Blogs from Masaka, Central Region, Uganda, Africa

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Africa » Uganda » Central Region » Masaka June 17th 2011

I am fast approaching the end of my time in the village, which feels very sad. It is funny to think how terrified I was when I arrived, and the time has flown by! I have met some lovely people and have been so welcomed into the village. They are throwing a farewell party for me - and also Esther and Samuel, who are leaving in a few weeks - on Monday, which should be fun. They will be providing lunch for the whole school, which is fantastic because many of the children go all day without a meal. Something they want to do in the near future is to provide the children with food - a cup of porridge - at school every day, and my parents have been amazing and are helping Pastor John ... read more
Murchison Falls
Ellies!
New desks

Africa » Uganda » Central Region » Masaka May 28th 2011

My first post is coming from a tiny village in Uganda called Kyamukama (pronounced Chamukama), an hour along a dirt road from the nearest city of Masaka. I am living in a school called Living Hope, with no electricity or running water with the family of a Pastor called John. Pastor John devised the project of Living Hope and oversees the running of everything. He and his family are lovely and very welcoming and so are the teachers and everybody in the village. I was pretty scared when I arrived last sunday, however. I had had a lovely weekend in Kampala with David, the nephew of Laura, my previous boss, his girlfriend Florence and their gorgous baby Solomon. They took me out for a lovely meal at a restaurant which had an amazing view over the ... read more
Pastor Johna and Agnes
Grasshoppers!
Mary and other women in Gomes

Africa » Uganda » Central Region » Masaka August 1st 2010

UGANDA BANANA CULTURE Anyone who’s travelled the dusty roads of Uganda will tell you that no matter how many times you drive them, the scenery is always breathtaking. Villages and towns with brightly coloured roadside markets, beautiful snow capped mountain ranges and miles of rolling green hills covered by banana plantations awash with soft green leaves. In Uganda, banana’s from their cultivation to the table are a part of everyone’s daily life and deeply embedded in the culture of the Ugandan nation. Six different types of bananas grown in Uganda. They include the popular Matoke, Small Yellow, Big Yellows, Tonto, (used to make beer and gin) Gonja (ideal for roasting and often found at the road side stalls) and the deliciously exotic Red banana. Whilst the Matoke is the staple diet for most, Ugandan’s have derived ... read more

Africa » Uganda » Central Region » Masaka June 2nd 2010

I love being woken up every morning by the community singing and drumming in church but everytime I head over to listen to singing the priest seems to start his sermon (all in Luganda) and I don't have the foggiest idea of what he's saying. Apparently congregations here don't really sing and the priests get annoyed that they don't participate, well they should come to the UK where they'll really understand not singing! Anyway the students don't have to attend mass everyday probably because they have such a busy schedule as it is! Boarding students have the following routine: 4.45 - 6.45am Morning prep and prayers 6.50 - 7.30am general cleaning 7.30 - 5.20pm School (first lesson at 8am) 5.30 - 6.45pm fetching water and bathing 6.50-7.30pm Supper and TV news 8.15- 10.15pm Reading and prayers ... read more
washing day

Africa » Uganda » Central Region » Masaka May 31st 2010

I have been really impressed with the accounts record keeping and functioning of the school out here. It is a real pleasure to work with the staff out here who are open to suggestions for improvement, keen to learn more and running a fully functioning school (although it is entirely dependant on outside aid! - like everywhere out here). I have spent the majority of my time working with the school secretary trying to train her up in basic bookkeeping so she can take some of the work away from the Headmaster and it is really refreshing to work with someone who takes in everything you tell her and only needs to be shown how to do something once. The contrast between here and Rwanda has made me realise and understand that there are whole generations ... read more
training
working with school secretary

Africa » Uganda » Central Region » Masaka May 10th 2010

Living at the top of a valley and the nearest village being down and up the other side it’s been fairly easy to fit in lots of walking and there are some great walks to do. Every evening before supper we’ve been heading out exploring the local area. We walk from village to village slipping along muddy paths, passing both men and women working on their land surprised and touched that we greet in Lugandan, children shouting ‘bye mzungu (not sure why they learnt bye and not hi!), goats tied to trees, chickens roaming around, boys moving long horned cattle to graze, boda bodas (motorbike taxis) driving people home or trying to give us a lift (confused when we say we like to walk), mounds of charcoal in the making and many colourful birds. We also ... read more
Bakery
Brickmaking

Africa » Uganda » Central Region » Masaka May 10th 2010

After a 20 km boda boda (motorbike taxi) ride with me and a friend clinging on along a mud track with all our bags, asking the driver to go slowly(!) and realising just how few muscles i have in my back and tummy....we arrived at lake nabugabo- a huge quiet bilharzia croc and hippo free lake not far from Masaka. monkeys pottered around and a crowd (amy i spologise for the collective noun!) of hornbills flew from tree to tree. there are 3 places to stay along the side of the lake and we were the only people there yet all three places fully staffed - how they survive i never know! we were told when we arrived that if we wanted food we needed to ask well in advance and just ask for what we ... read more
pineapples

Africa » Uganda » Central Region » Masaka May 9th 2010

It’s a good thing I’m not one for lying in on Sunday mornings because in addition to the daily 7am mass in the church, the parishioners are welcomed with a mug of tea and then the beating of a drum (right outside our window!) indicates the start of the service. People hang around the parish all day, doing chores from the washing up to helping the fathers or (as was the case this morning) chopping up a pig! Everyone is so smartly dressed and out come the wigs - making it even harder to recognise people and remember who’s who. Although very fashionable in Kampala, women in rural areas never wear skirts and all still dress in the traditional colourful long matching two piece garment with a sash round the middle. Daily during the week it ... read more
The fathers and jamie

Africa » Uganda » Central Region » Masaka February 3rd 2009

Leaving Kampala, I stopped off in Entebbe for a couple of nights. Entebbe feels and looks like a seaside town, but with Maribou Storks drifting overhead rather than gulls. During the afternoon I walked around the botanical gardens and visited the Wildlife Centre - better than most zoos I have visited - where all the animals have been rescued. The following afternoon I took the ferry to the Ssese Islands. My guidebook doesn't mention this route, but luckily the friends I stayed with in Kampala had a different book. The ferry takes 3 hours. Arriving in Kalangala, I had planned to stay at a different resort, but was seduced into staying at the Hornbill Camp by a guy holding a sign as the ferry docked (Hornbill was my second choice anyway). I followed him along the ... read more
Botanical gardens
Shoebill
Crocodile

Africa » Uganda » Central Region » Masaka » Kyetume December 23rd 2008

Day 255 (21/12/08) Feeling a little worse for wear, we opted for some french toast to ease the hangover before trying our hands at hand washing our laundry.... pretty much everything we had packed. We quickly realized when weren’t made for the days before washing machines. Fed up we had a cold drink and decided to head into town to let our families know that yes we were still alive. After wandering a good ten minutes in the wrong direction we finally got on the right road and stumbled across a remarkably fast internet. Then back to camp for some spag bol for dinner and an early night in preparation for our 6am leave the following morning. Day 256 - DRIVE DAY Up and at ‘em before the sun and in the truck for a nap. ... read more




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