It was a quiet and relaxing weekend at Brownstone Country House. George the owner took us for a walk around the grounds of the house this morning. He very proudly showed of the wide range of fruits and vegetables that are grown on site: papayas, avocadoes, pineapples, limes, oranges, mangoes, pumpkins, to name but a few. George also talked through the plans that he and his wife have for the grounds, which include the development of further accommodation blocks, a swimming pool, and outdoor function rooms for accommodating large parties of visitors. It was great to walk in the sun without having to concern ourselves too much with the project. We had an enjoyable afternoon of resting and chatting.
This evening Fr Ponsiano kindly hosted us at his house for an Easter celebratory dinner. It was great to also be joined by members of the research team. There was dancing, great food and time to swap stories. It was eye-opening to hear Fr Ponsiano’s stories of growing up during Amin’s time as leader in Uganda (and the devastating impact that this had on his family), to learn about his abduction by the LRA, his subsequent escape, and to hear about the ambush that he experienced at the hands of LRA combatants in which the car that he and his church colleagues were driving that was riddled with 22 bullets. Fr Ponsiano was badly injured in this ambush and the road traffic accident that immediately followed it. In spite of all of this, Fr Ponsiano retains a bright and optimistic outlook on life. His faith and commitment to the church seem to provide zeal and enthusiasm in his life. He is a remarkable man. The gratitude that he extended to us as visitors to Lira has been very much appreciated. It was incredibly generous of him to feed us and make us feel so welcomed.