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.