Trip Start Jul 24, 2012
27Trip End Aug 19, 2012
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We visited the chapatti man in the village for breako and today we had put ourselves forward to visit some charity projects and help out at a school. Our guide arrived at about 9:30 ish and started to tell us about the project, an English Registered Charity and some of the big issues in Uganda, as well as the obvious tropical diseases and HIV one of the other major things is population explosion for the past 3 decades the population has continue to double every ten years, "Uganda is hoping to get making babies into the Olympics ,even India can not keep up with Uganda, this is having major effects though on land use, the amount of food needed and rubbish and human waste
Erica edit: Remarkably everything here seems to have a baby of some description - humans, goats, chickens etc - I don't know about the soil being fertile - I think there is something in the air too.
We jumped into an open backed truck for the jouney which just seemed so unsafe considering the speed we were driving at, this is though the beauty of travel. Not even in Salford do we travel in that way. Firstly we went to the health centre the project had built where local people could come and get treated for disease and get medication. With the HIV levels in Uganda being about 11% of the population there are a large number of orphans as well whose parents have died at the hands of this disease.
As well as the health centre there was also a library to teach the kids English and some computers so they could learn how to use a computer. This stands them in the best position of getting a decent job in the future. The kids were running around holding hands wanted lifting up and swinging around it was great fun and despite Ibola outbreak we all had put that to the back of our minds. The kids as always loved you taking pictures of them then showing them the pictures, some of the poses they pull for a photo are just so weird you have to wonder where they have seen them
We then headed to a school to do some painting for the head teacher so whilst I attacked the headmasters office with some horrific bright orange paint Erica went to stencil letters and numbers onto the classroom walls. The kids were so interested they just stood at the bars (windows) watching you do everything but being so shy when we spoke to them.
We all seemed to click with individual children, Mike had a guy who loved his rugby ball so much we spent the whole time throwing the ball around. The lad who followed me about seemed obsessed about photography and kept saying “give me your camera", it always makes you nervous handing over a few hundred pounds worth of kit but some of the pictures he took were great. I did get very nervous at one stage though as they said “come we take you to see the guns”. I'm thinking these kids who are only about 8 have bloody guns at school, how the hell can I get my camera back now. What actually happened is that the Ugandan army have put some artillery guns on top of the surrounding mountains for a reason unkown to the locals who are somewhat concerned by this military presence being put in such locations during peace time. Perhaps a reminder of just how volatile African politics have been and can be
At one stage I had a load of the boys around me and said “guess which one is my wife” looking at about 5 of the girls after a moment of contemplation they pointed straight at Erica, I asked “how do you know that?”, they replied with “she is the only one the same size as you”. Erica was appauled and felt like sinking into the ground. One of the boys got into trouble because whilst we were teaching each other the words for mouth, nose, ears etc. He had me shouting out a phrase which turned out to be “I am a big dog”, it had the kids in hysterics until the teacher arrived and was quite unimpressed to say the least.
When all the painting had been done we gave donations to the charity and got a tshirt as another fundraiser and headed back for the high class sunset cruise, we would show the locals that not all white people are alcoholic teenagers. Come 5pm it was time to start and we boarded the boat with some rather unimpressed Japanese tourists who were appauled that it was a '’booze cruise’ it had been put to us as a sunset Nile cruise where you could enjoy a gin and tonic. After about 10 minutes we moved from beers to spirits and started the ‘flippy cup game’ one of Erica’s favourites
The constant shouts of “3 2 1 Drink” had the Japanese guessing we were probably far worse than last night. As the boat started to drive back one of our group jumped off the boat and proceeded to climb up the super steep bank. As we passed him at the top covered in mud he did a haka in the showers and all the Japanese guys were taking his picture as well as us. Quite a few people threw up and generally it was just as much carnage as the night before. That is the last time we criticise anyone else for getting too drunk, quote of the night probably came from Erica to Liam “I think you should have a love bite”, Liam declined the suggestion as Mr S may not be best pleased. Erica was certainly on top form though and dancing on the tables was all part of de rigour.