I dragged myself out of bed just after nine having had a good night’s sleep. When Mrs Green emerged from her room we headed down to Tembo for breakfast. We were greeted by the sight of some of the Swiss cyclists kicking out at a warthog – I was not impressed. One of the privileges of staying in Mweya is that you are so close to the animals and encroaching on their territory, it is something that should be respected.
Today was our first proper day off bar a meeting with some rangers timetabled for 5.00pm that Godfrey was going to organise. The plan was to go back to Hippo House after breakfast, do our washing, head up to the safari lodge, update the blog and upload a big bunch of photos. This was delayed however as when we got back to Hippo House the wind suddenly got up and within ten minutes the mother of all thunderstorms had broken out. The lightning was incredible, forked lightning and sheet lightning illuminating the sky and the thunder was incredible. This was followed by the sort of torrential rain you only get in Africa. It was absolutely spectacular! Mrs Green and I stood on the veranda and watched chaos unfold above us in the heavens. Then, just as quickly as it had arrived, the storm ended and the black clouds headed in the direction of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Within half an hour the sun was out and it was fine to walk up to the safari lodge which appeared almost deserted. We met Jess there, who was trying to make a skype call to her family, but the wifi wasn’t working so there was an element of frustration for all. My 3g signal was good enough for Mrs Green to make a call home to her family, but that was it. Mrs Green and I prepared our questions for the rangers we were due to see at 5.00pm and then headed down to Tembo. No one turned up! However, the Community Shield football was on and many of the Ugandans are Arsenal fans (George Green would approve!) so it soon began to fill up. One of the people who did arrive was Nelson Guma, the warden in charge of Queen Elizabeth National Park with his driver, Tadeo, who was responsible for driving me around on my first trip to Uganda three years ago. Tadeo is a massive arsenal fan, but the rest of his family support Manchester United, so he has effectively been ostracised…passions run high in Uganda. I started taking the mickey out of Tadeo which really made Nelson laugh. We had the opportunity for a good chat and I was able to press him for a community ranger to be made available for Katunguru, something which has been an issue for as long as I have been involved with the Twinning Project.
We decided to stay down at Tembo without going back to Hippo House before dinner so arranged for Jess to drive. When Godfrey arrived I him where all the rangers were. He told me that he had forgotten to contact them. I just laughed, it is impossible to be angry with him.
We headed home by 9.30pm as tomorrow is the long drive south to Bukorwe and Kikarara primary schools.