Thursday 6th August
The team completed their work programme two days ago. I think it is fair to say that they all had a great time, largely thanks to Richard, our leader’s, meticulous planning. In the course of ten days, the team members helped raise a new school classroom up to window sill level, painted a classroom at another school, built a rainwater tank base at a third school, taught some lessons (even the non-teachers!), started to build a village house, visited several other establishments and held a two nation “cultural evening” – our contribution being teaching Ugandans to dance Strip The Willow.
We are now giving the team three days’ R&R before taking them back to the airport. We left Kumi yesterday and we are in Murchison Falls National Park. We are staying at Red Chilli Lodge with a lovely view over the Nile. Today we had an early start to see, in order, the sun rise over the river, one of our members getting mugged by a baboon (who stole his breakfast out of his hand), hartebeests, elephants, giraffes, buffalo, countless bright birds and dowdy vultures, and we met the king of the jungle lying in the road.
The lion was sunbathing quietly in a shallow ditch. He was lazily flicking flies off his back and dozing when along came this bus with 15 Brits in it all poking their cameras out of the window. He was totally unimpressed and completely bored by us. He stared at us awhile and then put his head down again and dozed off. In the end we drove off and left him there.
In the afternoon we did the river cruise up the Nile to the Falls. Some of us walked up to them but others declined and I went back to base on the boat with them. We shared the river with hippos, crocodiles, snakes and thousands of diving pied kingfishers. Such a place of peace and wildlife is hard to explain.
Tomorrow we start the trek back to Kampala. Starting from a peaceful place in the country we shall finish at a noisy city centre craft market where we will try to avoid bargains being thrown at us from every direction. We drop the team off at Entebbe on Saturday night and I probably will not be updating this until after then.
Oh – and to satisfy those of you who are looking forward to each day’s amusing shop sign – today’s entry is “Bongo Brothers – Possible Impossibility” – the shop front gave no clue on what they sell.