Published: July 24th 2012July 19th 2012
Aye, so quite the bit has happened since the last time I was near a computer, so please forgive me for any muddled information, incorrect dates and pure lack of commitment to the blog. There has been 4 attempts to finish it, and towards the end things may seem rushed. Please also forgive any gramatical errors and spelling, which I'm sure I've just caused. Changes and corrections will happen when I get back.
Sunday compromised mostly from recovering from Nile Specials (easy due to me being responsible, not drinking beyond my limit and going to bed before everyone else), packing tents, and making special use of the luxurious toilets and cold showers. I’m really going to miss them! We also had a little time to scout out the market. Some girls got some tailor made trousers, which looked funky as hell, was tempting to get my own funky stuff. The market was a good place to browse for 2nd
hand clothes, classic football shirts were-a-plenty.
But, was back on the road again soon enough When we got back to site, we discovered the builders had worked through the weekend, with hundreds of bricks made and the foundations of the building were now set. We were shocked and amazed at how much they had done in our absence, it look like it was properly coming together.
We spent the rest of the day settling back in, writing up dairies and reading books as work was winding down when we got there. Some of the lads, me included, got the footballs out. Zak was amazing with the kids and the American Football. They would not get bored or leave his side. When that eventually did happen, the workers were intrigued about the American Football and some of us played a little catch. It was amazing how quickly they could pick up the sport, ended up throwing better than me. However, as soon as normal football started, they were straight on it!
It was Zak, Jenny and I on Jester duty today, so a little game of Pictionary was on the cards. Was a great laugh, and because we didn’t have any cards, we made up the words. So some interesting stuff came up, decent attempt if I do say so myself.
Back to work again today, couldn’t wait! The brick making had slowed down a little, and I had a little go at levelling the other floors. What it consisted of was packing a wheelbarrow full of soil dug up next to the school, dumped on the floor to be levelled, hoed into the right place and then flattened. But not UK flattened with a steam roller, oh no. An old paint pot, filled with concrete and a branch extruding out from it. We pick it up via the branch, and whack the ground below. At least 288 sq metres. Going to be very built when I get back I reckon!
Lads played football again after the day’s work, but I was too destroyed to join them, just as well, looked brutal. Everyone had been discussing exam results all day. I planned not to check until I got back, but all the discussions got me curious. Not going to go on about it, but I’m happy.
By this time everyone’s thoughts were on tonight’s highly anticipated Jester: Uganda’s Got Talent! On Friday, everyone was put into groups, given a category and had the weekend to prepare. Max and I were told to rap, which was great fun to do and everyone else had put loads of effort into the night, was a proud sight. However, one of the highlights, and many of the others will agree, has to be Matt and Jenny’s song. The videos will be linked on here and on Facebook in due course, definitely worth a look. Judges’ comments were also brilliant, especially JJ’s, got right into it! The builders were bouncing about it too, recording some of it on their phones, expect it to go viral very soon! The night ended well, Captain Jack got out the Ukulele and the entire group had a little sing-a-long that had the builders dancing and everything. A wonderful night.
Bit of a bad day to day, was not feeling 100%. After getting up and getting sorted, I attempted making bricks, which was dire; managed 4 with huge strain. Anna had given me Doctors’ orders to lie down and recover, which I was not happy about, but think if I tried anymore, I’d slow them down no end. After spending the day recovering, I spoke to one or two of the others who had been a little ill last week. Turns out our symptoms were the same and they were on the same Malaria tablets, so I put it down to that. Felt a hell of a lot better by the end of the day, and ready to get started again.
I’d missed out on the day’s events, but the night was very chilled, and just got me eager to get going again tomorrow.
Not much brick making today, there were other priorities. The guys yesterday had flattened the other rooms and got started on putting huge rocks on the ground. Sorry, boulders. This was what the day consisted of, picking up huge boulders and putting them in place for the builders to smash with sledge hammers. This would be part of the foundations and allow for mortar to be added when the boulders were a decent size. Some of us attempted breaking them up, reckon I managed to split 17% of the rocks I tried, which wasn’t much as it absolutely killed your hands. The food was great and as usual we had doughnuts for after meal snacks. It is now that I am concerned I haven’t mentioned the doughnut lady at all during my blog. We think she is like Florence and one of the chefs for the school and their teachers. They are not round doughnuts with holes in that we might be used to back home, but just little dough balls that we call doughnuts. They are always fresh and always beautiful; she never has any left at the end of the day.
Quite a long day, but another good work out. Another chilled night, with a decent Jester of card games. All you need.
Today, the feeling of being ill came back with a vengeance. Was in bed most of the day again, feeling horrid. Was not happy with myself, wanted to do a lot more work but they had to go on without me doing more of them rocks. Towards the end of the day, when a few people had checked in on me, they had said all the floors had done and there wasn’t much to do work wise for the rest of the day.
After a little while, I felt a lot better. We chilled for the night and got ready for the safari trip that was following the next day. Buzzing would be an understatement.
After packing, and a lovely breakfast and brunch supplied by Florence, we were ready to go and we were on our way to the Safari park, Muchison Falls before we knew it. The trip wasn’t too bad, plenty of bumps, but lovely scenic view. Unfortunately, the seat I was at, was missing a window pane. If anyone has been to Uganda, they will know most roads are all dirt roads, with a lot of dust. So when I had arrived, I looked completely orange. It was ridiculous, but I reckon I got a good profile picture out of it. I didn’t even have time for a quick wash as there was a massive rush to get a tent space. So sweating my bonce off, with a tangoed face, in the sweltering heat, I had to put up my tent. Fair to say I got a little flustered.
We stayed at a lovely little camp called Red Chilli. The food was a welcome sign again; meat was back on the menu. The times they served was a bit of a nightmare (Ugandan time as the joke goes), and there was always a rush and long wait to get it, but we were over the moon nonetheless.
Was great seeing everyone else again, catching up with all the craic that happened in the other sites. Heard one of the groups, the one just down the road had chicken during the week. Only condition was, they pay for it themselves and they kill it. A canny price to pay for some lovely food. They did tell of some horror stories of doing it, which is probably best I leave out on this blog, but it still had a few of us thinking that we could have a go making some chicken dish during the week.
A few Nile’s were on the go, everyone getting giddy and the laughs were flowing, just love how easy it is to get along with everyone. A few people were getting up rather early in the morning, 5.30, due to a drive in the park, so it wasn’t too much of a wild night!
Managed a bit of a lie in before the tent turned into an oven, while half the group set off for their trip. After the wonderful full English breakfast, we waited until the other guys to get back from their trip as we’d be travelling part of the Nile looking at the River wildlife and climbing the waterfall the park is named after. Our group took the boat first and the morning group walked down the falls to meet us at a little stop where we could change over. There were pros and cons to both groups. The others had the sunset views of the Nile on the way back to the camp. However, we had a lovely incline up to the falls and had an almost constant view of it.
The boat trip was brilliant, plenty of photos of hippos and the odd elephant, and the craic with the others was marvellous too. The ferry was a canny little machine, double decker, us volunteers drew the short straw and was on deck in the sweltering heat, while some other visitors to the park were underneath. But if the whole lot of us stayed on one perimeter of the boat, things started to get a little bit unsafe, and the guides got very paranoid. Other than that, canny. Speaking of the guides, the one we had was a delight, he knew everything there was to know about every animal we encountered.
There was a quick catch up on the rocks as the other group caught the boat, then the trek began. All up hill, it had cooled while we were on the boat, but the sun had full glare again. But the views were breath taking. Another load of photos, but the camera ran out of batteries, meaning quick change overs of memory cards with Matt, which I am very grateful for. When I got back and charge the camera however, they were nowhere to be seen. I reckon when I get back and upload the lot, they’ll be there… they want to be there. At the top, near the beginning of the falls, a gorgeous mist came to meet us and cool us down. Picture perfect views, can’t tell you enough how good the views were.
Ride back was a tad bumpy, as to be expected, but the first time we had lift off of more than 2 feet from our seats. By the time we got back food was in dire need. Beautiful curry from what I remember. Those who were on the safari trip this morning were getting a little drink down them as they had no need to get up the next morning, so I could see now why they had been so desperate to get put into that group. The rest of us chilled and had a good laugh, with high expectations of a good day tomorrow.
Was a rough night and the horrendously early start didn’t help, but I was still buzzing for the trip. We missed the first ferry over the river unfortunately, so the Safari started at 7.00. There was still justification of getting up early, but was a little clouded with the slight annoyance of why we were late. It’s another story for another day though. Our guide was very enthusiastic, and was another guide who knew everything there is to know about every animal in the park. We saw a huge amount of animals, Elephants, Giraffes, Buffalo, Antelope, Hippos and a Lion, which was a huge bit of luck as the other group didn’t. Photos will be up very soon!
Afterwards, we had a few hours for food and packing up before we were on the road again for one of the most ridiculous and hilarious journeys of my life. Started off all the groups in a convoy, which is nothing new, but after two minutes from setting off, one of the roof supports on our Matatu fell off from driving on the bumpy road. Once that was fixed we caught up with the rest of the convoy, to find one of the Matatu’s front axels had broken and landed them in a ditch. Because we had to leave the park together by a certain time, or face a fine of $70 each, we had to make a quick repair. 15 mins before the fine set in, we were out and rolling until the same Matatu got a flat on the same wheel. While we stopped to repair, the village that was near had gathered around us, asking for things, looking through windows for possessions. Wasn’t the best 20 minutes of the journey. We had to go on without the guys with the flat, to get their tire to a repair shop and carry on the route. After a few short minutes we broke down ourselves. It was something to do with the engine, air in the pipes, oil wasn’t circulating, we were missing it, something to them degrees. Then quick musical chairs to ease someone’s stomach, which has a funny story behind it too, but again, for another day perhaps. After being on the road a little while we ran into huge herd of cows and a massive heavy load vehicle that carried a big crane that took up the entire road. Over the bumpy roads we lost inside wall panels that lead to an increase of dust in the Matatu and we stopped to pick up a taillight guard the driver had lost on the way here. Due to the dust and the lack of pane of glass, Max got the same treatment I received on the way to the sanctuary and had a lovely orange glow when we stopped. Throughout the journey, people complained they kept feeling warm furry things against their feet which they just had to dismiss as bags obstructed views. Until we arrived back and unloaded our stuff. A live chicken had joined us at the beginning, which we later found out was the driver’s dinner. So, decent time in the Matatu again.
Plenty of work was done on the school again when we got back. After settling in Zak had got an idea that we needed a change of scenery in relation to the benches where we chilled and had our food. He decided the spot under the tree that had shade at the ideal times of the day, the only thing that stopped us sorting it out was a huge mound of dirt. We thought it was dirt at least. While we still had a little light, Zak borrowed some of the builders tools and demolished half the mound and levelled the area out a bit, but there was activity of the insect variety, and Florence came out and warned us that it was not just a pile of soil, but a termite mound. But African termites, scary little buggers. Anyway Zak carried on until it was dark and only got bitten once, which was lucky as they were going wild at night.
A grateful meal from Florence then Euan, who I’ve realised that there is a huge lack of mentions of him in this blog as he has saved all the groups from starvation, ensured all materials are on site, just ensured the project survival. He is a wee Scottish lad who is working with SoftPower for the summer, anyway, he is helping us this week. He passed on that Asman, one of the foremen from SoftPower, has said that our group are too far ahead in the project, and the rate we are going, next month will have nothing to do. So, pace is going to be slowing down this week. Nobody complained.
Since Asman told us last night that we need to slow down with our work load, we had a canny relaxed day compared to what we are used to, workers included. Carrying on from last night, Zak and a few others of us tried to tackle the termite mound again. At one point it was very even, ideal for the tables, however, we saw a lot of insect activity. That fact, plus the teachers and doughnut lady egging us on, we tried to find the queen. We got six feet down from the original peak before we gave up. We saw some decent tunnels, and it was a superb effort which really impressed the teachers and Johnson, but no sight of the queen. So hole filled, tables set up, Johnson thoroughly impressed, he presented us with a huge sheet of plastic and rope to get us to put up tarppaulen to further protect us from the sun from shade. So with some help from the builders, who were eager to see what the craic was, we had it sorted and had a marvellous place to relax after our hard work.
We usually go to a little village 10 mins walk away for mobile top ups, washing powder of the odd bottle of Mountain Dew. However, we were told of a canny little town, which we passed on the way back from the safari so Emma, Sarah and I ventured up to scope it out. Others caught onto this fact and asked us to get a ridiculous amount of mobile top-ups. It was a canny little walk, hour there, hour back and almost every person we passed waved at us and greeted us. The town of Biso is quite small, but had everything we needed. We didn’t stay there too long, as there is only so much time you can spend trying to haggle 500 shillings off a bottle of coke. It was an ideal little day out.
Because it was decided over the weekend that we would have a football match between us and our builders, and St. John Bosco’s volunteers and builders, I decided to have a go at football and see if it was as difficult as everyone had said it was. They weren’t wrong. The field is uneven and on a bit of a slope, there was patches of long grass (wild pigieons were a plenty), the kids have unbelievable tekkers and the builders do not hold back in the tackles. I was pleasantly surprised I handled the entire time out there, bar the last couple of minutes due to uneven teams. We even won 6-4, probably could have achieved that without me like, but still good practice for Wednesday.
Dinner was beautiful as always and afterwards, we had a lovely story time around the new table set up. We were then introduced by a new card game by Euan called Switch. Because there were now 15 of us playing, we needed 3 packs of cards, which was wild. All in all, a very cool day indeed.
Today was another chilled out day as not only were the workers still far ahead, but the work now is pretty technical where we make matters worse for them and slow them down when we attempt to help. So Matt, JJ and I took the opportunity to sort out travels for the end of the project. We had decided Zanzibar for definite, only had to sort out travelling down and what we do when we get there. It was really fun looking it all up and really got us in the mood for getting out there and scouring the markets, seeing the clear water at the golden beaches. Decent stuff indeed.
It felt like a book reading club at one part of the day as everyone was chilling in the sun, blasting through books like there was no tomorrow. I wanted to be a little pro-active and started on learning some Spanish and getting some memory techniques down that I wanted to do since I got here. Even though there has been less work done on the building that we are used to, I feel that everyone is still being pro-active in some way.
Zak had also mentioned to Johnson today that we would have liked chicken for one of our meals and asked him to get us some. We were told he went to a market somewhere out of town, but it was in fact an important business trip for the school. After words with one of the other teachers we decided to get fat local chickens that he’d get to us tomorrow. We were so excited about all that and plans to decide what to do with it went well on into the day.
The Jester tonight was brilliant fun, a little Pub Quiz organised by Anna, Max and Sarah. Although there were a few debates on some of the answers, it was a valiant effort and one of the top Jesters since we’d been here.
We got the chicken today! It was also a bit of luck we had Euan onsite as he’d seen and done the whole killing and dissecting on some farm experience and showed us what to do. Zak was getting right into it, I won’t describe the killings on here, as it is far too inappropriate, but I think we had learned a lot today.
Most of our time was spent on the chickens, and the preparation of the casserole we decided to have. In this time, we had not heard anything from the other group as to whether or not they could make it to the football. However, just as we set the food away, they turned up out of the blue. They had managed to walk just over an hour in the red hot sun. To say they were completely out of it by the time they’d arrived would be an understatement. This group had swapped with the ones who are now in Kerama, so a relationship with the builders had yet to be established, so they had not joined them. One of the teachers did which was great. We spent a little time catching up with them and seeing how they’d settled into their new site before things got serious. It would be Mazungu vs. Ugandans, with a little help from one or two Ugandans to even teams. It was a great game, good insight into how Ugandans play. No tactics, just the entire team in midfield, who’d then run up and down the pitch depending on the position of the ball. Was stark contrast into how we played, positions sorted out and tactics in place at all time. It ended up being 2-2. It’s a shame there was not a definite winner, but we just didn’t have the energy to play on.
We had settled down after the match to the chicken. Euan did a brilliant job with casserole. There wasn’t a lot of chicken to play with, it was a little tender, but the best mid-week meal I’ve had so far. Not to knock Florence’s cooking though. Jester tonight would be Yaneth tournament. It has come to my attention that Yaneth has yet to be mentioned in this blog, which I am very ashamed of, as it is a highlight to our time in Uganda. It is a card game that has been passed down in each Ugandan project trip. Very easy to play, but quite difficult to describe via blog. It will be explained and played constantly on our arrival though! We got to the finals of the tournament, before we had to hit the hay, finals would have to be for another Jester.
Work had been the same as the previous days, very technical. In between that we had played with the kids, some went onto to learn some musical instruments they brought out during break. Other than that it was relaxing on the benches. There had been an attack on the benches during the night however. Termites must have organised themselves, drew up plans, and went full force while we slept. A few soft mounds had formed around the legs of some of the benches, which were quickly disposed of by Zak.
Spanish was improving a bit, and people were loving it reading their books out on the benches. However it wasn’t too long until an immense storm loomed over our heads and we were forced inside. It was rain like I’ve never seen, droplets that could knock you out they were that dense. It was sideways slightly, and started to seep through the widows, which, as we are in Uganda, lacked glass. This meant that a lot of our beds were on the verge of becoming drenched. So, everything was piled in the middle of the room and everyone climbed in sleeping bags to stop the shivering as the thermostat dropped a few inches. Zak had a brilliant idea to venture out donning a waterproof. He looked quite the part, and due to his bravery, the builders invited him in to play a Ugandan card game which sounded a lot of fun.
After all that fiasco, we sorted out the room again and started packing for tomorrow. Reason being we were up at the crack of dawn on our way to the chimp trekking. This had to be one of the weekends I was looking forward to the most.
It was an extremely early start this morning, in anticipation of getting into Massinidi for Chimp Trekking. The matatu was a little late, (was on Ugandan time), but we got into town just at the right time. Before we knew it, we were thrown into another one. Now, this is where things start to become interesting. We have a pleasant and quick drive to the entrance of the sanctuary, which turned out to be the same place we went to last week, Murchison Falls. The park is huge! But we were at a part call Bodongu sanctuary. We then spent the next 2 hours driving this never ending road. It became apparent that the driver had no idea where we were heading when he tried to flash down a truck driver to find out where the place was. We eventually decided to stop and turn around, and as we were doing this, some other people visiting the park met us in the middle of the road and said it was right at the beginning of this end of the park. Marvellous. So driving back with sour faces and a Matatu full of biting flies, it was fair to say we were a bit sour. Every journey has a highlight though, and this one had to be at a steep incline. The Matatu was huffing and puffing but came to a complete stop, meaning people had to get out and start pushing it up the hill and over this massive gap where the dirt stops and the tarmac begins.
We eventually arrived at the Chimp trekking centre, about 3 hours later than expected. We were extremely lucky to still do it as the guides said if we left it any later it’d be too dark to go exploring.
The walk was decent, trekking through proper jungle growth in search for wild chimps, an experience and a half. The guides had stopped on a few occasions and left us in silent to find out the chimp locations. We finally found a group of them, but meant going off track into the dense growth of the forest. We finally caught up to them, who were chilling really high in the trees having an evening meal. It was great to see them in the wild, instead of Attenbourgh’s shows, though, could have done with the commentary. The pictures aren’t too great as the zoom could only do so much and I was shaking like a leaf due to only having my breakfast, and it was getting close to 5.00pm at this point. We chilled with them for a bit, and managed to see one on the floor, an old alpha male, before we headed back to the Hotel.
We have stayed at this hotel the last time we were in Masindi, the Newport View Hotel. Previously I chilled in my tent, but thought it’d be canny to stay in the Banda’s other people had been in. It consisted of a bed and a shower, which had to be the most welcome sights since leaving NRC.
After beautiful food and catching up with what the others had been up to today, we had a quick look in town for some snacks. At the hotel people had started on the Nile’s as there was no need to be getting up early in the morning, next chimp trek for the other groups was on Sunday. It was also Ash’s birthday, a girl from another one of the other groups, so another cause for celebration and partying. At the late hours of the night, a huge group had decided to go to Ugandan clubbing. I was content to stay in for the night and get things sorted out early tomorrow, so another day perhaps.
It has been a fabulous day in Masinidi. Got up extra early to sort out a few things at the post office and chilled at the hotel until everyone else had awoken, practicing a little Spanish to a gorgeous day. After breakfast, a few guys had decided they want to venture into town and sort out getting tailor made garments and have a little look in the markets. I had seen some of the clothes that had been made and thought, I need to get me some of that. At the shop, we had a little look at the fabrics, and they all looked brilliant. Very bright, in your face colours and patterns and some beautiful silk. Thought I’d keep it simple with the colours and patterns with one shirt, and get another silk funky looking one. I cannot wait for the result. Looking at what other people had chosen as well, we are in for a treat when we pick them up! Next we had a little look in the market. It was canny big, with a lot of old clothes from the 80’s and second hand sports shirts. I even saw a great conditioned Philadelphia Eagles American Football Jersey I had to get. Although I am not a big fan of the Eagles, and they are in the same conference as the Saint’s, it does give me a team to root for in the NFC East Division, just need to find out who Smith #82 is/was. Understand 99% of those who read this will have no idea what’s going on, but I bought an American Football Jersey for £2, which is a saving of about £40 or something similar, so very happy. I think I missed a good section of clothes however, as when I got back, a lot of people had bought some funky as hell shirts and shorts, need to get on the bargains tomorrow.
The night has also been a treat. Softpower had sent a brilliant African dance and music band to our hotel, it has been an awesome show! A few guys were picked up to get dancing with them, which was hilarious term of events. Highlights were Zak and Euan’s moves. Zak had a dance off with one of the Ugandans which there are plenty of videos and pictures that will be up for the world to see soon. And Euan just looked right in place and comfortable to join in…
Everyone who was out the previous night had been very upset I hadn’t joined them, telling me all the good craic that was flowing, which was enough to persuade me to join those going out again. Other than one awful shot that had my stomach turning, it was a brilliant night. Dance offs with Ugandans were pretty much nonstop and it was just Mazungu’s left in the club at 5.00 in the morning. I promise you, I have not come to Uganda to party like I did back home, but this was a one off to further develop my knowledge of Ugandan culture.
I’m very surprised that I wasn’t experiencing Nile “Rapids”, as I am now going to call them, this morning. Others were feeling a lot worse. I was far too excited to get my shirts back to wait for breakfast, which I’m sure is a good description as to how excited was. When we arrived mine were just being finished off and the looked amazing. The silk one is gorgeous and is going to be worn at all times, especially formal events such as job interviews, weddings, etc.
Had another look at the market and a stock up of English snacks before we chilled at the hotel again. By the time we got back, the group who are now at Karama were packed and off to their site within due course. We were off soon enough too, and I thought I had time to finish this blog I started at the weekend, sadly mistaken. It hadn’t saved properly so would have to be redone, hence the explanation at the beginning and now. Words cannot describe how upset I was.
Never mind. The matatu on the way back was a new one, with window at my seat and a gap in the door for plenty of dust to enter. Can never get away from being dirty here in Uganda, the dust gets everywhere.
The termites were at it again during the weekend and the mound is almost half the height it was when we destroyed it. It was late at night when we got back, and other than the quick water run we done, there was not much left to do other than sleep. Good to be back at site though.
Aye, its starting to hit that we are going to be leaving the site and Uganda very soon. People are already starting to get a little emotional, nobody is wanting to go, a month has not been long enough.
Today we spent most of our time moving bricks as the builders did not want us getting in the way attempting to lay them. But the builders are getting a little sad to leave us I’m thinking, especially going to miss Zak. In fact, I reckon a lot of Ugandans are going to miss him. The builders always ask for Zak when communicating with us Mazungu’s and the kids all know Zak’s name. This is not to say the rest of us have laid back and done very little, its just that Zak can make anyone laugh their arse off in a given moment. A proper canny lad is our Zak.
Tonight’s Jester was one of the best we’ve had; Stars In Your Eyes. Everyone had a go and we all voted who was the best. I was in a group with Matt and Zak and we sang an edited rendition of Three Lions. I’ll put the lyrics up when I get back, and I think we got a video of it and that’ll be up too. It was brilliantly written and Captain Jack helped us out by playing the ukulele. There were so many other great acts, and I want to go in so much detail about each one, but I’m paranoid about time. So highlights and pleasant suprises it is. It was a close finish Max and JJ tied for the win, after a pretty unanimous vote from everyone. Max did his own rendition of Sexy and I know It, but it was Mazungu’s and we know it. The lyrics were brilliant and hilariously written. Everyone loved it. And in terms of JJ, we were all so surprised at how fantastic he was. He learned how to play Wonderwall on the ukulele and sung it unbelievably. Overall and extremely good night.
Today during the day we experienced the same as yesterday and done the same as yesterday which was decent. However, a few of us got it in our head we need to do a little exploring. So, myself, Euan, JJ and Zak went for a walk. There are huge rolling hills all over the site and generally in Uganda, so we pointed at some and said, “Aye, we’ll go to the top of them.” Was a marvellous little walk, and thankfully we ran into some of the builders on the way, who showed us the exact road we needed to take. I reckon if we didn’t bump into them, we’d of gotten rediculusloy lost and never of made it to the top.
The walk was only an hour, which I was pleasently supprised with as it looked miles away. I've had better ideas than climbing a massive hill such as that in sandles, but the views more than made up for it. We could see for ages, even the other site which was on the other side of the hill and our own site. It was brilliant.
Jester tonight was planed for a treasure hunt by Matt, Anna B and Emma, if memory serves correct, sorry if not. This was put off from last week, and because it was so late in the day, we couldn't do it in the dark and it turned into a little quiz. You can tell there was a lot of effort put in, and its a massive shame we couldn't of done it when it was lighter. Shout out to the guys for putting the work in none the less. We also managed to finish off the Yaneth tournament tonight, which started last week. Highly competitive, but winners were Captain Jack, myself and then Megan, again if memory serves me right, which I don't think it does in this case. Canny night again though.
Today was a bitter sweet day. Everyone was gutted to be leaving site tomorrow, but the atmosphere around the school was a positive one. We spent quite some time taking photos with the builders and some of the teachers. Also there was a bit of mis-communication with Johnson and the people at Softpower. Softpower had said that month 1 ends this Sunday 22nd, which it does, but not that we'd be leaving tomorrow. He was gutted as he planned to get a few of the children to do a dance and show to see us off. So he quickly rounded the students and the performed what the had. It was great, really happy that they managed it, made the whole leaving that little bit sadder.
Tonight was the final Jester, and it was another brilliant one. The leaders Anna and Captain took the helm, and gave us the traditional last Leeds Uganda Jester. It was a bit like an exam, in that there were subjects that each person in our team must perform; in our team it was Zak, Holly and myself. They were, Geography, Chemistry, Biology, History, Art and DT. But it was nothing like subjects back home. Geography you had to be blind folded and taken in to the field next to the school and had to make it way back to your team. JJ won and beat Zak's brilliant score, which we were flabbergasted with. Biology you had to act out animals and your team guessed what they were. Chemistry had debatable outcome. You had 5 mins to find as much material to make a fire as possible and to get it going. The longest flame won. Ours kept going out then coming alive with a vengence, making us rather uspet with our score. I think you get the picture about the catagories, but my favorite was DT. It was a dragon's den style game, where we had to pitch an idea that all Ugandans could not live without. Ours, among all the rest of the teams, was to improve Matatu journeys. I think I'll comeback in more detail when I don't have a few minutes on the clock of the computer. But it was halarious to pitch.
After the game were the awards. And this was marvellous as well. Each person in the group was given an award. I'll put everyones award on when I can, but it was all so fitting. Mine was dancing can you belive! Can't say I wasn't chuffed!
But then it was straight to bed for the early 8 hour journey tomorrow. I've got really attatched to my little space on the concrete floor.
Up even earlier than we thought as the Rosa driver came 2 hours before we thought it might. So quick breakfast then packed and ready to go.
The journey was not as bad as I thought it'd be. Stopped a little way to get some street food, goat is supprisingly nice. But the entire journey I just thought how brillant the past few weeks had been.
Finally though, we arrived back at NRC. Quick unpack and then a proper catch up with everyone. Last goodbyes for a few, drinks and discussing highlights for others. Just one brilliant night.
And I know very few will take a week off attempting to read the entire essay I've wrote, so here is a little summary. I've loved every second of this trip. The people in the groups are brilliant, I've not stopped smilling since I've been here and the opportunity to come here and experience all that I've done is something I will never stop being grateful for. I can not thank everyone enough for all the help people have given me in getting me here. I hope you've enjoyed the blogs, there is still a few more to come. And I'll get back to peoples messages and comments as soon as I can.
Keep it cool.