The day did not start well! I was woken up in the early hours of the morning by Mrs Green running to the bathroom to be violently sick. This happened on several other occasions during the night, and by the time I got up all the colour had drained from her face and she looked really unwell. She was in no condition to visit classrooms, therefore I went to see Robert and gave him our apologies.
We left Family of Hope and headed back to Kampala. Mrs Green had a meeting at Kyambogo University at 15.30 and before that we had to drop off some packages at UWA headquarters. We also had some shopping to do before meeting Ronnie from Range Land Safaris who was going to drop us off at the airport. Mrs Green fell asleep almost straight away and slept all the way back to Kampala other than a short stop in order that I could get my photo taken outside Nile Breweries. The traffic in Kampala was crazy and I decided to join in with the fun by tooting my horn like a maniac and driving into almost non – existent spaces in order to get where I wanted to go. Readers might think this is reckless behaviour, but I was only doing what everyone else was doing.
We made a brief stop at UWA HQ to drop off the packages – a camera for the warden of Mount Elgon National Park and some letters – before driving to Lugogo Mall. Mrs Green wasn’t interested in eating a great deal, but thought she could manage a cold drink and a bit of ice cream. Therefore, I bought the first Ugandan ice cream in my seven trips to the country. It was strawberry flavoured and was almost fluorescent pink in colour. Mrs Green ate some and then I finished the rest off. It tasted vaguely like strawberry but was absolutely loaded with sugar – I felt quite filthy for eating it.
Mrs Green perked up a little bit after the ice cream, so we drove out to Kyambogo University for a brief meeting with Dr Stackus from the Department of Special Needs Studies. Stackus was pleased to see us again, and he and Mrs Green were just talking about distance learning when Mrs Green felt ill again and had to dash out of the room. Stackus was really concerned that Mrs Green might have malaria, but I explained that we thought it was just a bug. When Mrs Green came back, we had a brief photo and then headed back to Lugogo Mall.
We had several hours to kill before we met Ronnie, so we found a café and ordered drinks. Mrs Green took a few sips of hers and promptly fell asleep, so I tried to catch up with some blogging. When she eventually woke up, we went into the supermarket and brought some gifts for family and friends back home.
We had arranged to meet Ronnie at Gorettis in Entebbe, our favourite restaurant. Howveer, the traffic in Kampala was mental even at 20.00 and what should’ve been a 50 minute journey ended up taking over an hour and a half. By the time we got there, Gorettis was closed so we met Ronnie at the Red Rooster another bar/restaurant that we were familiar with. Ronnie brought his wife along with him as well as Geoffrey who had made a full recovery after looking after the CM Sports group for over a week – only joking! They bought us drinks and I managed to get Mrs Green to eat a few chips before she went back to sleep while Ronnie, Geoffrey and I reviewed the trip.
When Mrs Green woke up she looked a lot better, so Geoffrey dropped us at the airport and the long journey home began. Our trip to Uganda for 2018 was over.
It’s now nearly a week later and I’ve had time to evaluate this trip. My thoughts are as follows:
- For anyone who is concerned, Mrs Green has made a full recovery!
- There was a massive amount of travelling on this trip. The flights from Heathrow to Entebbe are the best part of 8100 miles and a conservative estimate is that we racked up at least another 1000 miles in Uganda. Thanks therefore to Zach Prior (a pupil in my class last year) who gave me a M&S voucher, some of which I used to buy sherbet fruits. When I was feeling tired after all that driving, the sherbet fruits got me through.
- It was a very tiring and at times frustrating trip. When you have saved for a year to go and essentially work in another country during your holidays, it is helpful if people are organised at your destination.
- My highs each year tend to take place at Kafuro and this year was no exception. The new headteacher, Stephen, and P7 made me feel so good about our partnership.
- It was fantastic to see other parts of Uganda. I feel that I’ve only scratched the surface of the country. Likewise, it was inspiring to see a school on the other side of the country which was so well run.
- CM Sports had a big positive impact on the children in western Uganda. They should be very proud that they made such a difference.
- It was great to have Rihamu Junior come on board and I think they will contribute strongly to the shared learning between schools.
- The nature of this trip meant that I was pulled in several directions all at the same time. Although I’m useless at sitting still and doing nothing, I do need to accept that I can’t do everything all at once and I need relaxation time too.
- Finally, many thanks to everyone who has read this year’s blog and commented on it. Your feedback is much appreciated.