I realise it's only been a few days since my last post however quite a lot has happened over the weekend and I'm also under strict instructions off Miss Doherty to update this so voila! Firstly, I've heard about the riots in England and I hope everyone is okay. Was informed by Lucy that Tesco has an evacuation plan in place and I've also heard that my favourite vintage shop 'Cow' in Manchester has been destroyed...it's so ironic that I probably feel more safe here in Africa at the moment than I would back home. The people of Masaka seem to be celebrating at the moment over some election result which has created a party atmosphere in the town...lovely to hear when your driving through the streets on the back of a pick-up truck after a long day's work however it's not so great when you can hear the people celebrating at three o clock in the morning! I wasn't a happy child as I tried to get to sleep last night knowing I had to be awake at 6.30am. Anyway i digress..back to this past week...
After Friday's post we all boarded the minibus we had hired to take us to the coast to catch the ferry to the Ssese Islands. I thought I had seen some beautiful scenery whilst I had been here however the views at Ssese Islands were in a different category altogether; white sandy beaches, lush greenery and the waters of the lake were so clear and still...very pretty. After checking into our resort for the weekend which were cute little huts on the beach overlooking the lake (a night's accomodation and breakfast/lunch/dinner was just 12 pounds!) we hit the waters to swim, subathe and play volleyball. Ah yes..volleyball! I decided to gatecrash the boy's game on the Saturday and discovered that it's actually quite fun! Apart from nearly blinding Tom (sorry again!) in both eyes and a few minor misses, I'm actually not too bad at serving and it was an enjoyable way to spend the afternoon. The afternoon came to a close with a beach ride around the island. Going with our 'Team Supreme' mantra, we decided to opt for the rowing boat...however soon discovered the motorboat was the best option if we wanted to be out on the lake just in time to watch the sunset. Sitting on the lake watching the african sunset surrounded by the group really was the perfect end to the week and it only made me fall in love with Uganda a little bit more.
We thought we were in for a quiet night due to the lack of tourism on the island, however Saturday night we managed to discover a 'party' at a resort on the opposite side of the island thanks to the barmen from our own resort. For a week we had lived in building shoes and gloves; therefore to actually dress and feel feminine for the night was a welcomed change! The whole night was both surreal and fun with a little bit of bizareness thrown in for good measure; certainly a night to remember. The club was called 'Habitat' and can only be described as a mixture of a barn darn/back garden house party/nightclub. As we were the only white people in the place, it was a little daunting however we were looked after by the boys and Ken, Abe and Goddfrey (the Ugandan builders who EAP employ to help us.) For the second weekend in a row we shook our hips like true Africans. On a stage at the front was a scantily dressed African woman dancing to Rihanna with rows of people sat watching her dance on stage. The group then dared me to dance in the space between the woman and the audience...and not just any dance...the funky chicken! Oh yes, not only were we being stared at enough but i managed to capture even more attention by dancing like a chicken...oh the shame. Sunday was another day of lazing by the beach, exploring the island by foot and looking for the monkeys which live in the trees on the island...a blissful weekend.
As Monday came we were all in relaxation mode and it was a shock to the system to get up again at 6.30am to start the building work for the week. All the sanding and filing down of the metal had to be completed in order for the painting to begin and luck wasn't on our side as the heavens opened and the rain poured! We sat in one of the classrooms looking out at the playground cursing the weather and cursing the fact that we hadn't brought our raincoats to the site - being dressed in a little vest and shorts in the rain is no ideal! By the afternoon our luck had changed and the sun decided to make an appearance, leaving us time to prepare the playground in order to start the painting on the Tuesday! Also, Monday night saw a new addition to the group Annabelle. She was an original member of our group however only managed to fly out this week...bringing galaxy chocolate with her which immediately scored her brownie points in my opinion.
The painting began yesterday and I didn't realise how much of a long and tedious process it is! Firstly the undercoat needs to be applied which took up a whole day and has to be left for six hours before any more coats can be applied. To add to this, it cannot rain during these six hours or the paint won't take to the metal properly. It should be a long long week ahead....! Therefore I'm currently sat in an internet cafe with a cupcake (yes i found cupcakes in Uganda!) waiting for 5.00pm when we can finally begin painting the second coat :) Before I leave I must report on my current injury. Last night I was fumbling around our sleeping area in the dark trying to look for my sleeping t-shirt. As I reached out to grab it I felt something bite my finger! Running through the door, clutching my hand screaming for Carla's help I genuinely thought I had been bitten by something poisenous and my life flashed before my eyes! As the group tried to calm me down and as I tried to hold back the tears, Jo went in to try and find out just what had bitten me. Minutes later (it felt like hours) she came out clutching my t-shirt and stuck to it was....a bee. Yes I literally thought I was dying over a bee sting. To be fair, it was the biggest bee I had ever layed eyes on and the fact that it was pitch black made the experience even more traumatic!
I better get back to work! I'm unsure when I'll next be able to post as next weekend we're off to Lake Bunyoni for a weekend of canoeing and hiking in the mountains! Also the travelling plans are so far: Jinja to bungee-jump and white water rafting, safari in Uganda, down the coast of Kenya to stop in Mombasa, catch the ferry from Dars en Salam over to Zanzibar for a few days before travelling back up to Moshi which is the town at the base camp of Mount Killimonjaro! Take care back home and keep messaging me any gossip as it's nice to get updates when I log on :)
Much Love, Sami x