We hadn’t been able to make contact with our representative in the village of Nkwawangya before our arrival, a problem which turned out to be due to a stolen mobile phone. So it was more in hope than expectation that we set out for a meeting with Edgar.
Dropped off at the head of the sort of dusty ochre-coloured track that will forever be at the forefront of my memories of Africa, we strode on knowing that we just had to go moja kwa moja (or straight on as you might know it!) for about 30 minutes to reach our destination.
About 20 minutes in I thought it would be reassuring to confirm we were on the right ochre-coloured track by using my fledgling Swahili to get directions for Nkwawangya. The result was a 15 minute detour in the wrong direction, maybe we’ll never know where I’d asked to be taken!!
It would, in the end, have been worth an extra 45 minutes of walking. Our visit to the school hinted at a very well run facility where the COCO supported toilet block was doing good work and the new kitchen, also supported by COCO, was nearing completion.
And so to the clinic and a meeting with Dr Schoor and the elusive Edgar! Word had got round that there were two wazungu (or white folk) in town and it hadn’t taken him long to track us down; our efforts had not been in vain. We listened as plans for the clinic were outlined and the work of our partner organisation “Tumaini Nkwawangya” was briefly explained.
Unless I’m misreading my Swahili – English dictionary (and we certainly can’t rule that out!) it appears that “tumaini” translates as “hope”. After an admittedly brief first look it seems to me that this community has moved well beyond the realm of hope into the realm of action. My only hope is that we don’t let them down!