HIV Craft Project Christmas Party

Bakers Posted by Paul and Tania Baker on Tue, 03 Jan 2012 | 4 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

On our last Wednesday before Christmas the Craft ladies finished up early and we gathered for our Christmas lunch. This is the first time this has been done and they where very excited to see what food would be served. You can imagine their delight to find a complete feast laid out in front of them; Beef, potatoes, matooke, rice, Ground nut sauce, beans and vegetables. For desert there was pineapple, Christmas cake and biscuits.

I have never seen plates piled so high. Yet despite this there was still a lot of food left over so each lady was given a box full of leftovers to take home for their families. One of our Ugandan volunteers expressed how the ladies would talk about this feast for years.

After lunch we played games. When I had originally suggested this to one of our HIV counsellors here they were unsure that the ladies would join in as grown ups do not play games in Uganda. But I think they had underestimated these ladies sense of fun. I got reports of people at the other side of the hospital being able to hear the howls of laughter from the room where we played games I had learnt as a child. At one stage the ladies could not even complete the game because they were laughing so hard. It was hard at that moment to imagine that these women have a deadly disease and are living in bleak poverty. Right then, they were the happiest people I have ever met.

Before leaving presents were given out. The women of the 20s and 30s group at Hamilton Road Baptist church in Bangor had bought and sent over 20 packs of underpants, an extremely useful present to women whose clothes are always bought second hand – even the underwear. They also received soap, rice, sugar, salt, sweets and biscuits – a Christmas Hamper Uganda style.

All through my first year here I have worried at how I would feel being so far from home over Christmas. But I have been surprised to find that the last month here has been my favourite time so far. Kiwoko really embraces Christmas. They have a huge staff Christmas party with over 300 people in attendance, we went carol singing round the wards on Christmas eve, and on Christmas Day all the staff who had not gone back to their villages met together for a ‘bring and share’ BBQ. All these events were great fun and also a profound example of how a community can become a family.

But I think my favourite part of the whole season was the laughter of 16 middle aged women playing games like six year olds.

Comments

Helen Davis said Tue, 03 Jan 2012 11:53AM
Sounds like you all had a great time something that will not be forgotten. I am glad you have not felt homesick this Christmas and the Ugandan people will treasure those special things that you did for them and that makes it worth while. God bless you both in 2012 xx P.S. hope all the Bats are gone.
jill said Thu, 19 Jan 2012 04:11PM
god bless you and keep you both safe you are doing such a great job
Gerald Kelly said Wed, 12 Dec 2012 04:18PM
Hi Paul & Tania It is good to hear that you ar enjoying Christmas in Uganda although you will both be missed back at home, still it wom't be too long before you are back in Bangor. It's good to learn that the Lord has been blessing your work and that your service is having such an impact of the people you work with. Linda and I wish you both a Blessed and Joyious Christmas, we will as usual hold you up in our prayers. Lots of Love and God bless you both Gerald and Linda

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