Monthly Archives: June 2012

Chilling in Uganda

After the AIDS conference in Nairobi and the AIM conference in Jinja (which was also good with talks from Steve Lancaster (AIM UK) and even a visit from Steve Wolcott who gave his testimony about what he went through the last year – and then we can only say that God is a faithful God) I am still in Uganda. Because of a lot of people passing through Kampala to go to their places of ministry, I am not staying at the Inn but with a friend (Laura) who lives not far from the guesthouse. So I come there every day to check my emails and browse the internet.

I took the opportunity of wanting to wait for Meriam, a Dutch girl who comes to Adi next month to work at the hospital in Adi (and I must say that I am looking forward to her visit) to go on a short break of three days with Toni Stenger to Lake Mburo National Park. One of the newer parks in Uganda it is situated not far from Mbarara in southwest Uganda. There is a variety of wild life, which can be seen from close by. Guards organize nature walks and boat trips, and we participated in both. It was worth while as we saw many animals during those activities. On the way to the park we passed the Equator, which asked for a picture as well.

Toni standing at the Equator, on foot in the north and the other in the south.

At the entrance to the park

African Fish Eagle

Another African Fish Eagle, seen during our boat trip

Baby zebra

Male impala

Warthog in typical grazing position

Velvet monkeys grooming each other near our banda

A view of Lake Mburo with the restaurant and a grazing warthog

The warthog up close

Weaverbird’s nests

Enjoying the sunset

A boa constrictor. The unwanted visitor in our banda was captured by guards and let go, but not after having taken pictures…

The constrictor was about a meter long

The shy bushbuck

Nature walk. From a look-out we saw hippo’s in the swamp.

And we saw lots of them during our boat trip.

We also saw lots of impala. We saw this herd during our nature walk.

Male waterbuck

And a whole waterbuck family

A sleeping crocodile seen during our boat trip

There are also buffalo in the park. During our nature walk we saw one from far and during our boat trip we saw this one hiding in the bush. And that was all. We must have some animals left to see next time we come…and that includes lions and leopards as well.

Some animals we could see up close, like this warthog taking a mud bath in a pothole on the road. She didn’t want to leave.

And some animals, like these baboons, did their best not to be seen by us as they ran away when our car was approaching.

Baboon mother with baby on her back escaping to be seen.

A herd of topi saying: “Goodbye, until next time.”

And I hope there will be a next time. I really enjoyed the time spent in the park. I would recommand it to potential travellers to Uganda. And when you come, take the nature walk!After the park visit we also went to the Igongo Cultural Centre just outside of Mbarara, where lots of items are displayed that describe the culture and history of southwest Uganda. It is a new museum that was opened by the Uganda president in December 2011.

Inside the museum

Two model banda’s of homes people used to live in. You can also enter them.

Also this visit to the museum is recommandable. It is very interesting to hear about and see the display of how people lived in southwest Uganda during the ages.

I will continue chilling in Kampala until Meriam arrives very early July 1.

More Theological Perspectives on AIDS

The week of 28 May till June 1 was packed with information about the theological basis of our work in AIDS ministry. Grace is all important. God showed grace to us when He sent his Son Jesus Christ to die for us on the cross. Out of his love He accepted us before we even knew Him. And it is in this grace that we can reach out to people living with HIV and AIDS. If God accepts us, He accepts them as well.

However, it was not only theory lessons we followed.

One of the students of Moffat Bible College with one of the participants of the Conference.

We went to Kijabe’s Moffat Bible College and talked with students about how they passed on to pupils in primary schools what they had learned, using the Adventure Illimited program.

In the afternoon we visited one primary school and attended a lesson about ‘SEX’, given to grade 6, 7 and 8. With three others from the conference group I attended the lesson in one of the grade 8 classes, given by Ruth and Festus. And it was a very lively lesson that I enjoyed listening to.

Arrival at the primary school.
Talking about sex and the reproductive organs.
The pupils were attentive listeners.
And in the back also the participants of the conference were rapt listeners.

Around noon we visited with leaders of support groups, groups that are a meeting place for people infected or affected by AIDS where they can encourage one another. We listened to a presentation of four regional group leaders about their activities and challenges.

One support group leader sharing their activities and challenges.

One of the challenges met was the discrimination and stigma people living with AIDS still face. The church, although involved, can be more so.

And that’s what we talked about as well. About how the church can be more involved in the activities concerning AIDS. One of the speakers was Peter Okaalet, well known medical doctor and theologian. When he was speaking, all participants were listening attentively.

The participants of the conference.

It was a great week, and what I have mentioned here is just a peek through the curtain. There is much more. I like to share it all with colleagues and partners in Congo and that is exactly what they have asked me to do as well.

But before that, I need a rest because the program was very full though worthwhile and before taking the flight back to Kampala I enjoyed a strong, triple cup of Java House coffee.