Another day, another road. We set off from Jinja this morning and crossed the Nile via the Owen Falls Dam with good views of the new suspension road bridge in the process of construction. We drove through the usual traffic chaos of Kampala into the calm of Banana Village Guest house. This is a small oasis between the city and the airport. The guest house has numerous small round bungalows in lovely grounds with resident monkeys in the trees. Yes, there are no bananas in Banana Village. The monkeys eat them all.
I have been in Uganda for nearly a week. I was last here a year ago. There is a slight, but distinct, improvement in living standards. Some more new buildings, a few less beggars, more traffic and more NGOs and charities working in the places we have seen. I hope it continues.
But then we still hear about the plight of some people. We hope to be helping a mum of five who has two houses. So why does she need it? – you might ask. The houses are the traditional round mud huts with grass roofs (like the ones in the picture at the top of this blog). Mum’s husband has gone off and she and three kids are in one house and the two older ones in the other. Then the oldest boy reached 17 and the village rule is that he must live alone until he marries, when his bride will come to live with him. So mum now has four kids in her twenty foot diameter home – and then the roof blows off in a storm. You would think the villagers would allow them to move in with older son – but, sadly not.
A new thatch roof costs about £120 – this may as well be £120,000 as far as mum is concerned, but a bus load of Mission Direct volunteers will arrive shortly, anxious to try their hands at learning thatching (although they don’t know this yet)………………………………..let’s wait for the next stage of the story.
Our main project is building two classrooms at Bazaar School, Kumi. Work has advanced well with the first three teams this year and, hopefully, our last two teams will see it finished. A picture appears below showing where we are up to now.
Today’s best slogans on the backs of vehicles were:
“Uncle D is my name and I am blessed”
“Life is mathematics”
“They think them cool but them a fool”
My favourite roadside advertisement (on the front of a guest house on the side of a hill) was:
“Descent accommodation” (I think they mean “decent” and the description is not what might happen in the future)