Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Multiply Trip East Africa 2015 Day 11 August 21

I woke before 6am, and (while Rukundo slept on) stretched my presentation notes on the Renewed Mind to include eight new bits of teaching.  Then I searched for some breakfast.  Janet and Hilary were already out on the veranda: there didn't seem to be too many other guests around.

Pastor Chris arrived promptly and I joined him in his spotless blue car, leading the travel-stained minibus across town to Hoima Road, Wakiso.  For some reason I'd imagined that the Greater Love Christian Centre would be a substantial and well-advertised facility.  Chris turned on to a steep  unmarked  track that tested the limits of his car's traction, steering and and suspension.  Recent heavy rain had cut gulleys in the mud, and it wasn't difficult to imaging us (and the minibus) getting stuck.

We parked, and slithered the last part by foot into an open field.  The building was a structure of poles with sheets of plywood cladding for walls.  I couldn't imagine who would join us in attending.

Pastor Asua was beaming as we arrived.  Maybe he'd been waiting since 8am, the advertised start time.  With dismay, I noted there was no projection screen: and the level of ambient light meant it would be a pretty hopeless exercise, anyway.  I was glad to hand over the problem to Viv.  There were about fifty plastic chairs in the place, and we'd done all our preparation for 200 delegates.   The folks present (who weren't being registered) at this stage looked like the ladies from the neighbourhood and their children, not cutting-edge leaders who would impact Kampala.  Sixteen months' worth of planning for this!  

After Len's introduction, at 11am, I offered everyone to go to the tables at the back and finish the tea that had been provided: I wasn't confident that we could maintain attention for two hours until lunch!  It arrived on time, but the team was being diverted to Ps Asua's home to eat.  I protested on several grounds: we wanted to mix with folks, we didn't want special treatment in the catering, and it would take up too much time.  All in vain.

Charles got the minibus stuck up the track at our destination: by now he'd earned the nickname of 'Buffalo'.  We knew that unless folks got away by 4pm, they would catch the rush-hour congestion, but the late restart gave us no chance of keeping to schedule - and we had booked to be at Cornelius's for 7pm.

The early evening traffic was a misery.  We sat stationary on the Northern Bypass watching the ankole cattle on the suburban waste grounds.   I still have no idea where we went in relation to the conference or our accommodation.
Cornelius was his effervescent and voluble self, hugging everyone and pressing us into the back garden to enjoy some cool air.  There, nearly two hours passed of post mortem on the last two years' tensions and failures of resolution, hinging on mismatched assumptions about what Multiply should look like in Uganda and who may be best to lead it.  Gregory was a model of meekness.  Hilary stepped in an suggested that the matter should be resolved at Jesus's cross.  We finally got some food - it was delicious - though Cornelius's wife was near to tears over the dislocated events and relationships.

At last back at our accommodation, I reflected how men, with their egos designed to 'make things happen', take second place to women when some more nuanced need arises.

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