Tuesday 14th July
A busy day – we visited two schools where we will be carrying out repairs (small jobs like lowering the height of walls, installing new windows, new floors etc. whilst, all the time, having lots of cute local kids trying to help).
I had some useful chats with our local builders and made it quite clear to the headteacher that no, gloss paint does not wash off school uniforms, and if I see any kids near the paintwork in their school clothes I will personally chase them off.
I have learned that in Uganda, builders can start work straight away and that the guys in charge are all very helpful and all called Patrick. This causes some confusion in my mobile phone directory as I have to remember which Patrick I am talking to (trying to get their surnames is a non-starter as they contain too many Os, Ms & Ns to be pronounceable by me.)
We have now tried all the local cafes in Kumi. There are two of them – Come Again and Home Again. The menus are interchangeable (rice, chicken goat, beans etc.) and the food is unbelievably cheap. For the price of a coffee and a biscuit in the UK you can get a large meal here.
I was only able to read two things on the wall of the café today – Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola – everything else was in their local language. Coke and Pepsi have conquered the World.
A message to those who gave me “pencil money” for schools – first, many thanks; secondly spending so much money on pencils is going to be quite a challenge. I went into a small shop today and bought their entire stock – 120 pencils – for £2.40. I reckon I will have to strip the pencil stocks of another 18 shops before my work is done.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, we are heading off to check out the Murchison National Park for three days. This is not a jolly – we have to make sure that it is safe for volunteers and I have risk assessments to complete. We do, of course have to inspect the hippos and crocodiles as well to make sure that they are as dangerous as rumoured to be. It is a hard job but someone has to do it (from the safety of their tour bus).
So if I don’t update the blog for a couple of days it is not because I have been eaten but because we have not found any way of accessing the internet. Many thanks for all your messages and emails- they are much appreciated. We are all well and settling into Ugandan life.