Saturday began with Danny’s 18th birthday. A morning of yelling, throwing streamers, ‘Happy Birthdays’ and singing merry choruses to celebrate Danny’s special day was followed by a day in the town. The events of the day were kept secret from the birthday boy until we arrived at our destinations.
The first stop was “Welcome Home”, which is an orphanage for children aged 0-6 years. The children are taken to the orphanage due to the parents’ inability to care for them, usually as a result of monetary complications or HIV. One of the greatest feelings was singing to the babies until they gently fell asleep in your arms. It is safe to say we will all be excellent parents in the years to come.
Next we spent a few hours in town, grabbing some lunch and shopping at the many tourist stalls, selling everything from African attire, to weapons, to paintings. After generously contributing to Jinja’s economy, we headed to “The Source of the Nile” (or at least one of them…). We had a boat ride along part of the Nile, which was a gateway to some ripper snaps of the local wildlife, including monkeys, various birds, and a monitor lizard.
After a brief exploration of the world’s longest river, our final stop was to a birthday dinner for Danny at The Black Lantern, a restaurant overlooking part of the Nile. A good meal and some celebratory drinks, tasting the local liquors concluded our night, with our hearts full of joy and our stomachs full of food, we headed back to Suubi house, ready for another day.
On Sunday morning we had our first experience of “African Church” at Wairaka Abundant Life Church. The excitement among the congregation was overwhelming, and included lots of singing and dancing. Before the service we were all asked to introduce ourselves to the rest of the church, and our responses were translated into Luganadan (as was the entirety of the service). The vast majority of the service was praise and worship, and a short sermon on 2 Corinthians 5:16-21.
The rest of the day was a cultural learning experience, learning about the history of Uganda and Hope Builders from Robert and Johann, some African dances the Village of Hope, and making a savoury African dish.
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