21/06 And it’s still pouring! Well that was a great session I had at Innocents bar, Wallet Pub, last night showing the excited children as their new desks were delivered. And I’m here again now and the rain is thundering down on the corrugated roof! No, I didn’t mean a session of the ice cold Nile Beer Innocent sells!!
So good to hear from many of you once I’d managed, at last, to put a post on Facebook. For some reason it is much easier to post on my Gerry’s Uganda WhatsApp Group but you need to own a smart phone to use WhatsApp. If you do want to join though I just need your mobile number. I will continue to put the posts on Facebook though and of course eventually on my website but the news won’t be as it happens!
Because I stayed so long at the bar (only one Nile, honest! Though they are big bottles!), the journey home was in the dark and also it was raining heavily which brought the temperature down. Though I tried to keep down and sheltered behind the driver, I was actually cold on the boda (motorbike taxi)! I hadn’t thought of taking a coat.
But as soon as we arrived home the smell of food and the “welcome back” from Innocents Mum Judith and his wife-to-be Betty soon warmed me up. They had got a spread of ‘starters’ for us – fresh pineapple, roasted g-nuts and roasted maize! I started tucking in then remembered the meal they were busy cooking on the veranda!! I had lost a stone before coming to Uganda, reckon it’s on its way back on again! Oh well I have to keep my energy up don’t I!!!
22/06 I drove a car tonight for about one minute, straight into a ditch! Watched by many amused locals! The reason this happened, my excuse…….
Tomorrow we start delivering mosquito nets to the most neediest of families who have children at Brain Trust PS. Innocent said he knew someone who would lend us his car for the weekend and we were to meet him down at the bar. There was still plenty of light left at the time we had arranged to meet but just down the road from the bar the car was in pieces! Several men, I wouldn’t call them mechanics, were working on it. It took several hours, yes hours, when I couldn’t even have a beer because I would be having my practice drive, or so I thought!
By the time Livingstone appeared with the keys it was pitch black, the trading centre was heaving with people and the main road very busy with it being Saturday night.
I wasn’t that keen to try out a strange car in this situation but what could surely go wrong, the car!! I got in but couldn’t find where to put the ignition key, fumbling round in the dark. Innocent and the owner were already sniggering when I suddenly found it – under the ‘dead’ long haired bear lying on the dashboard!
There was no inside light in the car and it was pitch black outside so it was pot luck what I could find plus the fact that I’m not familiar with an automatic. Anyway I got it going and followed the men’s advice to turn hard left off the grass verge and into the road. ‘Suicide’ taxi buses were hurtling about along with masses of boda bodas. I decided this was not a good idea at all so stopped the car and told the men I would practice tomorrow morning. What I hadn’t realised was that I had stopped with one side of the car in a ditch! I had only followed instructions!
I went back to the bar where Charles, the head of Brain Trust PS, was waiting to discuss plans for tomorrow. He pointed back in the direction of the car where it was refusing to move for anybody. I went to find out what the problem was. Innocent had put a little local fuel in it just to get us to the big petrol station tomorrow, and when I had stopped the car it was at an angle, the fuel had all tipped to one side preventing it working and starved the engine of fuel. I walked back the few metres to the bar and minutes later I was on my way home on a boda!
I’m still debating if we will have a car tomorrow! 100 mosquito nets donated by Marton Primary School in Congleton are a bit heavy to carry and we have a lot of miles to travel in and out of the tiny hidden away hamlets. Will let you know!
PS That ‘dead bear’ has to go if I’m driving!