So this blog marks the start of traveling as the school holidays finish! We finished the end of term with a very relaxed week just the kids sorting their belongings and doinf final jobs around the school before heading home to their families across the country. As an end of term gift to the kids for Christmas and to celebrate the end of term and their exams being over Becky and I paiedn for a dance to happen for all the secondary kids which was really good fun and lovely to spend a bit of time with them before we left. Them on the Saturday after school broke up we had a day at school with the staff where they brought together the end of the year and had a dance…which involved a very large amount of alcohol and showed a different side to some of the teachers! The main drink…which I don't think any of them had majorly tried before…was Ugandan Warigi (like vodka) which comes in a small plastic bag and costs 800=/ (2p), however many had lost all body control by the end of the night!
We then spent a few days at project sorting our stuff out and washing endless clothes to prepare for traveling. Lots of extra people started to arrive at Andrews house as all the children who he sends to school and his own children returned home….at one point there were 30 people eating in two rooms!
Then we headed off traveling on the 1st to go to Rwanda on the 3rd to get a new visa. However after traveling down to Kabale in southern Uganda and crossing the border into Rwanda on the 3rd we then had the most stressful experience of our lives thrying to find somewhere to stay…mainly overwhelmed by the language barrier…Rwandans speak funny French! Plus the European prices majorly shocked us! So after being taken to one hotal which was very expensive then another which was the wrong hotel after the taxi driver took us to Hotel Gorilla at 95$ a night instead of hotel Gloria which later turned out to be a building with no doors and windows and covered in scaffolding! We finally ended up with an apartment for 12 of us for one night which actually ended the day well….although being typical teenagers with a much needed drink..or two!
The next days we headed off to the Genocide Museum in the centre of Kigali which was really interesting and very moving to know that the country is only very recently starting to recover from it. After grabbing lunch at a nearby supermarket we suddenly came to a very quick decision that we wanted to go back to Uganda and all felt homesick for the country…we think we experienced reverse culture shock!!So the verdict on Rwanda: Too expensive, too clean and like Europe, and too much French!!!
After coming back to Uganda we spent a few nights in Kabale which has a really good night out before heading off to Lake Bunyoni which was absolutely stunning! It is a volcanic crater lake with lots of islands on it and is gorgeous. WE spent a few nights by the lake swimming and sunbathing…in between rainshowers and then spent a couple of nights on an island chilling and reading books and enjoying the views before heading back to kabale and then on to Fort Portal as although the nights in Kabale are good there is literally NOTHING to do!! We finally boarded a night bus to fort portal which has to be the worst coach journey of my life! For the first 8 hours we spent sat on the bus we actually traveled for 2 and a half, to get the bus started we had to be pushed down a hill, the mile of speed humps every 50m nearly knocked everyone out and I had an old drunk man lying on my shoulder for most of the journey!
Once in Fort Portal we spent a night recovering from the journey before heading off to more crater lakes (we honestly cant get enough!) where we camped and had on of the worst nights sleep we have had since arriving…especially since my partner was ill and spent the whole night thrashing around and talking! The views were absolutely beautiful and I have made full use of the panoramic shots on my camera! We then spent the afternoon taking lots of jumping photographs leaving us all in hysterics but the owners slightly confused at the insane English teenagers throwing themselves at each other!! It was a lovely time and we cooked our dinner over an open fire…due to the food we ordered from the owners having the consistency of water and looking like prison food…not sure how wrong you can go with soup but they managed it!! We got a special back to fort portal town…which in Uganda is top end transport but ini England would not be fit for the road! Our car had 5 people squashed in, the back windows didn't open…there was a huge crack in the windscreen which looked like it had a gun shot in the middle and a massive fluffy seal on the back seat…complete with a driver who had an inability to keep his hands on the wheel and a love of dancing and his radio!!
We then headed off to our project with 10 volunteers in tow for a few days of Ugandan pampering by Andrew. On arriving we discovered all the teachers from school there who have just finished painting the primary block and where having a meal and some dancing to celebrate! So Me and Sarah stayed up until 3 am dancing and woke up shattered. We then spent a couple of relaxing days washing clothes making Christmas cards and singing Christmas songs before coming to kampala which is where I am now before we head off to the sesse islands on Wednesday with all the other volunteers! We have made full use of Owino market for our secret snata presents and we went to the Uganda Festival last night, for free as one of the volunteers made friends with one of the main artists who got us tickets! It was pretty awesome and I love the Ugandan music!!!
Anyway that is all for now, I will try and write soon but for now Merry Christmas from Uganda!!! Nx