Newsletter September 2022

Update on Wilma and looking at the Horizon

Finally there is a New Horizon to look at! The rehabilitation center feels that Wilma is ready for the next phase and based on this, they asked Wilma to think of a date she would like to end the rehabilitation sessions. Wilma has wanted for a while to end the program and go back to Uganda. Tim has had to find ways of keeping Wilma in the program for a while but finally the program will come to the end at the end of October.

As for when to go back to Uganda, we are working on what is needed, with the main one being major changes to our current house that was built in the ’80s not suiting Wilma’s current condition. The house has been fine but after the stroke, for the 6 days we were Chawolo, it was quite difficult living in the house in its current state (small doors, corridor, bathroom, very low causing excessive heat and some leakages/openings to the ceiling causing unwanted guests in bats, mice and ants, etc in the house and a poor foundation causing constant cleaning of the house during the day due to ants following cracks on the floor). There are other things to look at but this is the major one. We have looked at the options and constructing a completely newer and smaller house will be more economical and faster (and more stable because to change the current house will involve knocking-off off the current walls to make them wider, meaning the house can be weakened in the process, removing the whole roof and the whole wiring system, digging out the floor to re-do the foundation plus the fact that we shall have a lot of rubble and have to throw this somewhere…also, Tim and Wilma’s stuff will all have to be temporarily transferred and stored somewhere before bringing them back and this is not practical).

Wilma has greatly improved especially her right leg (she still uses the walking stick but many times she just forgets it which shows she is getting more stable without it – she uses it very little in the house, especially at night if she has to go out of the bedroom straight from the bed).

Wilma’s speech is still a challenge but she has added a lot of words and sounds. She needs a lot of time to get the words and sometimes with the use of an electronic writing board, she can communicate better. The rehabilitation center has been working on speech therapy also in English for about 3 weeks now, in preparation for Uganda.

It is incredible how much Wilma has become handy with her left hand even with writing. Her right arm is still a challenge, with not much movement, partly also because of some pains she has on the right shoulder, making it difficult to embark on exercising the right arm. Wilma got the Botox injection at the beginning of August making her fingers stay relaxed and not “clawing” (this was such an incredible change).

What is also incredible is the desire and ability to do more – Wilma is quite alert and went as far as starting to design (dreaming/planning) for School uniforms for The Generation of Hope Schools and The Chawolo-Sirongo Musical outfit!

We also received a personal message from someone we know from 2007-2009 (she had heard about a stroke on Wilma and wanted to make contact and also wish us the best). Wilma recognized the picture and told Tim exactly the suburb she lived in Kampala and even Tim did not recall so we confirmed and it was true – counting our blessings.

Tim and Wilma finally started attending in-person Church services at their home Church, Crossroads International Church, The Hague. This is playing a big part in the healing process for both Tim and Wilma because they are encouraged, prayed for and just able to connect with old and new members. It is 140kms away but worth it. It is also an “outing” especially for Wilma…just to go to another part of the country. Tim and Wilma try to do this every two weeks in a row but it has become quite interesting that the last time they went three times ins a row.

Tim and Wilma Visit Eugene and Jaimie in the US

It was a great visit to visit Eugene and Jaimie in Louisiana also considering the fact that after the stroke, Eugene and Jaimie had not been able to meet Wilma and Tim. A lot of emotions at the airport but this also led to an incredible 12 days together.

After the stroke, Eugene and Jaimie had not been able to travel to NL as it had been planned due to complications with Passport issues. The rehabilitation Doctor thought it would be good for Wilma’s recovery and healing process to take time off from the rehabilitation and spend this with Eugene and Jaimie and he was right. Wilma had a lot of joy and so was Eugene and Jaimie, albeit Wilma’s health condition had been severely affected by the stroke. Good enough, Tim and Wilma had been doing a lot of video calls so the actual state of Wilma’s health was not a shock or a surprise to Eugene and Jaimie.

We were able to do fun stuff together, including visiting the popular New Orleans City (such a beautiful place). It was also good to be able to just do life together (cook together, have meals together, have heart-to-heart talks, laugh together and even cry together…pray together and have hope together) – this ended up being one of the best vacations we have had together.

CDHope Chawolo-Sirongo (Uganda)

It has been a different year at CDHope in Uganda, with the absence of Tim and Wilma. However, with the help of a growing leadership team of 7 members, in combination with regular video calling between Tim and the leadership team, we can say that CDHope is finding its rhythm in this stretched and challenging season.

The students are also able to concentrate longer and even begin to understand better. The term (and academic year) is expected to end in the last week of November 2022 making this a busy (and important) term as far as academics are concerned with students having to pass exams to get to the next class.

We hope (and are excited) to do the annual Chawolo-Sirongo Musical. We are also checking out options for live streaming so it will be good to know from you if this is something you would love to be part of (the more the numbers, the better – this will definitely motivate us to make it work).