Our last night’s sleep in Uganda was interrupted by non-stop drumming through the night, but we all woke up in reasonable spirits. The British Council had confirmed a 13.00 meeting with us and I also had to get the land cruiser cleaned and refueled as Ronnie needed it back at lunchtime (another client needed it the next day and it needed to be serviced). We decided to forego breakfast in order to take a quick walk around the zoo as Henry wanted to see the chimps.
Having checked out of our banda at 09.30, we filled up the car in Entebbe and then had it cleaned down by Lake Victoria. After that we began the drive to Kampala knowing that it would be absolutely manic and that we might be sitting in traffic for some time. The drive to the centre of Kampala was quite reasonable and we began to think that we might be early for our appointment. At this point the sat nav on my phone began to play up and we couldn’t get an accurate position on the location of the British Council’s headquarters. We had a rough idea after last year (when the sat nav worked properly) and after a lot of driving around and Mrs Green’s skills, we eventually made it at 13.00 on the dot.
Getting in to the British Council is a hassle as the security is like Fort Knox, but once we were there we met Maxwell and Harriet, who were both hugely impressed by the work that we have carried out with Kafuro over the last year and who wanted to create a report on it for the regional office. Part of my time next week is going to be gathering together that information. Our meeting lasted just over an hour and was very positive; it’s nice to know how highly the British Council value us.
We left the meeting and met Ronnie who gave us a Toyota Wish to drive for the rest of the day. We then had to get back to Entebbe. The sat nav refused to behave again, so we took a route that involved close inspection of just about every back street in Kampala, but eventually we got to Entebbe for about 17.00. We had intended to go to the cinema, but we had missed our film, so we walked around Lake Victoria for a bit before we headed to Gorettis restaurant to wait for Ronnie. Gorettis is right on the shores of Lake Victoria and ithe waves would lap right up to your feet. However, there has been so much rain recently that the water level has risen and we were met by a wall of sandbags instead. After a few beers, Ronnie turned up and we had a lovely final meal together. He dropped us at Entebbe Airport just after 23.00 and we watched the Olympic Games on a television waiting for our flight to depart.
We arrived back in the UK at 15.40 on Friday afternoon and were home by about 19.00. Thanks to Joe Williams’ dad, Martin, for picking us up.
Each year I try and sum up the main themes of the trip to Uganda. Over the last four years it has been (in order) the vibrancy and colour, the landscape, the joy of teaching and hard work. This year it has most definitely been about seeing Uganda through Henry’s eyes. The impact of Uganda on a fourteen year old is massive and it was fascinating to see his reactions to new situations and rewarding to see how much he has grown from the experience.
In terms of our partnership with Kafuro, it is as strong as ever and I can’t wait for what we have planned for next year. I love working with the children at Kafuro; I love the fact that we are making positive difference to their lives and that our children can learn so much for them too. With Yowasi driving things from a Ugandan perspective, the future can only be bright.
The Twinning Project continues to have an enormous impact on children in the area and the Tag Rugby tournament was an enormous success which seems to have engendered a great deal of goodwill.
The meeting we had with Community Conservation Rangers and teachers may hopefully be something which has a massive long term impact and leads to greater co-operation between the two.
Many thanks to my travelling companions for being such fun. A blog only captures some of the moments from a trip, so there’s so much banter, evening card games and laughter that I haven’t told you about.
And finally, many thanks to all the Ugandan people who have been so welcoming throughout our stay this year. We all can’t wait to visit again.
And finally, finally the answers to Mrs Frost’s last questions. The strangest question we were asked was by a pupil at Katunguru who asked us if white people died. This pupil also asked the funniest when he asked Henry if had a girlfriend. When Henry replied that he was single at the moment, the pupil asked him if he wanted some help in getting one! There was then a show of hands around the girls in the classroom as to who wanted to marry a muzungu. Just about every hand went up!