Just a quick note to report some sadness. Yesterday I went with six of COU's office staff out to the Busoga region, past a town called Kamuli, nearly 3 hours transport in a private car, to attend a burial. Kamuli district is very poor; we passed roadside stands which in Mukono would be heavy laden with fruit, but here each person was selling two or three bunches of bananas only.
The woman who died was the mother of one of our COU employees, and although none of us knew her personally, it is traditional to accompany your friends to their family burial services. Hundreds of people were there, and it felt festive as they served food and made many speeches praising this woman's good long life (79 years old - ancient by Ugandan standards!). Piles of flowers covered the ornate coffin.
However today I just packed Shirah up to go to another burial, which will be much less festive. She got a call on my phone this morning that her baby cousin passed away at only 4 months. The funeral is actually in the same town Kamuli. I know it will be a sorrowful occasion. And why did the baby die? No one knows exactly but I'll venture it was directly caused by poverty - just too many diseases around, too little soap and clean water, too few doctors, too many challenges.
Please keep the grieving families in your prayers.