My peaceful sleep was disturbed by my alarm at 06:15. I awoke to find that, despite a mosquito net which was properly tucked in on my bed, the local midges had been feasting on my pasty muzungu flesh. I’m sure that when I arrived at Entebbe Airport the local midges got on the phone to the midges in Mweya and said something along the lines of, “Christmas has arrived lads, Stanley’s back again!” Even Mrs Green has been bitten, which is a surprise as she was virtually unscathed last year.
After a shave and a ‘refreshing’ bottle shower, it was down to Tembo for breakfast. We had the place to ourselves apart from some workmen who are repairing the kitchen after an electrical fire some time ago. Mrs Green had a fruit platter and toast while I had my usual rolex. We set off for Kafuro at about 08:15. One thing we have noticed is the lack of animals so far; they obviously have been successfully avoiding us. The more worrying development is the apparent lack of tourists; in two days driving on and off the Mweya peninsula we have only come across one other vehicle.
The road up to Kyambura is still terrible, so Mrs Green and I played the guess the song and artist game (I had purchased a lead that the Ugandan car radio seemed to like in Kasese) as our car ‘danced’ in, out and around the myriad potholes in the road. It had rained quite heavily the night before so there were plenty of puddles as well.
When we arrived at Kafuro there was a staff meeting in progress, so we took the tablets and went to work with P7. We showed them how to use a concept mapping application and they were soon making good progress on this. When the staff meeting finished we were taken to work with P6 and here was an opportunity to show off our cooking skills while allowing the children to develop their own. What followed bore some resemblance to the organised chaos of a Keith Floyd cookery show (without the copious amounts of alcohol). Mrs Green took half the class to make flapjacks while I took the other half to prepare pizzas. It soon became apparent that our English methods would have to be adapted when Mrs Green discovered she didn’t have to melt her butter for the flapjacks, it was melting before her very eyes.
With no measuring jug or scales, I had to guess the measurements to make the dough for my pizzas. I was roughly correct and made a good dough with the right amount of elasticity. Making the tomato sauce was great. The children had brought a number of lovely ripe home grown tomatoes along with red onions. I set to work chopping the onions and tomatoes up and added some home grown garlic from one of the children. I knew that this sauce would be good.
In the meantime, Mrs Green had finished up making her mix for the flapjacks and had put it in to bake in the clean cook stove. Much to her surprise and mine it cooked in about five minutes. The heat that the clean cook stoves generated was incredible, much hotter than our own cob oven which I thought was very hot. I placed my tomato sauce over one of the stoves where the heat was a little less intense and it began to simmer and reduce nicely.
While this was happening I showed the children how to make a simple omelette using eggs and onion. I got the children to slice the onion and whisk up the eggs which I had bought that morning. They were then poured into the frying pan that Mrs Green and I had brought out to Uganda and placed in the clean cook stove. The omelettes were ready in less than two minutes and we cut them up for the pupils to taste. They were devoured and the general comment was that ‘They were steady!’ I think that this was a compliment.
By now the pizza dough was ready (it had tripled in size) and the tomato sauce had reduced and cooled. There was no rolling pin so we had to knead and then ‘press’ out the dough before placing it in a frying pan or baking tray. The children cut and added mozzarella cheese and green peppers before placing them in to the clean cook stove. Again, they cooked very quickly and the children enjoyed eating them. The general comment, however, was that we had not added salt. I’m assuming that living in a hot climate makes people more acutely aware that they need a certain amount of salt intake.
The last taste test was for Liss and Ugandan honey. Some of the pizza dough we had baked to form a bread and Yowasi spread it with the two honeys. The children were then invited to taste them and vote for their favourite. The final result was close but the Ugandan honey won out. The children were very complimentary, however, about the Liss honey.
By now it was 16:00 but our day was far from over. Yowasi wanted us to see the Tag Rugby team (who had received training the previous month) play a game and Mrs Green and I watched from the touchline. I was amazed at how much the children had learned. Lines of running and passing and moving were brilliant. It was obvious that the children were enjoying themselves. What really struck me was that the children were doing this because they wanted to, not because they had visitors with a vested interest. Every breaktime the children were out playing with their tags and the rugby balls, so the training has clearly had a big impact. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; if Ugandan children had the same sorting opportunities as UK children they’d be world beaters as they have so much raw talent.
Before we left school for the day Yowasi wanted us to see children who had been using roamers. The roamers looked worn out so they’ve obviously had a lot of use. The children proceeded to set up an obstacle course (similar to the one Liss pupils set up when Yowasi visited) and then successfully programmed the roamers to navigate it. Again, there was clear evidence that the children are using the roamers regularly in class.
We finally left school at 17:20 and headed for Yowasi’s house to meet his new baby son. Mrs Green and I had bought little Peter a teddy bear who we named Simon, a sweep puppet for his big sister Linda, rugby tops for Yowasi and his wife, Ruth and some Montezuma chocolate (made with Ugandan cocoa beans) for Ruth. The baby boy was beautiful and very well behaved (he slept a lot) and Yowasi and Ruth are very proud parents one again. Ruth had cooked us some tilapia and Yowasi had picked up some Nile Special so we had a lovely meal. We also got to meet Yowasi’s brother, Crescent, who is an incredibly talented carpenter. He had mad the furniture and beds for Yowasi’s house from a hard wood. It was beautiful.
After waiting for a downpour to subside we finally said goodbye to Yowasi and family and headed home to Mweya. It was at this point that Mrs Green’s theory (see yesterday’s blog) fell apart as a bird flew into our windscreen while trying to get away. We got back at about 20.50. We picked up Jess and went down to Tembo for a drink to reflect on the day. When we did return home we had our first really big encounter with animals. 13 elephants of all sizes walked down the side of Hippo House as we parked the car. It was a beautiful sight to see.
Tomorrow we are going to visit the apiary at Kafuro and see their cultural museum.
Thanks to Mrs Pritchard for the first question. During BST Uganda is two hours ahead of the UK and three hours ahead during GMT.