After a very tiring week it was good to have a lay in. I eventually got up at around 9.00am and Mrs Green emerged from her room soon afterwards. Our main objective for the day was to sort out Kafuro’s internet for the next year and see if we could buy them a router which would allow them to create a wireless signal for all the devices to access. Yowasi’s and my friend, Robinson, had managed to sort out a second hand router (it had been bought by a man who discovered the network wasn’t strong enough in his area, so it was effectively new). We had therefore arranged to meet him in Kasese at 13:40.
Before we went down to Tembo for breakfast, we stopped in at the tourism office to meet Godfrey, the head of tourism. We had both been looking for each other all week, but had managed to miss each other. When he saw me he gave me a hug which nearly broke me in half. One of my jobs while I am in Uganda is to do some follow up work on training that Steve Peach had run in June, so I was looking for Godfrey to organise the rangers. After that it was breakfast! Regular readers of the blog will know that for the last three years there has been a running joke between Jackie (the waitress) and me about the availability of a bacon sandwich. It has been on the menu all this time, but had never been available…until now. I awaited my meal with great anticipation and was pleased to see my bacon sandwich even came with chips and a salad. It was DELICIOUS!!!
Once breakfast was over, Mrs Green and I returned to Hippo House. I was behind on my blogging (as you are no doubt well aware) and I also had brought some parts of the weather station home with me from Kafuro on Friday night. The main console wasn’t communicating with the weather vane and anemometer. With a bit of peace and quiet I managed to fix the problem in about twenty minutes and Mrs Green helped by taking the weather vane outside while I checked the signal to the console.
We set off for Kasese in good time. As well as sorting out the internet for Kafuro, Jess had asked us to pick up some items for her and we were also going to look for some jaggery (a lump of unrefined cane sugar) for some friends of Mrs Green. I have mentioned before about the lack of animals so far on this trip. Well today that changed; there were elephants (the Rukiga name for them is njojo) everywhere! What was even more impressive was the number of baby elephants – Mrs Green wanted to adopt all of them and put them in her suitcase while I merely settled for thinking that they were cute. It’s probably the most elephants I have seen in a single day in Uganda.
Because of the delays (you stop for elephants to cross the road in Uganda unless you’re very very stupid) we arrived in Kasese ten minutes late, but fortunately Yowasi had only just arrived himself with his daughter, Linda. We picked up the router at the Orange Shop and it worked well. Additionally, because it wasn’t brand new there was a discount. This enabled us to buy Kafuro internet access for a whole year, not just six months. With a decent wireless signal, Mrs Green was able to make an internet phone call home to her children while Yowasi and I concentrated on connecting up the tablets to the wireless. With this all successfully done we had a wander around Kasese.
The town has changed a fair bit since the last time I was here. It is much cleaner and Yowasi says part of this is a direct result of the Clean Up Kasese event we were involved in this year. As it is also the year leading up to an election in Uganda, trees have been planted at regular intervals along the pavements while in other parts of the town new pavements have been laid. All in all the town looks much better. Finding Jess’ items of yoghurt, avocado and airtime for her mobile phone was easy, finding jaggery was impossible. It turned out that in the past Ugandans used it for making their own alcohol, now that other forms of alcohol are readily available there’s no demand for it.
With our business concluded in Kasese we began heading back home although we stopped off at Katunguru for a muchomo (goat kebab). Our evening trip to Tembo was interrupted by the arrival of a party of Swiss cyclists. They seemed friendly at first, but then caused an almighty fuss about hanging up flags and lights (it was Switzerland’s national day apparently) which annoyed everyone. By the end of the evening I was totally fed up and wished they were anywhere else but Tembo.
Tomorrow, is a proper day off with nothing planned (touch wood!)
And now some answers to questions:
Mrs Pritchard: A correction to my previous answer. Two school uniforms cost me 55,000 shillings. I checked with Ramathan at Katunguru and a single uniform can expect to be between 18 – 20,000 shillings (around £5).
A rolex is effectively an omelette wrapped in a chapatti and is delicious. Now that I have learned how to make chapattis I can make my own. Ugandans do tend to use a lot of salt though.
Hamish, I now have an answer for you. Ugandan children can get up as early as five in the morning as many living in rural areas have chores to perform before they go to school. It is also not uncommon for them to go to bed as late as eleven in the evening as they also have many jobs after school. The youngest children are normally in bed by eight.
Poppy Armstrong – I didn’t check the lollipop flavours but I suspect they were similar to chupa chups. They were very popular with the children.
Mr Burford – The cost would install three solar panels and ensure that all electric devises they have would be powered comfortably. The batteries that are powered by the solar panels have a seven year life span.
Finally, apologies for the slowness of blog updates. We do have a good excuse. We have been so busy that there has been very little time. to type. We hope to update you further on our exciting adventures over the weekend.