Paul and Tania Baker are CMS Ireland Mission Partners based in Kiwoko Hospital, in Luwero Diocese in Uganda. Paul works as the Site Engineer for the hospital and Tania assists with the Women's Resource Centre and hospitality ministry in Kiwoko.
Hard Work and Hope
Posted by Paul and Tania Baker on Thu, 11 Aug 2011 | 1 comments | Bookmark:
Last week we said goodbye to Rukia, our housekeeper for the last 6 months. She was going off to college!
When we arrived here and were told we should get a housekeeper we scoffed at the idea. We weren’t colonialists, we were mission partners. We had come to assist Ugandans not have them assist us. But we were soon put in our place. We were here to work full time, not spend our day hand washing clothes and boiling water to make it safe to drink and cook with. And considering it takes us 2 hours to wash our underwear every Saturday I dread to think how long it would take us to wash a full basket of clothes, towels and bed sheets.
And so Rukia came to look after us. She has been a housekeeper for 5 years, since she was 18 years old. She had actually worked for a German family who lived in our house before us and so knew it better than we did. She is adorable. She works hard, gives great advice, and makes the most delicious bread ever.
Rukia has been working to pay to re-sit her school leaving exams. It took her 3 years to finally pass them but last year she did. So this year she took the exam and interview to get into the lab technician training school based here at Kiwoko Hospital. We were delighted when she got accepted, although also gutted to be losing her.
On her last day with us we had a party and invited all the other housekeepers who were so proud of her going to college. They were also delighted to be at a party and every time I brought out a plate of buns or cake they all clapped and cheered- I could get used to guests doing that!
The next day we picked her up from her home with her mattress, jerry can, washing basin and suitcase and drove her to her new dorm. It was like we were taking our first child away to college, I found myself getting all emotional. We are going to miss having Rukia around the house so much but we are so pleased at what she has achieved.
For 5 years Rukia has worked while studying for exams, she has saved her money religiously to pay school fees and entrance fees. Despite failing her school leaving exams 3 times, she never gave up hope and determination. And it has all paid off – she is now a Lab student. Everyone in Kiwoko is so proud of her – she is an inspiration to us all.