Marian Baker

Jan. 7: Marian Baker in Uganda with Sunday School Teachers

Download this letter, with pictures attached (PDF).

On 1st of January, Agneta Injairu, Rosleyn Amugune, and I traveled to Kimidi, Uganda. We found greens growing wild that we ate for supper. (In Uganda meat is preferred, and vegetables are not valued like in Kenya).

We spent several days training the Sunday School teachers who had been coming for three years to be trained using the Kenya National Sunday School standards. We ended up getting five who completed the training and are now TOTs (teachers of teachers)-ready to start teaching other teachers in Uganda (so as not to be dependent on Kenyan Trainers). They made a five year plan on how they would do the training in their country. Alfred Wasike and Evelyn Mukonambi then joined us.

On the 4th, we sent the trainees off and met with the local women’s group. We found they had changed their officers outside of a regular meeting. We had carried seed at their request for coriander and carrots (not commonly grown there) and so Agneta and Roselyn gave a demonstration how to plant and care for these plants. They wanted us to give them seed money to begin planting. We were hesitant, as the new leader had not been a part of the group and seemed to not know how to lead.

On Sunday, Evelyn, Alfred, and I travelled to Nangoma, a church that was restarted by Joseph Nyongesa, a church which is located on a plot of over 100 acres of arable land. We were given a tour of the grounds around the Friends Primary School. George Odoi had gotten the government to drill a bore hole on the grounds, and he presented plans of the men, women, and youth in growing crops to raise money for selfsustainability. We were hosted at the home of the clerk, with both breakfast (hot milk that they call chai, roasted maize and ground nuts, and fresh bananas) and with lunch (posho and chicken).

We then travelled down near the shores of Lake Victoria to Lutolo Friends. Their meetinghouse had blown down several years ago, and they had built a temporary one. Eileen Malova and Kakamega Friends were raising funds for iron sheets. I brought some money to help them dig the foundation and have a team of younger men make adobe bricks while on school holidays. Evelyn gave words of encouragement and George and Evelyn handed out sweets to all the kids. Again we were invited to the home of the clerk and given another meal of posho, rice, and chicken. We were given a chicken to take back to thank Eileen in Kenya as well as a couple of very large mangos from his trees.

On the way back to Kimidi, we went to Bugiri Clinic to see Loy Namukuse, our top Sunday School teacher who has been in a motorcycle accident on her way back to Semuto (NW of Kampala). She was glad to see us after the trauma by familiar faces. She had wounds on both feet and on one arm (which they didn’t even wash or put bandages on), and had a wound on her back ribs that made her chest ache. We got her to Bugiri hospital so she could have an xray and proper treatment. Praise God, she was alive, as four others had died in the same junction of the highway in previous months.

On return back to Kimidi, we discovered the new leader was a brand new second wife of a man who was trying to get all the money. On Monday, Alfred and I met the headmistress of the Kimidi Friends Primary School (who has developed an agricultural project with her students), and found she was interested in helping the women’s project. I then greeted the women who gathered with a piece of paper asking each to write their names and their phone numbers, so we could communicate. Both the new leader and the treasurer admitted they were illiterate (could not read or write) and neither had phones (were dependent on their men). It was clear the group would fail unless the leadership was changed. So we all made the head of the school as treasurer and clerk, and Grace, the originator of the group who could write and had a phone was made coordinator of the work. Alfred and I then took the head of the school and Sylvia, a university student who was helping them, to Busia on our way back to Kenya. There we got them the money needed, and bought watering cans, a couple hoes, and a sprayer, so they could start the project, which will be located on land of the school and adjacent land.

We finally arrived back in Kakamega to deliver the chicken to Eileen and to travel to our homes before nightfall I was given a birthday supper of fresh tilapia, cooked greens, and freshly made tropical fruit salad straight from the trees), . I rested solidly last night and after a thorough washing of myself plus my clothes this morning, I am ready to get this message sent to you all.

Tomorrow, we will go to Tarime, Tanzania to finish the Teacher training there. We could use
prayers for our journey as well as prayers that we will be able to choose the best teachers there to become trainers in their country. (A number of those who have been coming to the previous trainings there are more interested in money and jobs, than actually teaching the children).

Thanks for all your Christmas and New Year’s greetings.