Monday, 26 March 2012

Sun 25th March

A celebration day for our hosts as their youngest daughter’s school had an open day.  It is a boarding school for children as young as three!!!!  There are as many as 100 children in one dormitory and they have to get up at 5am! Families came to the school with food and shared it with their children and others whose parents hadn’t come.  Maria Gloria came home and we had a feast for lunch of chapaties, pork, rice and curried soup.  The chapaties were made in the morning by a local man and it was amazing to watch him.  Having done it for many years he made them with such ease and rhythm.  He is going to give us a lesson sometime.

Sat 24th March

Today was a bittersweet experience when we went to the orphanage to take paints, paper, pens and pencils.  We were welcomed and entertained with singing and dancing and then entertained them by attempting to do the same!!  Maggie has the dance moves, Richard doesn’t!!! ( But he did do well on the drums!) It was a real privilege to show them how to use the paints and share their lunch of maize porridge.  The day finished sitting outside a bar overlooking a rubbish dump with a lager. 

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Fri 23rd March

Well, now we know how to weed and mulch a banana plantation! (You never know when this might be useful). Several weeding days had been missed recently so we were at the farm by 8.30am and worked for 4/5 hrs weeding, hoeing, laying banana bark as a mulch and generally getting covered in mud! Several groups of children gathered to stare at these strange beings playing in their environment. Our turn to cook in the evening, which had a mixed reception! But we think our spicy sweet potato and rich tomato sauce with onions, carrots, aubergine and greens were two superb dishes put together in the dark on one tiny charcoal stove!!

Thurs 22nd March

Today we went into the town Masaka to change USD into Ugandan Shillings( not as easy as you would imagine!). Buying a SIM card and dongle was much easier however, hence we are able to update the blog. Everywhere we go the people are very friendly always saying: “How are you” and “Hi”. English is understood in most places but we have managed to coax our old brains into retaining two words of Ugandan!!! (Tunalabalanga for one which means: ‘See you later”) So: "Tunalabagana!"

Wed 21st March

Gonzaga and Paskazia gave us an amazing welcome. We are eating food from their farm and garden where they grow over 25 different fruit and veg. They are almost totally self-sufficient. Today we weeded amongst some banana plants and helped to harvest carrots, tomatoes, bananas and pumpkin and more. In the evening, the Foundation for Sustainable Development gave a ‘Thank you” meal to families who are hosting American college students. Two are staying here so we were all invited to an evening of traditional dancing and singing, enormous plates of food and a funny ‘computerised’ disco with clich├ęd phrases and canned laughter.

Arriving in Uganda 20th March Uganda is so green!

Our hosts Gonzaga and Pascazia met us at Entebbe airport. We travelled on the Entebbe to Masaka road passing small villages, many stalls, views across hills and swamps and then about 50 kilometres from where we are staying, the Equator! Sleepy but euphoric, we took photos. Finally arriving in Masaka after what seemed a very long journey from the UK!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Only 2 sleeps till we go to Uganda for 6 weeks volunteering at an orphanage and organic farm!!!