Blogs from Uganda, Africa - page 6


I was not immediately enthusiastic about the prospect of trekking to see the gorillas. Before I arrived here, it didn’t feature in my metal list of things to do in Africa. The obvious objection is that it’s ruinously expensive, but I was also pretty dubious about the ecotourism claims. Surely it can’t be good to tramp out into the forest and hassle severely endangered wild animals? To encourage human contact? But over months spent in Africa, I heard people rave about it over and over again. Everyone said the same thing. You have to do this. It was unanimous. When I met some researchers from London’s Natural History Museum who said it was amazing and totally legitimate from an ecological point of view, I decided maybe I was being a little hasty in dismissing the idea. ... read more
Ready for his closeup...

Africa » Uganda December 16th 2013

Murrays Ugandan trip in July, was an emergency response to refugees fleeing conflict from DRC. Murray visited 2 different areas, Kywangwali and Bundibugyo. In December Murray went to Dadaab refugee camp. Here are some photos of those trips. Miriam... read more
Police escort, Kywangwali
Looking for new water sources, Kywangwali
Water pump, Kywangwali

Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Nkuringo December 9th 2013

Steve and are are now having a few well earned days rest before we greet our new team member Ann who will arrive from Kampala on Sunday evening along with our team leader, Simon, and our trusty driver Columbus. It has been quite a week. The Sunday night and Monday felt very strange and quiet here without the rest of the group. Instead of eating in the main hall the staff had set us a table in the reception area for our meals. We still make a pilgrimage to the groups usual table (can't break with tradition) and have the endless tea on tap and drink many cups throughout the day. As the week progressed we have settled into a nice routine. No early mornings this week. Breakfast at a very respectable 9.00. Cornflakes, boiled eggs, ... read more

Africa » Uganda » Central Region » Kampala December 9th 2013

My intro note : the challenge with writing a joint blog, in particular for these first two weeks, is that we have had individual and shared experiences of joy and sadness. I hope that what we write conveys that feeling. There will be one or two items of duplication along the way, and difference in writing style. And so to my first day away from Jane and the medical team. An easy introduction for the build team with a walk into town to buy some material for our 'African' themed dinner next week. Simon, our Mission Direct staff team leader took us on a brief tour of the town, and to the market, which was an attack on the senses, in particular, the butchers section. It more portrayed a scene from a horror film and would ... read more

Africa » Uganda » Central Region » Kampala December 8th 2013

Where to start! It has been five weeks since the first short blog at Heathrow and what a five weeks. It has been five weeks of laughter and tears, getting to know new people and a new culture. A background of Uganda. Population 36 million. Over 20 tribes. 93,104 sq miles. English official language. Swahili and Lugandan widely spoken. Mostly Christian. Land locked . 20 o/o of country covered by lakes. Lying on the equator the rest, tropical rain forest, savannah and mountains. Tropical climate. We are here in the rainy season which started in August and goes on until December. It rains every day to different degrees. From rain so heavy the landscape disappears into a mist in seconds to longer periods of steady rain. In between the sun can be very hot and mostly ... read more


Africa » Uganda » Central Region » Kampala December 7th 2013

Kampala. The second half of the course was based here, so over six weeks I got to know it pretty well. We were studying at Mulago hospital, an institution famous throughout Uganda and beyond. Anyone who’s seen the film Last King of Scotland should recognise it. A sprawling assortment of imposing 70s towerblocks, official capacity of 1500 beds, bursting with maybe 2500 inpatients. Buildings stretched far beyond what they were ever designed to handle, staffed by people doing far more than can reasonably be expected of them. By the time we left, some of the interns had apparently not been paid for three months. To call it a challenging environment doesn’t even begin to do it justice, but it was a privilege to study here. Kampala itself split opinion in the group. Some people hated it ... read more
Mulago Hospital
The hazards of walking to work

Africa » Uganda » Eastern Region » Jinja November 17th 2013

Me again! First of all I must warn you it is very hot here… so don’t read this if you are in a fragile state due to the cold weather in the UK. We had a brilliant time with the in-laws. After a lovely cruise along the Nile we flew to the far North of Uganda and had 3 nights in Kidepo National Park. This was a planned safari trip as a little treat for completing the first two months of our stay. The lodge was amazing - each room was an individual log cabin with a balcony and private outside bathtub overlooking the game park. Once we arrived and unpacked of course (Ness’s favourite thing about going away?!?) we went for a swim in the infinity pool that had views of the park and the ... read more
Amazing infinity pool
Apoka Lodge
Oustside bath tub

Africa » Uganda » Eastern Region » Jinja November 7th 2013

Sorry for the delay, don’t worry Ness’s blog is coming, we have just been busy the last couple of weeks, so it’s me again! So two weeks ago I went on the Three Stone Health Preventive Training course. It was brilliant to see Alfred (one of the trainers) wearing a Welsh tie – he didn’t have a clue where it came from or what it was, but brought a smile to my face! As we drove from the Guest House to the village we saw Muslims outside each mosque having special services for Eid. As we passed a rather large outside service, Charles (the person from the village hosting the training) stated he needed to stop and buy the beef for the lunch. Next thing we knew the service was over as most people had got ... read more
Inquisitive Muslims
Three Stones Training
First Screening in Uganda of the March of the Penguins

Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Rwenzori Mountains November 7th 2013

We left the lake and drove through Queen Elizabeth National Park, stopping as we crossed the equator to pose for the obligatory photo next to the sign. We were heading for a three day trek in the Rwenzori mountains. In contrast to the rest of the roadtrip, this had actually been planned quite carefully in advance. The Rwenzoris have a reputation for being extremely beautiful, and much less touristy than most trekkable mountains in East Africa. They also have a reputation for rain… in fact, they’re known as “the rainmakers”. When we asked the course director what the place was like, he pulled a face and gave a one word answer. Wet. The sky clouded over as we got closer, and things started looking stormy. Just as someone said “I’m sure the weather won’t be THAT ... read more
Mushroom cloud of rain
The old bridge, and the new bridge.

Africa » Uganda » Eastern Region » Jinja October 13th 2013

The rainy season has really started: I keep leaving the house without my raincoat and getting caught in a thunderstorm. Unless you want to wait a couple of hours for it to pass, you get very wet! I was in Kampala last week and but Ness said one day the rain was so heavy in Jinja it was like a river flowing down our street. Yes, I left Ness in Jinja and I went to the bright lights of the city. I decided to save money and take a Coaster. There are three types of long distance travel: Matatu Coaster Private hire A private hire is for exactly what it says, a car, a driver and a big price attached. Like most things a private hire comes with two prices, Ugandan and Muzungu. We have a ... read more
House being built out of mud
Flooding in the slums
Can you see what's on the roof?!?

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