The day began with breakfast at Entebbe Zoo. Again the backdrop to our meal was the gorgeous Lake Victoria. This morning Joffrey brought his wife along to meet us. She is pregnant with twins and was about to wave goodbye to her husband as it was his job to drive us the eight hours to our base in the Queen Elizabeth National Park at Mweya.
Before we could start we all had jobs to do in Kampala. For the CM Spots crew this was a trip to a Sports Shop to purchase sports equipment for the training they’ll be doing in 10 schools over the next two weeks. Between them Nick, Luke, Megan and Andy have raised £400 and the equipment they purchased today (including footballs, tennis rackets, dart boards and dominoes sets) will be remaining behind in the schools they visit.
Miss Duncan and Mr Davies paid a visit to the British Council whose offices were housed within the British consulate in Kampala. The British Council have funded much of this visit through their Connecting Classrooms Project and this meeting was an opportunity to share our plans and expectations for the next two weeks.
Most of the rest of the day was spent in the minibus driving across Uganda, a distance of over two hundred miles. Despite the cramped conditions, the team managed to entertain themselves with games and conversation. The journey through the countryside was a great way for us to become familiar with the real Uganda. The scenery was staggeringly beautiful as we headed towards the Rwenzori mountains.
The quality of Ugandan roads is not great, although I’m told that they are much improved in recent years. This was apparent from the fact that most of the way, roads were still under construction. This lead to a very bumpy ride and I received what Geoffrey termed a ‘Ugandan Massage’ as I was thrown around in the back of the bus. Uganda also has speed bumps all along their main roads. Sitting on the seat above the back wheel is not a good idea on these occasions and I managed to bang my head several times on the roof of the bus! We made a couple of brief stops to use the ‘bush toilet’ as well as a welcome rest in Fort Portal for a drink.
As we got closer to our destination I was very excited to see Kasese; a bustling town that is home to Rihamu Junior School – Hambledon’s twin. I look forward to returning on Friday.
Today was also notable for the huge amount of wildlife we saw in its natural environment. At one point we swerved to avoid baboons and as we entered the area of the Queen Elizabeth National Park we were welcomed by Hippos and Hyenas. We eventually made it to Hippo House in the dark at 8pm. The hospitality of Tembo, the Parks’ restaurant was very welcome after a long and tiring day.