I, the Program Coordinator, was on furlough in the States for the months of December and January. But the fun at Lulwanda did not stop while I was gone. Favour, our librarian, graciously stood in my place and along with other staff members helped to make some wonderful things happen at LCH.
Here are some of the events at Lulwanda during December and January as described by the Lulwanda children.
Lulwanda’s 10th Anniversary Celebration
Wow! It was on December 2nd when we celebrated 10 years of existence. We really had much fun presenting for the guests together as children. We danced, sang, and ate a lot of good food. We had speeches from different leaders in our society. Then also from our sister Naster, who really gave a touching and emotional speech that touched everybody’s feelings. The day was so great and wonderful because we also had enough cake both “rich cake” (African cake) and “wacky cake” (American type). We truly had fun at night when we saw photos from when we were still young as well as up to date that we have now grown. It was really, WOW, so fantastic and fantabulous. I live to remember this day 2nd December 2014. Thanks to the Almighty God for that day. – Mercy Chekwemboi
It was a fabulous day, where the MC was Teacher Blessed. He welcomed the choir and they presented their songs with a live band as people were still arriving. No sooner had this section been covered, they welcomed speeches from various people and were all interesting. We also heard from one of the children, Naster. Then we gave to Mr. Rob (GICF President) to speak. Mr. Rob, Uncle John and Andy (a visitor) received a card signed by all the children. People had to depart after lunch and then the children’s photos were taken. We later gathered in the Main Hall for a movie and to learn a new dance from Andy, Uncle John, Mr. Rob, and Auntie Cathy. After all this, Auntie Cathy gave each child a sweet as we were saying bye bye to them. –Allen Muhijja
One day Jaja Aidah told us that we shall go to Kenya which is only a few hours drive by van (to a women’s conference at a Presbyterian church). When I heard that, I couldn’t wait for that day to reach. Ten girls were chosen although many were willing. When we were travelling to Kenya, I began thinking of what to sing for the people but when we reached there, people welcomed us and fed us with only good things. I felt at home and I was so free with people and I learned some good things from them. We spent there three days and people were so kind and caring. When we reached home, we told our friends how wonderful Kenya was. They were so happy to listen to us. I hope to also go to another good place like Kapenguria, Kenya. – Fatuma Sarah
The Christmas (Soccer) Cup
Wow! Our Christmas cup was so interesting and all the players were eager to meet with the teams they were going to play with. And John Palmer divided us into four teams. We played for two days and there was a bit of confusion so all the teams were abolished and then we were divided into two equal teams.
On the 23rd December we had to play the finals. On that day we all gathered the field by 2:00pm, then the match was kicked off by 2:30pm. As we were playing, I had to score the first goal for my team and then Benard scored the second goal. Then after some time we were equalized through the penalties, then the match ended 2-2. Then we went in extra time. Still the match ended 2-2. So we had to go into penalty kicks.
At the end of the match, we happened to be the winners after the penalties and we had to take the Christmas cup. The match was a very good one though the other side was so angry with us, but with God my side made it. It was a very wonderful day that nobody would imagine forgetting. I thank God for that beautiful day. – Abel Musoba
My happy day in holiday was the Christmas Cup. It was hosted in the field. On that day we were grouped into two groups. I was in the group of Golden Blues. Our group scored the other group 2 goals on one goal and Golden Blues won the Christmas Cup and we were so happy and that was my interesting day. –Dennis Wambele
One day, John Palmer organized a Christmas Cup, when he told us to make two teams and we also get ready. Our team was wearing blue and we were called the Golden Blues. The other team was wearing red and their name was The Hummers. Each team had a captain and our team captain was Womeli Benard and another captain was Masaba Derrick. We waited until 3:50pm when the match began. First we played and scored 2 goals and first half ended. When we went for second half we played and they scored 2 goals and second half ended. They called the captains and they added 30 minutes. We played for all 30 minutes and we went for the penalties. We won by 3 on 2 and were called for assembly. They announced the best defender, goalkeeper, striker, and the best girl of the match in different teams. After that, they announced the best team which had won and we took the Christmas Cup. It was a wonderful day. – Michael Wangota
I also thank John Palmer and some of the boys who organized a Christmas Cup for boys’ soccer at LCH and it was so good that everybody enjoyed it and also there were the winners and the losers. The winners were given a trophy and I, Wojjambuka Anthony, was among the group that took the cup and some of the players who played so well were given medals as prizes for them. I thank God who made this day colorful. –Anthony Wojjambuka
One day, it was a Wednesday, when the Administrator called us for a general meeting and told us about “the Christmas clothes”. He said that he would divide us into groups and give us the group leader. I was the leader of my group and together with my friends, we went to Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, and we bought the Christmas clothes. The children who remained at LCH were very happy for the clothes we brought for them and they said that the clothes were so nice and good looking.
On Christmas day, and this was Wednesday 25th December, we put on the clothes and the shoes and we went to church for a service for some hours and we came back home for lunch and the meal was so delicious that everybody enjoyed it. John Palmer and his family made this day more colorful by bringing for us some Christmas gifts of which children were happy and they thanked John and his family for what they did that day to make everyone so happy. (The gifts were purchased with funds raised by the Palmer’s home church, The Sharon Church in Georgia.) I give thanks to God for this day. –Anthony Wojjambuka
It was a marvelous day that we got to have the most delicious breakfast, which was a Rolex (a Ugandan version of a breakfast taco) and milk tea, not taking long having breakfast but rushing to wear the new clothes and not forgetting jewelry. This was the most interesting day that the church service was shortened as Mr. Palmer informed the children that in America there is no service on the 25th but rather on Christmas eve. And neither did he stop there but informed the Pastor too and service was for two hours instead of four hours. After the delicious lunch we were eager to be called into the main hall because gifts were ready under a Christmas tree. Later on, after receiving gifts, we were called to shoot the video in our new clothes while holding our gifts. After everyone was promising to pose for photos, even aunties inclusive. –Sylvia Logose
It was about a week before John Palmer and the family was to go back to the USA when we had a volleyball competition. My team was in the second position after a big struggle with the St. Mary’s team. They defeated us by 8 points because of their champion, John. We defeated the big boys team of Ivan and Emma and were disappointed to be seen on Lulwanda TV (with Uncle Jerad as the news reporter) because they had lost. It was a fun day. –Anthony Wanzala
All children participated in playing volleyball, mostly in the evening. It is more fun when someone hits the ball outside the box and they lose a point. However life is interesting at leisure times and I believe every child has a story to tell. – Emma Ocaya
One day John Palmer and his family organized a volleyball match competition among the children and there were winners and losers. I thank God who made this family to make us so busy and so happy. – Anthony Wojjambuka
Last month when we were playing volleyball, we were put in teams of 5. When the game began, we played and our team won the game. They have awards to the winners and I was so happy. That is why I like to play volleyball. –Ivan Musambaki
At football time we go down to the field to play and I like football because I enjoy looking how the ball moves from one person to another. My best number to play in football is number 7 (right forward position). This holiday I liked every time we went to play football when it was raining; we did have more fun with Uncle John in the field. –Siraji Maumo
I enjoyed having other fun with my brothers playing some small footall (kafundo). It was so great how we got to play during free time. But I am sad I am going to miss my brothers while I am at boarding school. Glory be back to the Almighty God. – Felix Maena
The Birthday Party
On birthdays everyone going to celebrate is full of joy and is anxious to be looked after as newborn babies. At Lulwanda we celebrate birthdays three times in a year, which is on the holidays. Children of four consecutive months celebrate their birthdays every holiday. And on this day our Teacher Natalie organizes and ensures that it is colorful and full of excitement. She goes shopping earlier to buy the birthday gifts and decoratives. A special meal is always organized on that day and drinks are on our display too. So we really eat and drink on that day and enjoy ourselves with the music that is played. My friend, those days are my favorite because you are showered with numerous gifts and treated in the most soothing manner. You can eat until you are full and later play after the party. This time Teacher Favour planned the activities because Teacher Natalie was out. –Emma Ocaya
Free Time During School Vacation
In Uganda, the school term ends in early December and begins a new year in February. Therefore December and January are the longest school holiday for the Lulwanda children. When I asked them to write about what they did during their free time (apart from home duties), here were some of their responses:
At free time every child is freed to go and do what they feel like. If they want to play, they are given the chance with no haste. Most boys rush out to the pitch because they really think they are the next soccer stars in the universe. So when one gets the ball he wants to drill and dodge even more than the world stars, Ronaldo and Messi. Me too, I am a fan of soccer but I don’t go extraordinary because I know I am just playing for leisure and to waste time. Emma Ocaya
In my free time we had fun and everybody was enjoying. And we all used to learn music with Uncle Jerad. –Doreen Namasaba
My free time at LCH was watching movies. And sometimes I would also play football and cook food in the kitchen. – Dennis Wambele
My free time wasn’t all that enjoyable because of the very hot weather. So I spent most time indoors watching the television. – Doreen Kubukuna
In my free time when I am bored, I sit down and I watch movies. If not, I go and play football and that is all what I do at my free time. –Ivan Musambaki
During my holidays, I served the Lord in the church like the way I do always. God blesses us that we were always invited to Mbale church and to bless other people by singing our songs. I knew it was God’s blessing because I was doing it with all of my heart. –Fatuma Sarah
During my free time I played hide and seek with the younger sisters of S3 and below. It was marvelous playing with them. I also composed new songs with Zulufa, Nooru, Patience, Grace E, Faith, Peace, and Fatuma for the presentation of this year 2015. However, that’s the little that I can tell you about how I spent time in my vacation. –Allen Muhijja
I spent my free time watching series on TV that were very interesting. In addition, part of my free time I spent replying letters which my friends write to me. Also some time is spent in novels. –Sylvia Logose
At times in my free time we “jazz” (talk) with fellow “vaccists” (students on school vacation) and we have our lunch together as sisters and then we go back and maybe watch something on television. –Mercy Chekwemboi
At my free time I used it to have fun with my friends. Sometimes we used to talk about how school was. And sometimes I helped to do work at home like cooking, washing clothes, and sometimes looking after animals like goats, pigs, and cows. I also like looking at them when they are eating their food. Sometimes I also got time to pray and thank God for my and our lives. –Siraji Maumo