It was another early start today as Rebecca and I were going on a guided walk along with the Ugandan teachers. We were met by Julius, one of the rangers, who took us out on a cloudy, but humid morning. People who know me will be aware that I’m not a huge nature lover, but I have to say that some of the sights were amazing. Just to rub it in for my ornithological minded brothers, a tiny selection of the birds we saw included red bishops, Egyptian geese, hammer kopfs, pied kingfishers, sandpipers and herons. We also saw Forest Hogs, warthogs (fast becoming my favourite creatures)Water Bucks, Hippos bathing in the distance and the elusive footprint of a lion.
One of the less pleasant things we saw was a trap set by poachers which had probably been set by someone from the UPDF (Ugandan Peoples Defence Force)who were staying in the park. As wages are very low in Uganda people are prepared to take the risk of a heavy fine or prison sentence by poaching wild animals and selling them for a lot of money.
After the walk the six teachers convened for the first Joint Twinning Project Teachers’ Meeting. The business concerned visas for the Ugandans, a rough schedule for their visit to the UK and formalising the twinning agreement between the schools. Immediately after this Stu and I had a meeting with Kulu, one of the chief people in the UWA set up where we discussed the successes of the visit and areas we wanted to develop in the future. Kulu also recommended that we take the river boat cruise to see the wildlife again on Wednesday. I was delighted by this as I had missed out first time around last week.
We were out of supplies so Stu, Charles the driver and I headed up to Kasese again. I knew the Orange shop would be closed, but rang Robinson, the store owner, on the off chance that he might open up for me and sell me the dongles. He was only too happy to oblige and gave me brilliant service, if only this was replicated everywhere in the UK. Stu and I bartered in the market for bananas and stumbled upon another local election rally. There was music blaring out everywhere, horns beeping and people dancing in the streets. As I’ve said before the Ugandans love their politics.
After getting quotes for solar panels to power the laptops we had given the Ugandans (there is no electricity in the schools), Stu and I were heading back to the sunshine wagon and munching goat kebabs from a street vendor when a woman called out at me from a small shop. I waved back as the Ugandans are very friendly, only to stop in my tracks. It was the MTN vendor from yesterday who had her own small business. Stu and I had some banter with Barbara (for that was her name) before she gave me her number and told me to call her (I DON’T INTEND TO!). This caused much amusement for Stu and Charles (who had just turned up and tried to muscle in on my territory). We left Kasese with lightning forking in the sky and headed home. There we had another meeting with Kulu before sitting down to update what you are now reading.
Tomorrow we have what should be the toughest day so far as we all have a five hour round trip to Bukorwe to visit Rebecca’s school. It promises to be a good day.
Goodnight and thanks for reading!