Uganda: Dan & Rob (Days 96 – 103)

Tuesday 13th April – Day 96

Dan and Rob’s – Almost

We managed to get into Kampala at a decent hour, stoping at Nakumatt to get the boys gifts of soda and deodorant (they need it…)

When we got to the taxi park, we managed to get on the bus right a way, only to have to wait on it, in the coach park for 3 hours! Thankfully though we were able to spread out, or else we’d have melted to death!

The next 7.5hrs were uneventual; a mix of reading, journal writing an listening to music.

We arrived in Kasese, in the dark, in the rain, but managed to find the hotel Dan and Rob had recommended.

The problem with Dan and Rob’s village is that there is a pickup truck out and in only once or twice a day, and after dusk, you have to remain in your house, because of the wild animals (Did I mention they live in Queen Elizabeth National Park?)

The hotel was great, with the owner giving as a room with a double bed, single mattress on the floor and our own shower for 11000/- between us! – The food wasn’t too shabby either!

Wednesday 14th April – Day 97

Dan and Rob’s – Hungry Hippos

I was up early and was happy to have a walk around Kasese, spotting the giant Rwenzori Mountains that had been invisible in the darkness and taking a few snaps.

Rob turned up around lunchtime to take us back to his project, and after a quick lunch (the food took an hour to arrive) we picked up a taxi that managed to squeeze in 25 people in a 14 seater taxi.

On the road we only spotted the odd wart hog.

The next tricky bit was getting off the tarmac road and down the dirt roads to their village. Thankfully a private hire showed up and took us there – racing along for fear of getting trapped in the village by rain.

Once again it was uneventful, with only Cob hanging around the path – no elephants or lions.

As soon as we got out we had 50+ plus kids all tailing us, singing, dancing, holding our hands.

We found Dan chilling out at the school, and then they gave us the guided tour, finishing up at the fishing boats by the Kazinga Channel.

As a Mzungu boat sailed passed, we had the children sing “How are you Mzungu?”. As it got closer a girl was waving frantically at us – it was Martha and her parents who wre staying up at the Safari Lodge on the either side!

About 30 mins later when they had passed, we took an (illegal) boat ride in a fisherman’s boat to get a better few of the buffalo, hippos and elephants. It all went ‘swimmingly’ well until we passed back across the hippos, who then began fighting and snarling at each other.

Next thing you know, one of them is swimming right at the boat and our guides starting shouting ‘Tugendai, tugendai’ Luganda for go, go, go!

We managaed to paddle far enough away and get back to dry land safely.

That night we were staying at the school. The previous day there had been lions, so we were going to stay on the outskirts in the hope of seeing them. Luckily the lads had the foresight to bring mattresses to the school, so it was too uncomfortable.

During the night we heard soft lion whimpers, but never had much more than that – almost disappointing after all the hype!

Thursday 15th April – Day 98

Fish – A Double Dose

Shortly after getting up we were down at the river watching the fishermen come back in, and we ordered fish for our dinner.

After a breakfast of doughnuts and bananas, the fish was delivered to us, and us Lugazi lads had the pleasure of de-scaling it and then taking out the innards.

Some how we managed to pass the hours doing very little, but were treated to a Ugandan lunch of fish stew and dinner was then fish stew and rice – I was very hungry by the end of the day.

Friday 16th April – Day 99

Equator Euphoria

Up at 6.30am and playing darts – with a twist.

You find a nice sized stone, and lob it at the buffalo about 30m away; it’s surprisingly hard to hit them – I only managed it twice!

We were still around when the kids were given there exam reports, and I got to give the morning introduction of the kind – “How is mummy?” “How is daddy?” etc then they sang the national anthem!

We had to take the pickup truck out of the village, which was piled with fish and people.

My bum was so sore afterwards from the bouncing up and down on a wooden box, but we made it to the tarmac road!

From there we hitched a ride in a big gravel carrying lorry (empty of course) and were able to ride on it standing up, looking over the top of the cabin to just past the equator (it’s the rides and moments like that I’ll miss when I get back).

Naturally we took photos of us at the equator, then were very fourtunate to find a Link bus that was going staright to Kampala.

Again another uneventful 7hr journey…

Boz and I stopped off in Bulenga and spent the night at Vic and Emma’s prpject.

I managed to catch Vic’s flu!

Saturday 17th April – Day 100

The First Night at the Luch Golf Course Hotel

From Bulenga I went to Garden City to do some blog, and then for lunch, and it being day 100, I had a burger with bacon and chips!

We bumped into Rosie and her friend Izzy and went over to New York Kitchen, from here we bumped into Heather and her parents (who were staying at the Golf Course Hotel next door) and they invited us for a swim later.

An hour later, Caitlin and I took them up on this offer and had a little dip, followed by the best shower I’ve had in Uganda!

Heather’s parents had been upgraded to a family room, so had extra twin beds, so Caitlin and I were invited over.

We had a dinner of baguette and turkey in the room, with movies and use of her Dad’s netbook!

Although I had to sleep on the floor, it was a great night!

Sunday 18th April – Day 101

The Beating of Sarah

We had a swim in the morning – it was cold!

Heather’s parents snuck us up sausages, we watched another film, I think Starter for Ten, and then we snuck out of the hotel.

I got back to Project at 2.30pm and Boz wasn’t there so I chilled and unpacked.

When he returned he told me how is phone had gone missing during his wash.

A few hours later, the police were at our land lady’s house and a crowd was gathering.

Sarah (the land lady’s daughter) was dragged out the house by the police and caned, thrown on the floor, her head held down by an officier’s foot – Boz and I were a little shocked.

They took her into the house and continued the beating. When they came back outside, they continued, so Boz and I walked off round the corner, the only thing we could think of doing to make a point.

The ordeal must have lasted 10/15 minutes, and when it was over, the police lady gave Boz his phone back, apparently Sarah had picked it up and hidden it in the house.

That night we went to Karoke with the girls from our Lugazi café. – It was awful, it didn’t start until 10pm (we had school the next day) and one bloke was singing for 30minutes so we left.

Monday 19th April – Day 102

The Silence of the Natives/ Sophie’s Malaria/ Golf Course Hotel 2

We got to school to find it deserted.

Turns out they decided the previous week was to be the last week, since they now didn’t see the point in teaching after exams.

Whilst Ben put his photos on the wall, and Boz read, I painted our round blackboard.

Lunch was a Cuppa-Soup.

Ben and I headed into Kampala for a rehearsal, and on the way found out Sophie had malaria so stopped by the Surgery.

After rehearsals, Ben and I met with Heather and her parents who treated us to a delicious meal in Silver City Spurs – such good meat.

After another visit to Sophie, I was invited to spend the night at the hotel again, this time with a bed – I couldn’t refuse, after all, Heather had Cosmo!

Tuesday 20th April – Day 103

Cheapo Tuesday’s Pizza Treat

We were up early-ish taking breakfast down for Caitlin who’d stayed at the surgery.

We met with tons of other volunteers at her bedside, and as lunch approached, we headed to Nando’s to take advantage of their two for one offer. I had peri peri chicken pizza.

After I travelled back to Project.

I had to do some washing up, and then Boz and I went to bed.

By J.Molkenthin

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