Uganda: The Kenny’s & Kenya! (Days 118- 137)

A bit of a catch-up, hopefully I’ll get up to date later this week.

Wednesday 5th May – Day 118

Caitlin’s had her appendix removed!

Getting back from Kampala after Dad’s visit, I discovered my sweets box lid ajar – and half the contents missing!

Boy would this only be the start of a long string of thefts in May!

Finally, apparently Boz isn’t going to come to Kenya, but possibly DRC with another mzungu from our village Sarah.

Thursday 6th May – Day 119

A slow moving day.

I opened some letters from home (- thanks to everyone who sent me a letter! I’ve opened them all now and they are all around our bedroom, I’ll try and upload some pics soon!)

Today was the first Sound of Music (SoM) performance. Before it began Heather and I dithered around Garden City and turned up at 5.30 – about hour earlier than necessary!

It went well for a first performance – though only having a small part, I couldn’t tell you what went wrong and right!

The director, Mary Kenny, took pity on us poor volunteers and let us vols, myself, Heather and Vic stay at her house!

On the way back it rained Noah style and the whole drainage system of Kampala failed epically, every road becoming a raging torrent – thank god we were in a 4×4.

Friday 7th May – Day 120

A whole day relaxing at the Kennys’. It’s a Ugandan heaven.

It had electricity, running water (not for drinking), a sofa, a kitchen, a huge tele and a hot shower!

Naturally we spent the majority of the day watching films (Yes Man!) playing Wii or making cheese and ham sandwiches (they have Branstan Pickle).

At the show, I almost forgot my line!

Ben’s dad arrived today and popped back stage to say hi, and on top pf that all the non SoM vols had come to watch – what a meet and greet fest!

It being a Friday and us vols being the wild things we are, we were hitting the clubs. This meant, regretfully, we weren’t staying at the Kennys’.

Saturday 8th May – Day 121

Backpackers now has free internet (it’s not the hottest place in town for us!)

In town we picked up a sandwich lunch and took it to eat during our matinee performance.

I got to play Franz – it went quite well, only forgetting one (unimportant) line – shame it wasn’t a singing part really.

The evening performance I was back to playing a dinner guest and Nazi. This meant I was able to read a good chunk of the Girl who Played with Fire.

We got cold left over pizza for dinner – it was Ugandan made, so not really pizza and surprisingly tangy…

Then Mary gave us the best news in the world.

We could stay all week until the next lot of performances! Provided we cooked! Come Dine with Me had began.

Sunday 9th May – Day 122

Breakfast was… Waitrose Bacon, imported by the Kenny’s themselves.

Today was the family fun day at International School of Uganda (ISU) so we went with the Kenny’s.

We decorated cookie people (mine had boobs and a penis!), drank soda and swam in the swimming pool.

In the evening we watched Amercian Idol, hot chicken curry and watched the Natioanl Theatre’s production of d*** Whittington on DVD.

Monday 10th May – Day 123

Mary took us down to the British High Commission club where we were able to swim, play ping pong and basketball.

A short walk away was Lugogo shppoing mall, so we bought coke, yoghurt (there’s a fridge) and Lion Bar cereal – so chocolatey!

Vic’s entry for the competition was stuffed Peppers. I wasn’t blown away, giving it a 5 Sweet and sour meatballs would be infinitely better.

Then I was made to watch PS – I love you.

Tuesday 11th May – Day 124

As was becoming habit, we dosed away the morning with tele.

I started prepping my sweet and sour lamb meatballs dinner at 3pm, mainly because I was forced to have dinner ready before 5.30 when we had a rehearsal at the national.

Half way through the recipe I panicked, realising the recipe called for brown sugar, but all sugar is brown in Uganda – and it’s not the same stuff…

The sauce turned itself around but, annoyingly only Heather, Vic, John and I ate when it was ready, the others waited until after the rehearsal.

Which in itself was rubbish, as half the cast wasn’t there and it was only entrances and exits.

Then, with sandwiches, we watched Gordon Brown resign as PM.

Wednesday 12th May – Day 125

Once again we were back at The High Commission Club for another morning of sport.

The afternoon was spent in the company of Hairspray.

For dinner Heather made homemade burger and chips – a 7.

Our second dinner was Spaghetti Bolognaise with Maria, in real life, Emma at her house. She’s a nursery school teacher out here, who at one point was on her gap year, 3 years later, she still hasn’t started Uni! Maybe this summer.

Thursday 13th May – Day 126

So the plan now was to finish the show on Saturday, go to the cast ‘n’ crew party on Sunday, travel to Kenya Monday/Tuesday.

The problem was I wasn’t packed for Kenya, so I had to make a quick day visit.

It turned out not to be so quick.

My camera had been stolen, as had stuff from my pencil case and who else knew what?

Then Boz’s keys disappeared. We spent over an hour turning the house upside down looking for then to no avail. Then it bucketed it down, trapping me in the house.

Eventually I was free and Boz had to buy new locks.

When I got back to Mary’s, I was disappointed to find out that the girls hadn’t been baking cakes as promised, just watching films.

Dinner was tomato and lentil soup – hardly the most filling supper for young thespians!

After the show Ben came and crashed our party at the Kennys’ – now we had to fit 4 people in 2 beds!

Friday 14th May – Day 127

For last 2 days I’d had a big red spot on my face. People had been telling me it could be a spider bite and there were eggs in my face.

Obviously I didn’t believe them, but I got dropped off by Mary at the Surgey and I saw Dr. Stockly.

Turns out it was a boil and within the hour Stockly was slicing open my face, squeezing out blood and puss and bandaging me up.

After the ordeal I had to have a coke and biscuit – only I couldn’t open my mouth wide enough to fit it in!

Then I was off to the Sheraton to check on how Caitlin was doing – insurance had really come through for her!

We sat pull side, us 2 and all the other volunteers.

In the evening, Bergit came round to Mary’s and sorted out my face, pulling out the packing that I guess was absorbing boil germs? It pussed and bled for the next 4 or 5 hours – great fun when I was on stage!

I had 2 cheese and pickle sandwiches after the show.

Saturday 15th May – Day 128

The final show day!

What more can I say? From around 11.30am to 11pm that night I was in or around the theatre, sometimes munching on food, sometimes dancing, and just twice, shouting, dramatically, “Zey are gone!”

Back at the house, us, Alice and her bf Ezi, watched films and drank soda!

Sunday 16th May – Day 129

Today was the cast and crew party, so everyone went Sybile’s sometime after 12.

Even Sophie and Shaun turned up and they weren’t in the show!

We wii’ed, ate curry and danced- my top changed colour from sweat.

Our last night at the house was spent watching American Idol and then The Matrix.

Monday 17th May – Day 130

I managed to do a fair deal of blogging at the Kennys’ (They had internet!)

Tonight 6 of us were going to share a triple room at the Annex before heading off to Kenya the next day.

For dinner Heather and I went to Silver City Spurs – my favourite restaurant in town!

During this time she found out she’d been accepted and Cardiff Uni – she cried…

With 6 of us in the room, it was a hot night!

KENYA

Tuesday 18th May – Day 131

We had to get up at 5.45am (We = Ben, Heather, Vic and I) and make our way to the coach office.

It was a 13 hour bus journey, with the occasional stop anda 20 minute lunch break. But at least the bus was 2 seats – 2 seats, so we got to sit next to only our group.

We arrived at night in Nairobbery, I mean Nairobi, and caught a taxi staright to our backpackers accommodation.

Wednesday 19th May – Day 132

It took over an hour and 10 forexes to find one that took travelers’ cheques.

In the hostel we bumped into our friends from Kampala, Sam, Ashline and Fiona who would travel with us for the hols, as well as 2 blokes we know from Kampala BP, Shaun and Bob.

That afternoon the 4 and 3 of us negociated our way round Nairobi looking for the correct bus to take us to the giraffe centre.

After 2 hours we made it, and I was well chuffed with myself. Having remembered my Project Trust card, I got student entry and saving of 400KSh, I laughed at Ben, Vic and Heather – they didn’t appreciate that.

Besides feeding and kissing the giraffes (see the photos on Fb) there were two tortoises making love.

Dinner was a Carnivores affair.

Carnivores has appeared in the World’s 50 top restaurants twice. In the past it has served all sorts of game meats, however, with modern game laws, its repertoire had diminished some what.

For 2391Ksh (=22GBP) you get as much meat as you can eat, pork, beef, chicken, turkey, ostrich and crocodile until you admit defeat by putting down your table’s flag.

It had the best turkey of my life (sorry mum), ostrich was good (espically the meatballs) and crocodile was disgustingly salty.

To cap the night off we sung Karaoke in the bar next door.

Thursday 20th May – Day 133

Thursday was a slow day, Heather and I hunted down more money, cakes and a South Sudanese bloke – he was nice – before meeting Vic at the Post Office.

The girls wanted to go to a craft market. We hopped into a black cab and went to wear the hostel lady had told us to go.

It was a shopping centre. We didn’t grumble, entering and finding a little bit of home.

The Uchumi there (a Kenyan supermarket, also found in Garden City, Kampala) had milky bar! We bought lunch from there.

I had a real, tasty, delicious ice cream!

After exploring the whole mall, we spotted the craft market down the road.

I’ve now decided that any ‘African’ stuff you buy is just that – African. It’s just a range of products that fit with people’s perception of African craft and actually bears no ties with the country in which is produced. You don’t see Kenya craft, Uganda craft, Rwandan craft – they all sell the same things! I mean exactly the same, down to the paper bead necklaces and recycled bottle cap necklaces. Maybe we should set up European craft markets and sell it to naïve Americans – finally, and answer to the financial crisis.

Friday 21st May – Day 134

We were up nice and early and Heather, Vic and I caught a taxi to the sanctuary.

Ben and the others arrived. He had a whale of a time, watching them push each other into the water!

For lunch, my girls and I went on the hunt for Pizza Inn – we figured since Bakers Inn made great cakes, we were sorted! But alas, we settle for an inferior pizza company.

That night, the girls, Ben and I were going to catch the Hogwarts Express, I mean train to Nairobi. It was just as I had imagined!

We got one cabin room for us. Two people slept on the seats below, and 2 slept on fold down beds above. We had fine chicken soup in the dinner cart, chatted, slept and found ourselves in just outside Mombassa.

Saturday 22nd May – Fay 135

Unfortunately, a carriage had derailed from the previous train and we couldn’t get into Mombassa.

Our private hire then struggled to find Mombassa Backpackers – turns out it’s only been open for 2 weeks and didn’t even have a sign! It was basically just a giant house bought by 3 lads, but right next to a Nakumatt supermarket.

For dinner Vic made everyone spaghetti bolognaises.

Whilst surfing the net, I found out I’d got my choice of Uni accommodation – Telford!

That night I finally finished The Girl who Kicked the Hornets Nest.

Sunday 23rd May – Day 136

Heather and I made our way to the beach, determined to make the most of our days here. It was a stroke of luck that we chose the correct path.

We thought we’d hit the most beautiful beach in the world, with the beautiful clear Indian ocean and swam.

Returning to the house, all the other girls had gone to town.

Eventually the came back and all the crew, the 4 of us, plus 3, plus 2 new guys, went to the beach until dusk.

In Nakumatt I found Old El Pasco Fajita mix and made it, OMG so good!!!

Monday 24th May – Day 137

We were up early, with the intention of getting to Diani beach nice and early, only for it to rain.

After our delayed start Heather and I caught a taxi there. It even included a 10 minute ferry ride!

We dropped our bags off at the Stilts Hotel, yes our room was on stilts and headed to the beach.

It was paradise. Walking into 40 thieves, you walk out the other side onto the beach. We dropped our bages up on the sand and ran into the waves, daring them to knock us over. We won I think.

By J.Molkenthin

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