess, it didn’t disappoint. Hon.Umar had done very good unmasking. This joint had very good music, a very good VIP spot with awesome tending. What was lacking was good dancers but the good news is that we had carried a few dance moves with us from Kampala. One and half hours were just ideal for this crowd of boys and girls to import Konshens’ Show yourself suave and Aidonia’s Bruki craze not forgetting Davido’s Skelewu moves to JJA. After the floor, it was a mini party at base.
Back to base-Eden Park was a wide range of things to do. Well as a few individuals chose to dive straight into their tents due to fatigue, others chose to do what was dubbed “Blankets & Wine” just by the poolside. Really exquisite. Meanwhile, others had found it ideal to have a simple conversation round a well-tended campfire thanks to Sheikh Kalanda Sharif and they termed theirs as a “The Tribunal”-from which all members retreated to the pool accompanied by soft music and glasses of wine. At about 5:30am, the last standing awake members retreated to their sleeping places.
There was of course time to awake and great ready but judging by the rigorous activities of the day before, waking up was for fighting just. At about 9am, we left the campsite headed for Jinja town at a friend’s place for breakfast. I could use a paragraph for that meal that had sodas, beers, omelet, maize, milk tea, bread, bans but the stand out was the Rotaractor form Belgium, Eric, and his brother Moses, that were sweating from their agonizing mixture of Club Pilsener and roast maize. All those that had gotten into Jinja town anticipating a Rolex from the source were left mind-changed and probably stomach-unwilling as that meal had a hefty impact on all tummies-Gava’s or Ibra’s.
We then set off from here for Kampala as our work here was done. Though we were claiming to be full, skipping a stop at Namawojjolo was out of the question and this was respected. The highlight here though, was that single boisterous individual that ordered only GONJA at this place but was later seen holding and pointing chicken sticks. How he got them-questions still linger.
About an hour later, we were into the city centre and we had to sadly part ways to our various destinations only thanking God for enabling us to influence the lives of these young ones and also have us in one place.
ENGAGE ROTARY, CHANGE LIVES!
JOYEUX NOEL ET BONNE ANEE SONRISE!!!!!