Uganda: Thefts! (Days 52 – 59)

Decorating the chicken hut that become home

Sunday 28th February – Day 52

We went to CafeJava for breakfast, and munched on Waffles with vanilla ice cream and maple syrup, washed down with the most delicious ice latte I think I’ve ever had! From this meal our house acquired a bottle of Heinz ketchup…

When we returned in the evening, we enjoyed fried egg sandwiches with Heinz ketchup – AMAZING! And went to bed with a pillow, the first time I’ve had a pillow outside of a hotel!

Monday 1st March – Day 53

Weetabix, followed by double maths and after break, double science.

I dithered the rest of the day away by filling in our calendars and making more spice holders from empty plastic bottles.

Late afternoon Ben & I raced down to the main road to hitch into Kampala for our first Sound of Music rehearsal in the Sharing Youth Centre.

When we arrived, our German man friend, Benedict had printed off scripts and bound them for us – I don’t even have any lines!

We finished from this late, and decided to get food from Ranchers, Garden City (8.30pm).

When we arrived, there was a big crowd and a couple of police cars.

Ben and Vic walked on, but Sophie and I hung back to have a look.

Through the thin crowd we saw the body of a man next to the multistory car park, blood from his head all over the floor, with Ugandans standing around looking.

We followed Ben and Vic into the restaurant sat down and were told the restaurant was shut.

Then we told them about the man.

We were heading to New York Kitchen, which is in the multistory car park, and could see the body from the balcony of the walk way to the restaurant.

We sat down and spoke to the waitress, asking what had happened. Apparently he’d been in the Casino all day, lost $15 000 and then jumped off, about an hour ago. (we later heard it was $150 000 on the taxi ride home).

We ate and went our separate ways.

Ben and I caught a taxi to Mukono, it was late and no taxi were going to Lugazi had turned up.

On the way we pulled into and out a petrol station, when we crashed into a car. We all hopped out without paying! We soon caught a new taxi to Mukono (Only 1000/- cos we were part way already!)

We got out of the taxi, saw lots of people waiting for a Lugazi taxi, so the driver decided to go to Lugazi, and crammed 21 people into his 14 seater taxi!

We got to bed gone 11pm.

Tuesday 2nd March – Day 54

Getting up and my P4 class was a struggle!

Ben let me read his journal, and he wrote a lovely passage about me, over 85% was positive! He said I’d fit in with his English friends, but that I make (funny) snide comments when I’m moody, like when Boz didn’t want to move into a current house, so I told him he could stay at Aunty’s and Ben & I would move in.

Still no sign of a P5 SSt book, or Ben’s P6 English book – how are the kids ever going to graduate to the next year? They can’t move up even if they get 100% in the subjects we teach them!

In the afternoon I finished off a sketch of Jo and I.

And we discover our mattresses were going moldy, apparently, if you keep you mattress on top of the plastic cover, you get condensation settling on it, and the sponge just absorbs it right up! We put them out in the evening sun – they came back damper than before!

Wednesday 3rd March – Day 55

We’ve only got 6 weeks until end of term examinations! This is not good.

I’ve only just finished the first chapter of the textbooks in P6 maths & P4 science…

I’ve started a sktch of Boz’s sister for him, then I’m doing one of Ben and his mother.

Thursday 4th March – Day 56

The spelling test I set P4 was awful.

One student, Florence, got 10/12, all the others got 1, 2 or occasionally 3.

The bed still isn’t ready, 2 weeks late.

Friday 5th March – Day 57

I taught double maths, followed by double science, that became a single lesson, when the head’s math class took an extra 40 minutes.

Their style is you talk at the kids, whilst they stand, for 10/15minutes, getting them to repeat importants words, then write up exercises on the board, getting them to copy and answer, and you use lesson time to mark the books.

During break, Sophie texted Ben to ask if any of us wanted to come into Kampala and help out at the surgery. Since Ben still had lessons, and Boz was infected with Impetigo, I went, hitching in at 11.30 and not rriving at the surgey until 1.45!

The traffic was block up from half way between Mukono and Kitega on my side, all the way to the Coco-Cola bottling plant right on the edge of Mukono District! We had to take some massive back route in what turned out to be a private hire taxi!

I got away with paying 2000/- (a public taxi is 2500/-, so it was a good deal really).

The job was stock taking in the pharmacy cupboard, and in putting it on the system, Sophie had already been doing it all morning.

We had lunch at the Surgery, I got tomato soup and baguette, it was good!

Then we worked til 6 and went to meet the boys.

They didn’t arrive until 8pm.

We ate, and went back to Sophie’s for the night.


So we stayed up late chatting and eating her haribo.

Because we were working again at the Surgery, we got the bed!

Saturday 6th March – Day 58

We got up, and it was raining. Sophie lives miles from the main road and so we had to walk through muddy lanes.

All I had was my nice shirt and my combats – thankfully I had my walking shoes, the boys had flip flops.

We boda’d down to the road, and managed to hitch to the Surgery with a lovely bloke Davis in his private hire vehicle for free!

Sophie and I worked straight through to 2pm by which time we had finished and double checked our inputs.

After waiting around to be paid, we said we’d come back Monday to collect it, however much it was!

For lunch I splashed out on a Chicken Tikka Masala and almost died with pleasure – THE best dish I’ve had yet.

Soph and I noticed that the Cineplex was showing Alice in Wonderland, and after much thinking, we all decided to see it, bumping into Rosie and Georgia who were also seeing it.

I thought the graphics were fantastic – moody and atmospheric, though similar to the world I had imagined, but the plot was much darker than the books, which put me off it.

Then we convinced ourselves to go out partying for the night.

We split up. Boz and Sophie would take our bags to her house, Ben and I would go home to change and get a few bits.

What a journey!

From leaving at 6.30pm, our normal hour journey took 2.5 hours, with us drowning in the torrential downpour waiting for a taxi, sitting, soaking, on the way to Mukono, then having to spend 30 minutes in the dark and rain in Mukono trying to flag down any vehicle that would stop for us, including taxis!

Some soul took pity on us and we got back – dry clothes have never felt so good!

I was looking hot in my jeans, brown top and hiking shoes.

We hitched back, first to Mukono, stopping for a pepsi at a road side shop, then had a awkwardly silent hitch to Kampala. We left at 9.30, and got to Iguana by 11.30, and that was with a 20 minute walk.

The night started off well, with Sophie pulling out some sexy moves (she’s reading this over my shoulder…)

But over the course of the night I had 4/5 Ugandan ladies start dancing with me – it doesn’t help when everyone disappears to leave you alone on the dance floor, or worst, alone with some Ugandan lady!

When all the Ugandan vols were having a group dance I disappeared off and got dragged into speaking with these 3 Uni girls – they wanted to show me round Kampala – needless to say, I was scared.

We finished the night off with a private hire back to backpackers.

Sunday 7th March – Day 59

Heather and I got up early and headed off to Garden City for a pork sausage breakfast at CafeJava.

After some time the Boys and Sophie turned up and we had a quick lunch of Naan and Musala sauce before heading home.

When we finally got back to the house, we found all out spices knocked on the floor, the stuff from our shelves on the floor, and the kitty empty.

As we were trying to figure out what had happened, I pushed the window – it was open.

We’ve never opened the window.

And it was weird, this was the first time we’d put the padlock inside the room, as in locking the door bolt down, rather than the little door you have to put your arm through to unbolt it. And we’d only done this cos Justine, the school’s Matron told us to do it that way.

We think this allowed the thief to use a stick to open the window, and then another stick to fish for the wallet- thus knocking the spices over.

We walked down to Joseph to inform, and boy did he look angry, like a lion pacing in circles.

Thankfully, there was only about 30 000/- in the wallet, just enough to pay for the rest of the bed, and they took several packets of Ben’s biscuits.

What was weird was the theft must have been between 9.30pm and 7am.

Joseph spoke to the land lady and it sounded like a heated conversation!

We felt really angry when it seemed like she was accusing us of stuff, and when Joseph had gone, she was the one crying! All we really wanted was our bed and food.

We only got food – but it was good spaghetti.

Ben and I did everything as Boz still has impetigo, but was annoying reluctant to get us sodas, even kicking Ben when he tried to get him up! I haven’t heard Ben swear at Boz before!

We got to bed at a decent hour!

By J.Molkenthin

James Molkenthin is an enthusiastic and energetic British Designer, with a background in Graphics, Website and Product Design.