Saturday 10th July
Nearing the end of our first week in Uganda we have arrived at what is to be our home for the next two months in Kumi Town and are beginning to slowly unpack and adjust to lots of really big insects, permanently dusty feet and the heat but hey....this is Africa and I am loving it! Over the past week we have certainly not been idol as from the moment we arrived at Entebbe airport (without any bags!!) our ‘set up’ trip began. In the first two weeks of our trip we are charged with ‘sus-ing everything out so we have spent the first few nights in Kampala, the capital. It can truly be called an ‘African city’ with bustling streets and crazy drivers! The boda-bodas, which are like motorbike taxis, are lethal and it can take a rather long time to cross the road in safety!! We bought a few necessary things in town and prepared for our journey up to the North. On Tuesday we spent the night in Jinja, which is Uganda’s second largest city outside Kampala and one of the more touristy spots as it is home to the source of the Nile and some amazing rapids called ‘Bujagali Falls’. By the side of the Nile at Tuesday lunch time we were able to sample fresh fish straight out of the river but it had a typically African feel as the fish was whole - with the head and everything! I guess it was what you could describe as fish and chips....Uganda style!! But whatever, it was pretty tasty!
We arrived in Kumi town on Wednesday night and spent Thursday meeting our main partners at the building project for COHAD (Children of Hope and Dignity). Our ‘main man’ here in Kumi is Henry, who is quickly becoming our third team member, teaching us a bit of the local language and helping us to set up our various visits to schools, hospitals and prisons around. We went up to the site where we will be building the homes for orphans to meet the builder and the families who are living in the existing houses. Being there we felt such an atmosphere of excitement and can’t wait to get the building started but to also see that work through to completion! The guys there also said that they are planning to move another set of orphans along with their house mother into one of the houses on site soon so we are excited to maybe witness that! I wrote this on Friday evening but, as the internet here is quite temperamental I have managed to post a day later than planned! So, by the end of this week we have also been able to visit the hospital and the prison as potential visits so we are making our way to consolidating our programme and making friends here in Kumi!
Today (Saturday) we have just been up to Mount Elgon, a couple of hours drive from Kumi, and had a bit more of a ‘touristy’ day. We hiked this morning past three magnificent waterfalls called Sipi Falls and had a lovely lunch overlooking the foothills and the Kumi Plain. We could see for miles! Slowly, we are getting to see more of the North of Uganda and getting to know this country and its people better!
There are already many more stories of our trip so far but I don’t want to take up anymore of your time!!!! Really now we are still in the planning stages of our time in Uganda so we have been doing lots of initial paper work to prepare for the arrival of the volunteers. But as the programme gets in to action, we build more relationships and take the teams through various activities I will have much more to tell you!! I hope you are all well too....and don’t forget to keep in touch!!!!