I spoke too soon! Today started well. We had a good night’s sleep and my first hot shower in a fortnight was much appreciated. I took a quick look in a mirror (another thing missing from Hippo House) and in the split second before it shattered I realised that with my beard I know look like a South American revolutionary fighter.
We had a good breakfast and then loaded up the Sunshine Wagon ready for the ride into Kampala where we would be meeting with the Ugandan Rugby Union. To mark this special day I was wearing my England rugby shirt (Steve Peach had managed to convince Stu that wearing a Scottish shirt was a massive faux pas in Uganda because of Idi Amin – the last King of Scotland. Stu was very unhappy when he found out he had been wound up). Yet within an hour I’d somehow managed to get oil on it (Tara managed to get most of it off with wet wipes). We had been travelling for about an hour when I noticed that the van was losing power when climbing hills. I mentioned this to Charles who pulled the Sunshine Wagon over to find fuel leaking out of the van, one of the fuel injectors was bust! This problem would take two hours to fix (Ugandans are incredibly resourceful) and while they were doing this I spoke to Tara and Rebecca about the highlights of the trip before taking a wander with Stu and pumping jerrycans full of water for children at a local well. Stu also managed to exchange a notebook for a tartan cap so he could feel suitably Scottish for our meeting later.
Eventually we started the Sunshine Wagon for the last time and Charles made good time in negotiating the last fifteen miles to Kampala. We had to drive through the main city centre and it was bonkers. People are like ants, they are everywhere and the noise and buzz was incredible. We made it to the a Rugby Club where we met Ramsay and Alex from the URU and had a really good meeting with them. I’ve committed myself to yet more work in order to strengthen their profile and support rugby in the country, but it will be a labour of love. It was great to report back to them about the untapped talent in their country and the children playing behind us were amazing even in their bare feet.
We posed for photos and picked up a shirt for Steve Peach before meeting David (our fixer) who was going to take us on our final journey to Entebbe. We said a sad farewell to Charles who has been a magnificent companion to us all and posed for photos in front of the Sunshine Wagon. Then we got into the plush air conditioned car that Peter and Johan Welsh had used in Uganda and headed for Entebbe Zoo.
As I type this I am sitting in a small apartment before going out to dinner. Tomorrow we will fly out at 9.00am before arriving back at Heathrow at 4.00pm. I’m looking forward to seeing my wife again and I hope the improvement in the weather has continued. For now, goodbye!