Love it here! x
The video shows 3 year old Guster choping wood for the cooking fire. He is man of the house when dad is busy working carrying people around on his boda boda (motorbike taxi)
The third area chosen for mosquito nets meant me driving along the main Jinja to Kamuli Road which I was not looking forward to. Nearly all my driving up unitl then had been along mud tracks at 10-15 kph! Just getting out onto the road was a challenge as I had to manouver between numerous boda’s (motorbike taxi) milling around waiting for a fare. They don’t believe in moving out of the way until you make it obvious that you are going to mow them down otherwise! Then once on the road its a nightmare with the local taxi buses that don’t believe in staying behind anyone regardless of what is in the way! The speed limit is 50 kph and most of the time I stuck to that but even at 60 the taxi’s hurtled past sometimes two or three abreast forcing me on to the narrow area at the side of the road which is supposed to be for pedestrians and animals!
It was always a relief when we got to the trading centres on route as the humps slowed everyone done a little! The boys and Judith were very amused when I told them we call them sleeping policemen in the UK and laughed even more when I said ‘ouch’ going over each one!
As Judith’s family were going to cook lunch for for us as they live nearby the area of delivering we had to go and buy the ingrediants. I’ve always loved going to Kamuli market and this was no exception though I never do any of the actual purchasing as they double the price! As my friends were buying rice, beans, and anything else we needed I was kept amused watching the busy trading and also by the children that always gather around me.
We arrived at Judith’s home to great excitment. The children had come home from school especially early. I was honoured by the warmth of the greeting I received from the whole family. I knew that Judith had two other sons, Innocent’s step brothers, but what I hadn’t realised was how young one of them was. She leaves 9 year old Joshua with his aunty so that she can come and look after me! As soon as Judith got out of the car Joshua raced over for a big hug. It was very touching and I felt rather guilty! There again Joshua seemed almost as pleased to see me espcially when I got a small football out of my bag! We dropped off the foodstuffs and the soda’s that I knew would be a treat for everyone and then set off to deliver the mosquito nets while the aunts were making lunch.
Judith had carried out the research in the area to find out who needed the mosquito nets so knew exactly where to lead us. Often she would walk ahead of the car and would disappear into what I thought were solid bushes until I got up close and realised the car would just about fit through! Basically no one in the area had mosquito nets and it was difficult just giving them to those who had taken part in the original survery but there was nothing we could do. I was forever telling people ‘maybe next time’ hoping upon hope that I will be able to return with this precious life-saving gift for them one day too!
It was wonderful to meet the recipients of the mosquito nets though some of their stories were harrowing. One particular young teenager was in the early stages of labout after being raped. She also had learning difficulties and had no idea what had happened to her. The perbetrator will never be found! All I could do was give he a gentle hug, a mosquito net and a few baby clothes that friends in the UK had donated. I also gave her a dress for after the birth which she seemed particualrly pleased with. That night she gave birth to a baby boy.
Thanks for all of you who have sponsored a net or even several nets. You are making such a difference. A simple gift but with amazing properties! £5 is all it takes to protect someone from Malaria and for certain help to save their lives!
I have already contacted many of those who donated nets sending them a photo but if you have not seen yours either on the website, email or fb please contact me. I will be writing again soon telling you about my final day of delivering just before I left Uganda. for now there are more photos below.
A wlecome soda and late lunch awaited us back at Judiths’. A lovely, lovely family where I felt very much at home.
In the heat and the dust I needed to bathe at least once a day but it meant that someone had to fetch the water from the village borehole! I tell you what, you really appreciate every drop when you witness the hard work it takes to provide the water.
Though it was early morning this was hard work! I needed my bathing sessions so had to be willing to put the effort in. Though if the truth be known I only went with Innocent to collect water the once! I helped push the bike to the borehole, filled five out of the six jerrycans but there my help ended!
One of my dearest friends in Uganda suffers from Epilepsy and gets regular seizures. Last year with the help of professionals in this country I put together an advice sheet about what a seizure is and how to help someone who is suffering one. I spoke to my friends’ family and friends helping them to understand and went into the local clinic to where I was staying to see if they could help. A nun who was one of the head nurses at the clinic told me there are many people in the area young and old who stay in their homes, not venturing out because of the abuse they receive from others. Their families also suffer from stigma and discrimination. There are so many myths, misconceptions and misunderstandings about epilepsy. Many in Uganda still believe a seizure is contagious and that you can catch it by sharing utensils and the sufferer can poison food if they have a seizure nearby! Witchcraft still rears its ugly head too!
I now realise how courageous my friend is as he carries on his life as best he can, not allowing his ‘disability’ to affect him though he too suffers from abuse, name calling and even theft of his personal belongings when he is having a fit! I was determined this year to spread the understanding as much as I could and I got the ideal opportunity when I joined Brain Trust Nursery and Primary School. Charles, the director of the school knows my friend and has witnessed him having a seizure and was keen to help me educate the pupils at the school. I had spoken to Charles about my intentions and asked him if he could help by pretending to have a seizure as part of my lesson, and he did it expertly. I was quite shocked how well!
Judith, my friends mum and I sprang into action with a hundred wide eyed and rather shocked students looking on! Nothing like drama to get a point across! Then, in small groups, I got the children to create and then perform a situation as the other children watched, analysed and discussed right and wrong procedures. They were AMAZING! Note the major accident of one group when four fell off a boda boda (motorbike)!
Now one hundred 11-14 year olds have promised to be my pioneers to spread the word. Judith helped me throughout and was wonderful. She has a natural talent for teaching and of course this was a subject very close to her heart.
During the afternoon the teachers got the children to finish writing out the First Aid for someone having a fit and then they took them back to their families and communities and have promised to spread the word, and Charles tells me that the reaction of the parents and community was very good. Sounds like parents were buzzing about the knowledge their children had come home with and in fact several came to see him about it. So well done the children of P5, P6 and P7 of Brain Trust Nursery and Primary School. With your help life for people who have epilepsy and other conditions that cause fits will be better understood in and around Nawanyago. Video footage at bottom of page!
(I would love to obtain an old tent ground sheet to use in school here in Uganda, for activities such as games, crafts, etc. so the children and me don’t have to sit on bare mud. Please share this with your friends so next time I can teach on relative comfort! Thank you from Uganda)
I love the sounds and colours of the small creatures in and around my Ugandan home particularly the numerous lizards and the colourful geko with their nodding heads. I brush my teeth each morning behind the home and beside the sugarcane field and love to watch the geko racing from the field and up the brick walls stopping, I like to think, to nod a good morning to me! And at night under clear starlit skies I brush while listening to the Cicada singing away in the trees. Sometimes Innocent and Judith have come out to see what is taking me so long and find me just stood absorbing it all.
So, OK I love love love my Uganda home but there are limits! I found a mosquito floating in my tea! I’ve had a stubborn cockroach in my room. First time Innocent came and rescued it then four times I have captured it under the jug I use for bathing and with the help of a piece of cardboard I have taken it outside. One night I found it or one of its relatives sat on my camp loo and had to ‘deal’ with it and left a bit of a mess in my ‘bathroom’! I’m not scared of these creatures but I just would rather they went elsewhere and last time Judith was busy cleaning my room while I was sat typing on the laptop and one raced across in front of her which was very stupid of her as she immediately ‘disposed’ of it!
Then I was eating my supper the other night and one of the flying monstrosities flew into my mouth, see photos. They are 2-3 cms long and sometimes have a female attached! Fortunately I didn’t bite down on it! BUT mosquito in my tea no no no! Love Uganda! X
I got this explanation from the internet: Most people
who see Africa’s “sausage flies” wouldn’t pick that they are actually ants. In fact, these monstrous insects are males of the common Dorylus driver ants. They fly at night to gain a chance to mate with a queen from another colony.