Ok so to begin the Christmas holidays Sophie and I decided to head down to Kabale for a few days before renewing our visas in Rwanda. We both thought it would be nice to spend time with Sam and Liam at their project and it really was just lovely. We were cooked nice food by both Sam and Liam, a nice stir fry and a curry. We also spent a bit of time at their school with some of the kids and watched Liam struggle to put together his nativity play with the students. I also found out a good way to make posho and beans more bareable because the lads take curry powder and pepper to school, that way if you put enough curry powder on you spend more time struggling to breathe then actually tasting the food.
The other volunteers arrived in Kabale that... Friday I think. And then we all headed to Rwanda. Some of us decided to hitch hike and us sensible ones got a matatu. (Actually think hitch hiking is safer than matatus but hey.) Once at the border we had quite a simple crossing - apart from Carolien who for some reason had some complications and I still to this day don't really know why. Something to do with her being Dutch. Anyway, once in Rwanda the majority of us ended up getting a lift to Kigale from an Aids awareness party bus which was bright pink and had someone called 'Powerman' and Ken Love in charge. It took us absolutely AGES to eventually set off from the border and then half way the tire popped and we had to drive the rest of the way at something ridiculous like 5 miles an hour. It was really hot and sweaty on the bus since it was overloaded with about 15 of us but we sang for about 3 hours straight so really I had a great time.
Rwanda was nice and clean but quite a bit dearer than Uganda. There was also no street food which we'd been pre warned about but it still made me sad when I found out it was actually true. We all got booked in to some guest house I've forgotten the name of. It was quite nice however there were only double rooms available so we all had to partner up. Because noone ended up asking me I was left til last.. with Will, so we had no choice but to share the double bed together. It's ok though because I got the pillow. A few of the volunteers decided to have a few drinks after tea but I was sensible and went straight to bed.
The following morning the majority of us decided to go and visit the Genocide Museum. I went in smiling and came out an emotional wreck. Wasn't very pleasent but was really interesting to find out more about and I'm glad I went in the end.
After only one night in Rwanda most of us decided to go back to Kabale. I spent a WHOLE WEEK sleeping on Sam and Liams floor. We spent most our days that week at the Royale Cafe, eating loads of vegetable samosas and watching numerous films. When the other guys came back from Rwanda it was quite embarrassing for us to tell them we'd been couch potatoes for a week while they'd been exploring. Nevertheless, I had a really good time in Kabale and I'm jealous that Sam and Liam get to live there.
Once all of the volunteers were back in the same place we all headed to Byoona Amagara Island at Lake Bunyonyi. We spent every morning waking up and going straight for a morning swim in the lake. The weather was good for most of the week but we had a few unfortunate days of cloudiness and rain. We ate SO much food, I think I'll have cravings for the chapattis and guacamole for the rest of my life. The week before we arrived there had been two boys who had drown in the lake, so the only bad part of the week was worrying that at some point their bodies would be found around the places we were swimming. We ended up staying for longer than we'd first decided but ended up leaving when we realised how big our tabs were becoming.
After Bunyonyi, we went back to Kabale for 2 more nights. We spent one night having a nice meal at the Amagara restaurant and the last night we went out to Match and Mix. We had a very... eventful night. Especially Will, Hannah and Abi.
Kampala and Entebbe (Zoo)
The next few weeks of the holiday are a bit of a blur. I'm not sure why but I think because we moved around more than usual I can't really remember what went on. There were about 12 of us together at this point. We spent a few nights in Kampala at Backpackers and had a few nights out in the clubs before going to Entebbe.
We stayed at the Entebbe backpackers for a few nights. We watched Two and a Half Men and something about Nicki Minaj. I made a really great green polka dot dress which everyone reeeeally likes (Sarah and Hannah) :( and wore it to Knight Riders and looked just lovely. The place was filled with prostitutes and the drinks were expensive. However we met a really nice guy from Montana and Abi and Will were incredibly sober the WHOLE night. We then went to the zoo for a few nights to stay in really nice bandas living amongst the evil monkeys. They stole a LOT of our food and tried to bite Hannah. I saw a lot of animals like giraffes, monkeys, crocodiles, snakes etc etc. I've JUST decided I really like Entebbe and might spend more time there.
Banda Island a.k.a SPIDER Island
I'll write about this briefly because I don't really want to re-live the rage blackouts and emotional breakdowns which took place on this godawful island. We arrived and it was just lovely. It was great weather and the rest of the volunteers looked happy. I got my stuff put in the dorm and thought lordy theres a lot of spider webs but it'll be fine. Come night time I've never in my life been so terrified. For someone with a huge HUGE fear of spiders it was like someone had thought of my worst nightmare and just thrown me right in it. Sarah and I spent the whole night crying, annoying the other volunteers, refusing to move from one place to another and we even shared a bed. There was me, Sarah and about 50 spiders all sharing a single. I survived the first night.. just, and come day time again it was lovely. But I still wanted to leave. After begging the owner of the Island many many times eventually it was made clear we weren't getting off the Island any time soon. So we had to grin and bear it and spend Christmas day there. I actually had a really lovely Christmas day. We all swapped our secret santa stockings. Elspeth was my secret santa and I got candles, a pashmina, a Ugandan identity card, a BLACKBERRY which turned out to be a mirror and some really cool rubbers in the shape of hand gestures. Christmas dinner was fish lasagne which was quite bizzare but rather nice all in all. At some point we did actually manage to leave the island and me, Hannah, Sarah, Sam, Richie, Beth and Chloe all headed back to Kampala.
10 Day Bender
Ok so after the depression on Banda, Sarah, Hannah and I decided it'd be a good idea to just go ahead and get tipsy. We spent 10 nights out in Kampala leading up to the New Year. I have to admit, at the time I know we had really good nights but they've all kind of merged into each other now. We started on a Monday in Hi Table and who knows when it ended and what happened in between. Over the course of the 10 days Hannah managed to get herself a bed in Iguanas, Sarah forgot all about Banda Island and I wore something other than my green dress. It was great fun.
Jinja and Safaris
Over the last few weeks of the holidays, apart from being in Kampala for most of the time, I have also been to Jinja and been on 2 really good safaris. Although I didn't take part in rafting or bungee jumping I heard it was really good fun and therefore I think I'll have to do it in Easter. I was only in Jinja for one night despite the fact I was supposed to be there for almost a week.. long story. Jinja was really nice and it was a great surprise when Abraham, Destreet and Gerald turned up at backpackers. Me, Sarah, Hannah, Beth, Abraham and Destreet decided to go to Ling Ling Chinese for a romantic meal for 6. Hannah was my date and she was well behaved and we decided quickly on what we were eating. Destreet and Beth seemed to have some difficulty with ordering but Destreet finally decided on curried egg plant. It tasted.. interesting. By the end we were all really full and of course the last 20 minutes involved us watching Sarah polish off the rest of the food. We then went to Sombreros for a few hours til we decided it would be a bad idea for Sarah, Hannah and Abi to go rafting with a hangover. It was a really, really funny night.
On the safari's I didn't manage to see Lions which was a let down but I saw Elephants for the first time and got really great at taking photo's. Murchison with Freddie, Abi, Hannah and Duko was really good fun. Although not when you have a slight fear of hippos and Freddie decides to practically get in the water and swim along side of them. We also had a really nice guide who I've forgotten the name of. However he let Hannah hold his gun and we entertained him none stop with some great singing in the back of the car. The baboons tried to steal a lot of our stuff and Duko missed the ferry, twice.
Overall I've had a very eventful and enjoyable two months over Christmas. But now we're back at St Zoe's and back to being responsible volunteers and teachers.