Uganda: Dad’s Visit (Days 104 – 117)

Wednesday 21st April – Day 104

Dad’s Shock and Sudden Departure

My plan was to spend the next few days until Dad’s scheduled arrival on Saturday in Kampala, so spent the morning packing and adding the finishing touches to the walls.

Whilst in Lugazi for lunch, I got a call from home, during which I encouraged Dad to ring up the airline and see if he could get an earlier flight.

Later that evening we had a SoM rehearsal, and had managed to get a free bed at Sam Hodge’s guest house.

After rehearsals, we had to wait for our lift. I got another call from home, telling me dad had left for the airport at 4.30 for a 8.45pm flight! Was I in shock!

The Hodge’s guest house was nice, slept up to 12 and had a kitchen and living room area. Ben and I cooked in a real kitchen! Toast, poached eggs and tea!

We stayed up for ages chatting, looking over Kampala from our high few point.

Thursday 22nd April – Day 105

Dad’s Arrival

I was a good house husband and made Ben and I American style pancakes for breakfast.

We visited Sophie and Caitlin, Sophie almost over her Malaria now, then got a taxi from Garden City to the airport with Ben and Heather.

I only had to wait about 20mins until I saw the hairy old man come through!

The return journey is a blur of chatter – I can only imagine what Dad went through!

We carried Dad’s 30kg of treats up to our Annex room, he showered then treated me to a delicious BBQ chicken breast meal at CafeJava – Mmm!

Friday 23rd April – Day 106

Clubbing with Dad & the Vols – St George’s Day

It was a hot and noisey night.

We shifted our stuff to Sophie’s room and went to Owino Markets with Heather, Emma, Caitlin and Vic – on the way stopping for Chinese.

This was Dad’s first Boda ride! The two of us weaving in and out of busy Kampala traffic, around and down huge pot holes! He coped very well.

Dad needed a few more t-shirts, so Emma took us to the 2000/= t-shirt area and we were out with the hour. I think the busy, crowded, unending nature of it put Dad off – it doesn’t help me either!

When we got back to the Annex, we took our bags to Backpackers in a private hire.

We booked a Banda (even though that meant sharing a double bed) but fcouldn’t get to it straight away due to a political rally, so spent the next few hours hanging out, playing pool (I won) and chatting the the vols as they appeared – tonight we were partying for St George!

It was getting late, so Dad and I went down to the markets and we bought Dad his first rolex!

Finally we got into our banda and prepared for our night out – Dad and I in matching tops with St George’s flag on it; a right pair!

The hours and drinks flowed and we finally headed to Alligators for a quick bit of karaoke before Iguana.

We danced, partied and took photos until 1.45am. I’d never seen Iguana so decorated and so full of Mzungus – especially for the early our we arrived!

Saturday 24th April – Day 107

Murchison Falls

A painfully ealr 7am start, but we did managed to fit in a breakfast and meet our third person, Karen.

Eight hours later, after some reading, music and lunch we arrived at the top of Murchison falls, a 7m gap in the rocks through which 300m^2 passes through a second.

The photos were great and Dad was vcery naughty going pass the do not cross line with the tour guide – I have photographic proof!

Next stop was the Red Chilli Campsite. Our accommodation was a 2 man tent – Dad finally fufilled his camping promise!

Sunday 25th April – Day 108

On Safari

A 6am start. A sandwich breakfast. A 5 minute boat crossing.

On safari we spotted cob, wart hogs, giraffe, water buffalo and elephants. The park was so vast, with no sign of human life for miles!

We had bolognaise for lunch!

Our afternoon treat was a boat ride up to Murchison Falls.

We watched elephants and wart hogs drink from the river, even spotting a alligator on the side of river who flashed us his teeth.

Dad and I enjoyed a Nile Special on the Nile.

When we got to the falls, we were allowed to hop out onto the rocks next to a small island and pose for a ‘family’ photograph with Dad, Karen and I.

Monday 26th April – Day 109

Chimps

Another early start and sandwhich breakfast.

We got to the Chimp place nice and early and spent 3 hours stomping around the jungle looking for chimps – to no avail.

About 3.5 hours in though we suddenly heard them. We had to walk through boggy, soggy ground but there they were. Some walking on the ground, others up in the trees. Our guide reckoned they’d been so quiet because they’s been on over lapping territory.

On our way back to Kampala we stopped and had an African lunch of Posho and beans etc – Dad coped well!

We got back to Backpackers and spoke to Martha for a while, before retiring to our beds in the natures dorm. (The natures dorm being open on one side to allow in a nice breeze!

Tuesday 27th April – Day 110

HALF-WAY!

We finally shaved off our beards.

We caught a taxi then a boda to Bulenga, taking them sodas and bananas.

At Bulenga were Vic, Emma, Heather and Caitlin. They made me make chipatti and then we ate them with bananas and chocolate – it was interesting…

After we caught a boda to Garden City, bought drinks, hide them in our pants and went to see Clash of the Titans.

Thankfully Ben had taken Dad’s big bag back to project nd so we had only had our rucksacks to carry.

Aponye Hotel was a alright, at least it had its own bathroom (even if the water was cold)

Dinner was at Spur with Ben and Boz – we were having our half way point dinner!

OMG, it was good, delicious milkshake, amazing BBQ chicken breast with chips and cheesecake for dessert. I think the boys were pleased!

Dad and I had drinks at Mateo before going to bed.

Wednesday 28th April – Day 111

Dad’s Visit to Kitega

We had a continental breakfast!

I took Dad to the taxi park and we caught a taxi to Mukono.

The plan was visit Shaun and Oscars project, but as we arrived in Mukono the heavens hoped and cancelled that plan.

When we got to project Dad began unpacking the treats bag. There were books, sweets, toiletries – too much to mention!

We were making dinner, so Dad, Boz and I went into Lugazi. We took Dad to the food market, then we went and bought a plastic box for my sweets. Finally we got a second mattress for my bed – I now have 7inches of foam!

I had to get the mattress back on my lap on a boda – not easy!

We spent the evening chilling out on the new inflatable sofas and listening to my ipod.

Thursday 29th April – Day 112

Life at Project

We were up and dressed early, getting water from the tap for laundry.

Whilst the clothes were soaking, I cut up the pineapple.

With 2 of us doing just my laundry, it was pretty quick!

I took Dad to visit the girls at 5 Angels and they had prepared us a meat pie especially – it wasn’t especially good… Then we ate the jack fruit Boz had bought for us.

From Lugazi Dad and I went to Mabira Forest and took the forest trail for about 3 hours – I have not sweated that much in Uganda an so we bought sodas when we got to the road.

No taxi’s would take us back, so after 20 minutes, we caught a boda to Lugazi, then Kitega.

Joseph wasn’t back in the village, but stayed at his house, Paul came over and we had tea and bread.

Back at Project the 4 of us sat on the verranda and sang whilst Ben played guitar – Dad finally got a taste of Project life.

Friday 30th April – Day 113

Red Chilli Hideaway

We decorated the rooms with the England flag buntining Dad had bought us.

Paul had prepared us a pork lunch, which was unusually good! But Joseph never turned up, so we went into Kampala without seeing him.

In Kampala we dropped off our bags at the Golf Course Hotel, had a sweet lassie at the Nakumatt food court and made our way to Red Chilli Hideaway, from where we were to be picked up for out Grade 5 rafting the next day.

It’s far more spread out and a lot more rooms – I think I prefer Backpackers though.

For dinner we had bolognaise, and wrote each other letters for when the other had left.

Saturday 1st May – Day 114

Nalubale Rafting

We were up early, and made our way to Jinja.

Our raft was us 2, 7 others.

We had a great day, barely even getting sunburnt, the boat never flipping on the rapids, but yet I managed to come out 3 times… Afterwards we had chipats with beef and veg and sodas.

The company paid for a private hire to take us to Eden Rock Resort and we got an entire dorm room to ourselves!

Before it got dark we dropped down to the river and took a few snaps of the river before showering, dining and playing pool.

Sunday 2nd May – Day 115

The Golf Course Hotel

We’d arranged for a Special Hire to pick us up and take us to Jinja so we could travel into Kampala. We changed our mind and got him to take us to Lugazi, so that we could swing by Joseph’s house.

This time he did show up! And so we chatted and had tea with him for about 30 mins, before we went in to Kampala.

Lunch was chicken tikka! But then I had to go to rehearsals.

We didn’t leave until 7.30pm!

From the theatre we ran to GC were we bought fruit for dinner and bumped into Heather and Caitlin who we invited to the room if they wanted a abth (a rare luxury for PT vols).

I had a bubble bath during the Hannah Montanna film, then sat and watched the love guru, during whihc the girls showed up; we couldn’t kick them out until near midnight!

Monday 3rd May – Day 116

Entebbe Botanical Gardens

A luxury breakfast followed on from our luxury night.

I had pork sausages, bacon, poached egg, fried egg, eggy bread, pancakes, mexican beef, pineapple, watermelon, pawpaw and yoghurt!

We even made use of the pool facilities!

From here we walked across the street to the Annex and dropped off our stuff.

After a quick tour of the craft market, we bought mum’s present and a Ugndan flag for me, we took our special hire guy to Entebbe botanical gardens.

Once inside we enjoyed drinks over looking Lake Victoria and strolled aorund talking about life and enjoying the monkeys! Before returning for another rehearsal.

This one lasted until 9.30pm! So Dad and I snuck out and went to Spur for dinner – what a delcious, tender steak! This time with double thick milkshakes!

Ben, Sophie and Heather joined us, with Heather coming back to the hotel with us as she was going to come to the airport with us.

Tuesday 4th May – Day 117

Dad’s Return

We had a CafeJava breakfast – a mexican affair – I wouldn’t have it again…

Whilst we enjoyed one last drink at GC, Ben dropped by to say goodbye, then off we went to the airport!

It was a little sad saying goodbye to Dad, but I survived and Heather and I headed back into Kampala.

We got back just in time to watch ‘How to Train your Dragon’ (it was cheapo tuesday!)

Unfortunately we had another long rehearsal.

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As I write this it’s actually May 17th. Tomorrow Ben, Vic, Heather and I are off to Kenya! It should be a really good trip! Thanks to all the people who sent letters to my parents for my Dad to bring out. I have one or two left to open, the rest are up on my wall!

By J.Molkenthin

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