There are various trading centres James uses for any shopping needs and he suggested we caught bodas, motorbike taxies to Namaira, a trading centre about 2km away. But I desperately needed some exercises so made a deal to walk there and ride back. I must admit that walking along that Jinja to Kamuli road is hair-raising and often I stepped down into the ditch to give more space between me and traffic hurtling past swerving in and out. There are so many really manic drivers in Uganda, especially working for the public transport, and the sugar cane trucks piled high with cane and men free-riding on the top!!
We chose Namaira because I had an ‘appointment’ with a particular member of the police force! No, I hadn’t been reported for displaying my undies on the bushes! Last year when James and I had wandered around the village of Nakakabala spreading the word about the dentist coming to the school offering free treatment for that day only, we came across the tiny Police Station with one rather oversized police officer standing authoritatively outside. She gave me the eye when I was taking photos of the village including the wonderful thatched roofed ‘pub’! I knew it was against the law to photograph anything to do with the police so I put my camera away as we were passing. We greeted her but she just looked down her nose at us, her arms crossed and resting comfortably on her adequate stomach. We were just about out of her sight when she called out in local language but with the tone of her voice I knew it was the word for stop. We turned to look at her and she was stood to attention, almost, buxom chest pushed out, pointing to herself and requesting I take a photo! So I was wanting to deliver the print but she had been transferred to Namaira.
I realised half-way there that I had left the photo in my room but really didn’t want to walk back as it was already very hot so we decided to visit the policewoman and tell her that she would get the photo later.
The trading centre was relatively quiet as we made our way towards the Police Station, enquiring minds following my every move! The officer on duty told us that she was at home, pointing round the back. As soon as we appeared she recognised us and started laughing with embarrassment, excitement, I’m not sure which. She was certainly a much jollier lady than I met last year! She was busy doing her washing with her children and wanted to rush and put on her uniform but I dissuaded her as my dress wasn’t exactly smart!
We only spent a few minutes with her but in that time all her children had got very excited and lots of photos just had to be taken! So if I can get another printed out before I come back to the UK then I will deliver both to her!
We soon found all we were looking for except a watering can for James. I had given him one as gift in 2008 and after much usage it had cracked. James asked around and eventually we found just what we were looking for up a side alley. The watering can is a gift from my friend Liz to James. I also bought my husband a little souvenir but he will have to wait until I get home to find out what it is!
Last on the list was a chicken for our supper. I always forget that they have to be bought live and hate the thought that what we are seeing will be on my plate later on! But that is life in many places, you cannot store meat! I was just glad that it was hung from James’ motorbike taxi on our return home and not mine!
For the attention of Lower Park Primary School in Poynton I have bought almost 400 more bands so you can all have one! Your pocket money will once again help the father who sells them pay for food, clothes, school fees and medical expenses for his family. WEBALIE & ASANTE SANA! Thank Jackie Gallagher for keeping in touch with me. I am often enjoying the shade and beautiful flowers of Lower Park here at St James!
PS. I’ve been adding photos to some of the older posts so take another look at them to see what Gerry is writing about, regards Norman.