The lockdown here in Uganda has started to ease up! On May 26th (my birthday!) we were allowed to start driving personal vehicles again, and this past Thursday some of the public transport was allowed to resume. Merchandise shops have opened, and there are lots of people out and about. We are required to wear masks anywhere we go. The number of cases has been slowly rising. Uganda is legally required to allow the cargo trucks to enter because of international law, and unfortunately that is what is causing our cases to rise. Some Ugandans have come in contact with truck drivers who have COVID-19, so everyone is suspecting the virus to inevitably spread across the country. There is a chance that we will go back into full lockdown at some point, but right now things are slowly opening back up. We still aren’t allowed to open HEAL Ministries because of how big the organization is, so I am still working from home a few hours a week and checking on the property regularly.
About 2 weeks ago we were able to give food to some of the families in our programs that live along the shore of Lake Victoria. They live in a fishing slum called Rippon that is flooding due to the increase in rainfall over the last year. The government has told everyone living there to move out, but that has been difficult due to the lockdown. We paid 3 months rent to help one of our families move to a safer place, and we gave food to 9 of our families that live in Rippon. Each family received rice, beans, posho, matooke, sugar, tea, and cooking oil. Matooke is what they call plantains, and posho is a corn flour that they make into a popular local food here. I am so thankful that we were able to help these families who have been really struggling during this lockdown. I am also thankful that we were able to give a bonus to all of our staff in both April and May to help them have enough food for their families during this hard time.
I am enjoying weather on the equator and the ability to go out and eat at restaurants again. Life is still slow with work being closed, but I’m finding things to do to keep me occupied. I have been able to visit some coworkers that live nearby as well as meet up with some friends. Life in Uganda is going well, even in the midst of a pandemic.