Hello everyone, sorry for the delay in updating you on my progress, but I am finding it very hard to access the internet, plus it is sooo slow!
Anyway here I am in Uganda, I still can't quite believe it! After an initial 5 day induction programme in busy Kampala, I have now been at the Kiyumbakimu Children's Village for 2 weeks. The orphanage which is home to 10 children aged 8-12 years old, is positioned in a beautifully lush green rural village, surrounded by banana and coffee bean plantations.
The orphanage is still very new, with the first 10 children moving in on 12th December 2007. Because of this there is still alot of unfinished building works and many teething problems. The most important thing is that the present 10 children, Sarah, Scovia, Jackie, Francis, Damba, Julias, Ben, Derek, Herman and Gerald all seem incredibly happy and settled into their new home.
The 10 children live in a family home with their 'mother' Barbara, the idea is that these gorgeous children will grow up together as brothers and sisters. Working on the project is also a cook and a general handyman.
As well as me, there are currently 3 other volunteers here, Grace from U.K, Mona from Germany and Anna from Sweden, who are all lovely. Our main role is to teach the children basic lessons, which with the children speaking a very small amount of English, is proving very challenging! The local language spoken here is Luganda, which seems to be a very difficult language to learn!
The long term plan, with continued fundraising is that 3 more family homes of 10 children will be established. Other short term goals are to employ a Luganda teacher, complete the building of the second classroom, to enable 15 nursery school children to attend the orphanage for 3 hrs a day, to employ an on site manager and to dig a bore hole. At present water is fetched from a well about 20 minutes away, the digging of a bore hole is well underway and its completion will enable water to be collected far more easily!
So life here in Uganda is certainly completely different to life in Leeds. The pace of life is certainly far slower and more relaxed and of course the weather is alot hotter! There is no shower or bath, no washing machine and going to the toilet in a pit latrine will take a while to used to!
We are lucky here in this project as we have solar power, so we can turn on lights and charge up our cameras and phones, but most of the community has no electricity.
Of course the food here in Uganda is very different. A typical days menu consists of boiled rice for breakfast, rice or posho (maize flour mixed with water) with cabbage or beans or cabbage and beans for lunch and cassava (a root vegetable, abit like potato, but not as nice) or rice or posho with cabbage, beans or green pepper and tomato for tea. The food doesnt taste bad, but as you can see there is very little variety! I am already craving marmite on toast, sausages and mash, pizza and chips, chocolate and English tea with milk!
One particular thing which will take alot of getting used to, is the amount of attention you recieve as a white person. Wherever you go, the locals greet you, shouting Mzungu (which means white person in Swahilli.) The majority of people don't mean it in a bad way, but they simply want to greet you, so there is no longer such a thing as blending into the background! People here also think it is very strange that I have black hair, some have even asked if I am Asian!!!
Don't worry overall life is good and given time I will soon get used to Ugandan life. The main thing is that the children are a complete joy to be around, they don't have much, but they still remain happy and appreciate everything!
I miss you all soooo much and I hope you are all well. I will continue to update you as often as possible and don't forget to tell me all your news! I am no good with technology and so I am having trouble adding my photos to this site, but hopefully I will manage it soon!
Lots of love