We woke up this morning to see a beautiful clear view of the city. This was the first time we saw the city with no fog and it was breathtaking. After a debrief of our day yesterday and a delicious breakfast, we split up into two teams to go to different locations throughout the day. Thankfully, we (Jack and Anneliese) were in different groups and can tell you individually about everything we did today so buckle in, it’s a long one.
In the morning, the two teams headed to Kampala School for the physically handicapped or Nateete, a slum in Kampala. I (Anneliese) went to the school and it was easily the highlight of my group’s day and even possibly the trip. We were barely off the bus before the kids began to smile and wave, running towards us. We were instantly surrounded with love and acceptance. The kids stole our hearts and it was apparent they cared about each other by the way they treated one another with kindness. It was amazing to see what this school has done for these kids (over 170 of them!) and how many resources their school has provided them with. Time flew by and before we knew it, we had to head back for lunch. We did not want to leave but felt so full of love and joy from spending our morning with these sweet kids.
We (Jack and friends) had the opportunity to travel to the slum of Nateete to distribute water filters. The people were super accepting and happy. We played frisbee and “Tilapia and Silverfish” (Ed’s version of “Sharks and Minnows”) with around 20 kids. Ty had a great time teaching them how to take pictures with his camera and they were super excited to learn. It was very nice to see the joy and gratefulness from those receiving the filters.
Both teams got back right in time for lunch at the Namirembe Guest House. We all had such an amazing morning at both locations and could not wait to see what the afternoon adventures entailed.
Shortly after lunch, the two teams headed to Katwe or Kibuli. I (Anneliese again) went to Kibuli (pronounced chi boo lee), one of the slums in Kampala. We went into the church where there was a circle of children. We sat with them as one of the Sports Outreach Employees, Lydia, shared a Bible verse with the kids and gave them porridge. Lydia grew up in Kibuli and was one of the kids that came to these meetings for food. It was so encouraging to see how she used to be one of those kids there, sitting and eating porridge, and now she is mentoring them and sharing the Word. Throughout our time, we were able to connect with the kids and some of the parents before we began sharing about the water filters. They were extremely receptive and I even led the kids through building a water filter on their own. It was amazing to see these kids show me what piece goes where and how they answered each of my questions correctly and quickly. Even with the hardships these children face, they were so willing to learn and always had a smile on their face around us. When we left the church, we went on a home visit. It was heartbreaking to see what these families go through, but so encouraging to see how welcoming they were to us and how they continue to persevere.
We (Jack and friends again) were lucky enough to visit the Katwe chess academy, the same place that is famous for the movie Queen of Katwe. We distributed water filters for some families of those who live in Katwe and met some very special people involved in their chess academy. Robert Katende, who works through Sports Outreach, was the one who started the chess academy. He took us through the slum to show us all the areas the movie was filmed. Through this we got to see the harsh reality of living in the slum. The people were very happy and welcoming to us even in their difficult circumstances. It was certainly a special place and we are very grateful for these experiences today!
Today was a very emotionally draining yet beautiful day for both teams. We were grateful for a bit of time to rest before dinner to process the day we had. We were still rather drained at dinner, but being together allowed us to have great and meaningful conversation. We had such an impactful day and now need to go to bed because guess who has a 7 hour bus ride to Gulu tomorrow!?! it’s us. This is Jack and Anneliese signing off for now!