Welcome to the last of our Uganda 2011 blog. Veronika here.
On Friday, the day after Chris left for UK, we arrived at Nyakasura school for one last time. A few children were already there, waiting for us and their teachers, who usually turn up on assorted motorbikes.
The morning session was nice and organised, because we had fewer schools than we expected and the children were keen. We went through our ‘spiel’ – CWB, a cricket charity, that links the game with HIV/AIDS awareness. By this time we all had so much experience with delivering the messages, that we could afford to make the children laugh in the process. All the apprehension and awkwardness of the first session was gone. The participants were very perceptive and soon we had the kids shouting: ‘Where are you throwing that? You are not faithful to me!’
At lunch time we set off on an exploratory nature walk with John, who proved to be rubbish at identifying plants and trees. Next time, John… The way back from the close by woods involved all of us climbing through a barbed wire fence. I am pleased to report, that we weren’t chased away by alarmed locals. Instead they kindly directed us back to our bus.
After the afternoon session and awards ‘ceremony’ for the pupils and teachers we rushed to and orphanage on lake Nkuruba. Some of us visited the orphanage last year and the place (and the living conditions – see photo of a kitchen) made a mixed impression on us. This time round we donated 12 mattresses, 12 blankets, 12 bed sheets, some donated clothes and a big bag of rice. The children were very happy and after a short tour around the living block they took us to the opposite hill, where Pastor Bosco (who looks after the orphans) manages a picturesque camp site. It is a bit out of a way, so the income that should be helping the orphanage is almost non-existent.
The children danced and sung for us and we were invited to join them for a cup of tea and a pancake. A little bundle of energy (about 4 years old boy) took a shine to me and it was very difficult to return him to Pastor, when we were leaving!
The evening was spent at the Ruwenzori Guest House at the communal dinner table with the rest of the guests. The whole establishment was amused by Jack’s stories about Marabu Storks used as messengers in the war. At one moment I left the room for a few minutes and when I came back, all guests (CWB as well as non-CWB travellers) were crying and wiping their tears. The laughter was infectious and poor Jack cracked and had the leave the room to calm down.
On Saturday morning we travelled from Fort Portal (or Port Fortal, as Helen likes to call the place) to Kampala, where we delivered an HIV awareness session to coaches and national team players. They were very interested in the discussion that we had and asked a lot of relevant questions. Then we just took a few photos with all the kit that we’d brought to Uganda and rushed off for a quick dinner with Uganda Cricket Association. On the way to the airport we all said the same thing: ‘We are not ready to go home yet.’
We had fantastic two weeks, everybody worked hard and in my opinion the team functioned like a well oiled machine. Mike, the team leader, did a great job of organising our accommodation and transport and never lost his cool.
Good bye, Uganda. We will be back.
- 11th and 12th March – days fourteen and fifteen
- 10th March – day thirteen
- 9th March – day twelve
- 8th March – day eleven
- 7th March – day ten
- 6th March – day nine (Mike’s birthday)
- 5th March – day eight
- 4th March – day seven
- 3rd March – day six
- 2nd March – day five
- 1st March – day four
- 28th February – day three
- 27th February – day two
- 26th February – day one
- Training weekend – the adventure begins