Kitgum Town

Kitgum Town
Kitgum Town

Monday, March 16, 2015

Reflections from David Ajala

Well, what a tremendous experience I’ve had in this vibrant Ugandan town of Kitgum. It really has been a humbling experience, the local Acholi people are beautiful, kind and happy given the extremely challenging circumstances. They live for the day, always looking for the positives in each situation and are very focused on the social aspects of enjoying family, friends and life in general. You very quickly realise how little is needed to sustain you in this life; material things quite often just clutter your life and camouflage the important, beautiful things about life – friendship, family, love and compassion.  

I must say it took me a few days to get used to the thick and unrelenting African dust in the dry season, it seems to get into absolutely every nook and cranny. I lived in Lagos Nigeria for many of my younger years and a lot of things reminded me of that time of my life, but I can’t recall ingesting a kilo of dust daily.

Andrew and Anne showed me around the Bregma medical clinic & the Yotkom drug store on a number of occasions and I had the great pleasure of meeting the medical team there who are a dedicated and lively bunch. 
As is everyone in this township, they are working in trying conditions in an old building with limited resources, but are saving lives and reducing the pain and suffering in the Kitgum community. I take my hat off to each and every person there. Keep up the great work!

We also had the opportunity to visit the land where the new Yotkom  clinic is being built, how exciting. The fence was being erected when we were there and hopefully it will be completed in around 6 months
. I already looking forward to getting back to Kitgum to see it finished, it will certainly lift the teams spirit and further support the community.   

I was very fortunate to be invited to Dr Vincent’s and Rosyln’s traditional Acholi marriage on Saturday, full of colour, music, dancing, song, laughter, fun, food and tradition, it even had the obligatory wedding cake and off course, the wedding presents.

 Thank you for inviting me  Vincent and all the best for a long, healthy and happy marriage.  

Andrew and I had some time one evening to watch a movie (The Foxcatcher) without popcorn, and then he offered to challenge me in a game of chess, where he proceeded to dismantle my ego, piece by piece – thanks Andrew, I think I’ll go back to playing my 10 year old son.

The real highlight of the week, apart from the wedding, was seeing the absolute joy we witnessed on a 5 year old Acholi boys face when we handed him a brand new soccer ball to play with. He must have done a 10 second hundred metre dash back to his family home to show off his new ball. That was a special moment.

Anyway, enough ratting from me, thank you Anne & Andrew for making me feel so welcome and safe (with Bosco and the dogs as our constant house guards, who wouldn’t feel safe & secure – thanks Bosco), and taking me into your home with open arms, it’s been a delight in so many ways and a trip I will cherish.

P.S enjoy the slow cooked chicken in my absence. David