Final days and reflections

Uganda Day 14: 2019 


After a comfortable sleep in a room on my own in the motel, woken only by a cockerel at one point in the night, I woke up feeling fresh. We all slept in for a while before breakfast which was where we were staying. 


Then we went to a market in Fort Portal. It was extremely colourful, with a variety of fruits and vegetables being sold. One particular thing I spotted was the way tomatoes were displayed. They were balanced on top of one another like when people balance rocks in a stack on the beach which was very clever. 


For the afternoon we went to Mountains of the moon to use the pool for the day and relax. I finished my book and just relaxed for the afternoon, occasionally dipping in the pool to cool off. We stayed for dinner and I tried the beef fajitas which were delicious, then it was back to the hotel for another good night’s sleep.  

Uganda Day 15: 2019


Paul, Luke, Meg and I went for breakfast whilst Andy and Nick got some extra sleep this morning. We were almost ready for our final part of the journey back to Entebbe. The bus journey wasn’t too long, only 4 and a half hours, but time flew by playing games with Nick, Paul and Luke. 


We shortly arrived at UWEC zoo and were reunited with our huts we stayed in on our first night in Uganda so it felt a bit like returning to our second homes. As we arrived late last time and didn’t see many animals, we went for a wonder around the zoo (along with hundreds of school children on trips!) We saw lions which we hadn’t managed to see properly in the wild, more zebras, and monkeys playing on the paths. The boys were tired so we headed back to our huts but Megan and I didn’t want to rest so we went to explore more of the park as we hadn’t seen the giraffes properly. We found an elder tree, baboons and the giraffe viewing platform and had time to chat and reminisce about the trip.

Joffrey picked us up at 5pm to go shopping. We went to the craft market which was really colourful, full of paintings and souvenirs to buy but it was just nice to have a look around.


Finally, it was time to revisit the beautiful restaurant (Gorettis) on the beach from our first night. We sat back at our table and as it was still light, we could enjoy the breathtaking view of Lake Victoria. Before dinner arrived, we had time to reflect on our time here. We did our top 3 moments for the whole trip and everyone had such different moments which was brilliant. Then we remembered funny moments of the trip and things we will miss. It got a bit emotional before leaving as we prepare to go home tomorrow. Overall, this trip has been an incredible, life changing experience and one I am thankful to have had. 

Reflections

Before taking this trip, I didn’t know what to expect. I was a bundle of nerves, anxiety and excitement at a fresh opportunity to see more of the world and different cultures. Having now been able to experience the Pearl of Africa, I can see why it deserves that name. It’s not just the animals, which are incredible to see in their natural habitats, and the landscape, which goes on as far as the eye can see and changes with every turn, it is the people. I have never been anywhere more welcoming and protective of visitors to their country. Just by meeting someone, you are already their brother, sister or friend. You are treated like family without hesitation just by being happy and polite. The people of Uganda’s happiness has been unfaltering in every town and city we have visited. With those who have little, they are happy. With those who have plenty, they are happy. This joy beams out of them primarily through dance and music which spreads to anyone around as it is infectious. 


My biggest thank you for this trip is to the people at Kafuro Primary School, particularly Stephen Thembo, who made me feel welcome as soon as I entered his school and began speaking to him. I felt like I had known him longer than a few days by the end of my time in his school. I would also like to thank the teachers at Kafuro Primary School for giving me free reign of their classes (and sometimes translating), allowing me to experience different styles of teaching in a different culture and try to show them some of my style. 


I am going back to England with a renewed appreciation for things we take for granted, such as getting water from a tap instantly and without thinking. Having listened to Mr Stanley talk so positively about Uganda for the last couple of years, I hope I can harness some of his passion for the twinning project and continue to ensure that the children of Liss understand how lucky they are to be twinned with such a fantastic school and to remember that they have family, the school children of Kafuro, in Uganda.

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