We continued work on the pallet furniture and got it done. The varnish made the colors pop and gave the wood a protective coat. I hope this furniture doesn’t get attacked by termites (some of the unused pallets were already attracting them). We started building a chicken coop and mostly got done. We will have to set the doors in place on Saturday.
One thing you notice is that Uganda is a deeply religious society. Unlike in Europe, the concept of Atheism doesn’t seem to exist, here. Everyone believes in some God or set of gods. And religion is not just a private matter, but expressed very openly. Christians and Muslims live in relative peace with each other, as do Hindus and followers of the traditional religions.
We started interviewing some of the women. It was hard to hear their experience. Most of them live in the biggest slum in Uganda, where the poverty is extreme and the crime rate is higher than anywhere in the country. Most of them have suffered unimaginable abuse. But at the same time, their stories are not all gloom, they also tell of hope. One woman especially, Paullah, went from being suicidal to becoming a leader in the soap workshop. She found a purpose to live, the dignity of having a place to go and work, something she enjoys doing. And she wants to pass the hope on to other women. She has already done so, by bringing a girl named Rita into the workshop. We cannot afford to pay Rita yet, but she comes because she gets food. She, too, has suffered so much abuse. She has been treated and kept as a slave. Yet she still has a great attitude and disposition. She works hard and learns fast. Each woman is learning a skill and is learning to support each other. They really do have hope for the future. And that changes everything.
On Tuesday we noticed a group of 4 puppies outside the neighbor’s house. We thought it was odd, but assumed the owner would come get them. But the next day, we still saw some of them sitting there… It turns out the owner had thrown them out to die. We decided to take the puppies into the workshop and give them a blanket, some water and some rice. They were barely moving when they came in, but a few hours later, they were much better. We thought about what we should do with them. Emmanuel has a farm outside of Kampala and is looking to get some guard dogs for his goats. He wants the 2 male pups. Daniel and his mom Katrina wanted to take the female puppy, but we found out later that it needed to be at least 12 weeks old before it could get the necessary vaccinations for entry into the EU. Sad. But Sylvia has a nephew who is willing to take her in. He looks like he will be a good owner. They look like they are at least part German Shepherd. They look healthy. I think they will be good dogs.