Great party but unwanted company in my bedroom afterwards!

It was lovely to be able to celebrate Abi’s 18th. Abi is the daughter of Godfrey who has been my guide in many decisions I’ve had to make with schooling for the

children my family and friends have sponsored since soon after I got involved in Uganda, and still are. Also the guidance he has given me with my mosquito net project I couldn’t have done without. Over the years he and his wife Miriam have become close friends and my family are happy that I have someone like them to turn to when things get tough during my stays in Uganda, and they do! So I’ve also known Abi since she was 3 years old. It pleases me greatly that she wants to follow her mum into the medical profession specialising in paediatrics and helping their communities even more, What impresses me most about this family is that while they struggle sometimes to make their own ends meet they help other children to gain an education as well as their own and both their children have grown up caring for others.

The party: parties like any other ‘organised’ event in Uganda have a life of they’re own, a bit on the slow side to begin with.

I was told the party would start at 3 so I got ready in plenty of time then only one family turned up, no others until near 7! This is typical of Uganda. You don’t know what’s going to happen until it happens! In the meantime Abi spent the whole day alongside her mum, two cousins and Patrick (who helps around the house and farm in exchange for an education), preparing a full scale meal, (see photos). There were no privileges just because your the birthday girl! She only got changed right at the last minute. The party was a great success going on late into the night, a mixture of eating, drinking and making speeches, an essential but often long and boring part of any party in Uganda though these were quite amusing when I could understand them! Yes, I had to make one and was relived my throat behaved itself for those few minutes! Godfrey had had a special cake made as my gift to Abbie. It was very tasty but unfortunately a really throat irritant for me!

And of course all held outside under the stars, which I love, as long as I have plenty of mosquito repellent on!

Now about my uninvited bedroom guest!! I was awake all night again but this time not just because of my coughing but because of a rat! No kidding! The family tried to catch it in the living room after the party finished but unbeknown to us, it must have been driven into my room which is just off the living room. I could hear something shuffling about under the bed then onto the shelves close to the my bed, and I kept trying to spot it with my torch but it was too quick. I was particularly concerned as I have boxes of breakfast bars ready for use when I move to Nawanyago and also a beautiful gingerbread man my daughter Sara had made especially for Abi’s 18th birthday. Sara would never believe me if I told her a rat had eaten Abi’s gift and not me!!

I decided to turn the light on and wait patiently to see if it would show itself and I couldn’t believe the cheek of it, when it ran up and down my bra which I hang, to ‘air’ on the corner of the mozi net frame, then up and down my dress hanging over the shelves taking a flying leap over to my suitcases before disappearing under the bed again! Though the room is rather ‘cozy’ in size I was not scared of the rat especially as I was under my net but it was so annoying as I really needed my sleep! I knew everyone was going to be late up after the party so I had a long time to wait before I could tell anyone about my ‘exciting’ and sleepless night and have my invader removed, if they could catch it! They never did!

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