Post updates

Morning all,

Gerry has sent me new material and photos for the two posts that have gone out so far. So please go back and have another look at ‘I’ve arrived’ and ‘Ants for Supper’.

best regards Norman

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Ants for Supper

Last night the flying ants 🐜 came and this morning they were covering the car, (car news later!!), and all over the ground. I saw Betty collecting them up and just knew what was for supper!! 

They will be dried in the sun, the wings removed and  then fried until crispy! Can’t wait!!

Ants, still with wings, drying in the sun. I’m going to help with the next stages!!

Dear Friends, I’ve had some great messages on my Gerry’s Uganda Projects WhatsApp group and one friend called me brave! My reply was:

Brave or ……..? Ha ha, something happened to my brain when I climbed Kilimanjaro!’

 

Betty checking for the remaining wings before serving
The deed is done!
1, 2, 3!
They’re in!
Not sure 🤔 yet!
But could have done with a cold Nile Beer with them!
All that’s left is a carpet of wings!

You can see the ant video here: https://www.facebook.com/1147382494/posts/10218720733506610?sfns=mo

I’ve arrived

Enjoying breakfast at Banana Village but I am not alone!!

My home for just one night. Now moving on. Be in touch when I can. Sponsorship for nets is rolling in so fingers crossed we will meet the 1000! Thank you! Keep donating please!

Day 1

First day in Uganda and I’ve driven along a section of the new Entebbe to Kampala ‘express way’. It reminded me of home, though there were few cars and every-day life seemed to be carrying on regardless of this massive concrete structure looming above their homes often cutting homesteads in two! Pedestrians and cyclists are banned but I saw cyclists riding along the drainage ditches that run along the edge and even a man with a young child waiting to cross! There were children peeping through and washing drying on the perimeter fence plus a couple of dead goats splattered in the road! It will be interesting when they open the toll booths!!

Sorry for lack of communication. Been travelling and network not so good.

Day 1 continued-

I’ve also had another experience to add to my list of ‘unforgettables’!! I had no Ugandan currency plus my wifi box and phone were playing up so Godfrey took me into Kampala city centre. We caught a local bus 🚌 (I call them suicide buses!)but it took us the wrong side of the city and we ended up walking miles uphill in the boiling afternoon, because I didn’t fancy the alternative, using a boda boda, a motorbike taxi!

Walking through the Saturday crowds was a challenge in itself, with Godfrey taking up the rear to make sure no one attempted to rob me!

As I was walking along I was wishing I could record the atmosphere for you, amazing, a feast for all senses! It was buzzing, tens if thousands of people moving every which way and so many traders everywhere you looked, many with their goods spilling out over the pavement.

Very sad to see so many disabled people begging though, some lying right across the path, even a mother begging for help for her severely disabled son.

I stayed glued to Godfrey’s side while we navigated across the many busy crazy crazy roads! Buses, cars, boda boda and mobile traders all vying to take any space that appeared regardless of the mere mortals trying to cross the road! You have to be proactive in your approach otherwise you wouldn’t make it, which means some very close encounters with vehicles big and small!! How more people are not mowed down I do not know! But you just have to go with the flow if you choose to visit a 3rd World country! I was exhausted mentally as much as physically by the time we reached the centre!

As you might have already guessed we were successful in sorting my communication problems and at no expense which was a miracle in itself! Then it was time to head home, but how??? Riding a motorbike taxi through Kampala city centre was not on my agenda especially as my helmet is in Jinja. But, needs must and I did feel more than a bit frazzled! Godfrey found two licensed bodas (I thought they didn’t exist in Uganda!) which covered the demands of my travel insurance as long as I was the only passenger and the bike was under 125cc. The boda drivers wore individually numbered orange helmets and high vis jackets and we were provided with helmets too! Even more impressive were the ‘hairnets’ we were given to wear under the helmets for hygiene purposes!

No, I’m not setting a new trend with orange hair! It’s the luxurious, actually very sensible, hair net that keeps all those using the helmet after me from ending up with any of my grey Mzungu hair! Ha ha! Actually, a great idea!

So, having satisfied all requirements of my travel insurance I hopped, well more like heaved my arthritic knee over the bike and sat myself down, asking the driver if he was a good driver and could I hold onto him. He answered both questions with a cheesy smile and nod then asked ‘Ready’? This time Godfrey led the way as his home was 7 km out of the city, not territory that the boda men knew. As soon as Godfrey’s boda plunged into the foray my driver put his foot down to follow! I knew I had to relax and ‘go with’ the driver and be prepared for many many sudden stops! In fact the whole journey was continuous sudden breaking so concentration was very important! I kept my knees gripped to the seat and my elbows tucked in tight, one hand holding the driver and the other the back of the bike. Shortly after setting off I carefully slipped my rucksack off my back and round to the front after remembering advice given to me by a complete stranger several years ago. At the time I was taking a short boda ride when a man suddenly stepped out and stopped us! He pointed to my backpack to take it off! I honestly thought I was being robbed but in fact he was indicating that I must carry it on my front for safety! A scary moment but advice I’ve always remembered!

Godfrey paying for our fares. Note the orange helmet and high vis jacket denoting the company with qualified drivers!!

The ride back to Godfrey’s home except when nearing the end had no long stretches of straight road, it was all stop start with endless twists and turns. It was quite a relief to get off the boda, stiff back, sore bum, painful hands from holding on and I felt shattered! But, I have to admit to enjoying the ‘adventure ‘ in a sadistical sort of way! There’s a bit of life in the ol’ girl yet!!

Still smiling, or are my teeth just still gritted in tension after the ‘exciting ‘ ride!!!

I’ll soon be on my way!

I’ve checked in for my flight, had my first Malerone tablet to help protect me from Malaria, locked my cases to stop me ‘fiddling’, (taking items out and putting others in and worrying about the weight!), watered the indoor plants, had my last cycle ride down to the Vernon Building Society to note the donations that have come in, (bringing my hope for 1000 mosquito nets sponsored ever closer), and now I’m writing my last blog before I pack up my laptop and settle down to try and relax for the rest of the day! What I didn’t mention is that I just had to pop into Greggs and buy a yummy treat to have after our lunch – well no cakes or ‘naughties’ for me for a few weeks! I also bought a treat for the friends I will be staying with, a bit of a tradition. I’ll tell you what they were later!

I will be up very early in the morning at the start of another visit to Uganda, the place I now call my second home. It’s almost seventeen years since I first set foot in Uganda with the words from my husband ringing in my ears, ‘You’ve got to go, to get it out of your system’. Well his idea didn’t quite work as I fell in love with the country and its people and have been making my annual visits there ever since! At least I have cut down the length of stay from seven to four weeks!

I’m getting rather worried as my friends in Uganda have told me they are having extremely hot weather. I always find it ‘hot’ and have my ‘coping strategies’ but this time I’m not sure even those will work! I have looked at the ‘AccuWeather’ long range forecast and tomorrow and for over the weekend when I will be staying in Kampala and the average is 36C and described as ‘warm’ but once I move inland to Nawanyago it goes even higher to 41C on Tuesday! Then during my whole stay it says it will fluctuate between 34-36C! I think I’m going to melt!! On the other hand, another company has forecast rain in Kampala which brings the temperature down. I think I might choose that one!!

Thank you sooooooooooooo much to all of you who have been contacting me offering me donations of mosquito nets or desks, educational charts and books for Brain Trust Nursery and Primary School, near where I will be staying for the majority of my time. If you haven’t already paid in your donation don’t panic as my husband Norman will see that it is forwarded to me in Uganda by MoneyGram. You are all amazing to keep on supporting me year in year out. I couldn’t do what I do without your support. Together we have given so much help to people in Uganda and I can’t imagine stopping for a year or two yet!!

I will be reporting back as much as the internet, and the heat allows and I hope you will enjoy being ‘with me’ during my stay in Uganda. I do love to share! X

Some of the lucky ones who have received a mosquito net because of you!

Still many children without nets!

I’m so looking forward to delivering more of your gifts. Thank you!

Can you help me reach 1000 mosquito nets sponsored and delivered please?

Thank you friends! You have donated, and my young friends and I have delivered 774 mosquito nets since I started this project in September 2017. I leave for Uganda on the 22nd, please help me to hit the 1000 mark by sponsoring more of these life saving gifts. Below is a copy of my blog from last month, with photos, telling you more about how you can do this and also about my request for help to equip Brain Trust Nursery and Primary School in Nawanyago. I leave for Uganda in less than two weeks time. Thanks again. In anticipation! Excited!

HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all, my lovely friends and supporters of my work in Uganda! My flights are booked for 22nd February when I will be flying off to spend a month in Uganda, living and working with and for local communities. Once again I am asking for your support please to enable me to deliver a little help to those who need it. There are several ways you can help:

Firstly, my ongoing project to provide more people in the area I work in with a mosquito net at £5 each so that they will be protected from the Malarial mosquito is so important, in fact lifesaving as more people particularly the very young and elderly, die of Malaria than any other disease in Uganda and most people are too poor to purchase their own net. So please if you would like to sponsor one or more nets from yourself or on behalf of your friends or relatives I would be so grateful as will the recipients of your gift?

OR help Brain Trust Nursery and Primary School to provide a good education for the four hundred children who attend the school by doing one or more of the following:

Sponsor a desk for £20 so that every child can sit comfortably in their lessons just like our children in the UK do, and have your name painted on it.

or Sponsor a teaching chart or several books both for £5, the school has very few.

To see photos from my previous visits of sponsored gifts being delivered or used please scroll down to the end of this script.

In exchange for your sponsorship you will be emailed a personalised photo of your sponsored net with their recipients. Or a photo of your named desk, books or teaching charts with children at the school, which I will take while I am out in Uganda. Please message on here or email me at gerrysuganda@gmail.com with your name OR the name of the person you are purchasing this gift on behalf of and whose name you would like in the photo or painted on the desk. Also if you wish any greeting such as ‘Happy Birthday’ to be added.

Please see donation page for details of how to pay, by cash, cheque or bank transfer

Thank you for your interest and amazing support for my Uganda projects. Hope to hear from you very soon.

Gerry