Uganda 2013

Day 2 & 3

Well, check me out with WIFI, air con AND a swimming pool outside! Completely surreal, these circumstances are far from what we have been experiencing so far…so before you think I’m off galavanting about, living it up….take a moment to consider some of this:

It’s actually really hard to know where to begin, we’ve only been here for 3 days, and yet we have experienced so much! I can’t believe it’s only been 3 days. So far we have broken down after sunset, been welcomed into 6 different families homes, sat in a car for countless hours (I’m going to count…at least 16 so far), been in and out of some SERIOUS potholes, not forgotten to take malaria tablets, eaten pork/chicken/beef/fish and a loooot of potatoes! I have taken about 2500 photos so far, and I’m really pleased with the outcome!

Today we met Christine and her family, and her recently acquired cow! They (like all families so far) were so excited about our visit and kept saying how happy they were that we were there. It is incredibly humbling when you are the one feeling grateful for being a visitor to their lives and the challenges they face. Christine gave us a chicken to thank us for coming!! This is a very precious thing to give and we were told it was because she loved us so much! Some neighbours walked past us as I was taking photos of Christine and she came over and put her arm around me turning to the neighbours with the biggest beaming smile!

One thing I have noticed from the various visits so far is the massive challenge people face with access to water. I think personally, as I have never been faced with this problem, it just hasn’t seemed like an issue that really sinks in. We all know to ‘save water’ and try not to be wasteful, but there is a whole new meaning brought to life when you meet people that walk 4KM 3 times a day to collect water and bring it back to their families..

It makes it quite difficult going back to whichever guest house we are staying in (whether it’s in gd condition or not), knowing the severe poverty around you and yet helping ourselves to a shower and a hot meal. I think too, meeting young men and women who have lost their parents at such young ages and are faced with a life of striving for survival without any family to nurture them – just makes you stop and think. A good few times I have heard the expression ‘they just put their heads down and work hard and don’t sympathise with themselves.’ It blows me away when I then see what they have accomplished (building families, houses, businesses), and what they still seek to achieve. And then I think of our health and social care system, and the people that abuse it – and I feel a real sense of injustice for these people here that having nothing handed to them on a plate.

I am really enjoying being a passenger on this adventure! This morning I woke up (after barely getting 2hours sleep!) at 5AM to the sound of torrential tropical rain! It was so loud and lasted for hours! I was happy for the farmers…but a bit perplexed about the pictures I would be taking 😉 #firstworldproblems

The rain passed as we drove for hours past Masaka, around Kampala and up to Mityana.I had some great conversations with young people that have learnt English! We chatted about future dreams, and past troubles – they were amazing to speak with. I met beautiful young children, who I tried to make laugh with my funny white face 🙂 Sometimes it works, sometimes I just get really bemused looks……

I’ll sign off for now and perhaps upload a few more pics! Hope everyone back home is enjoying the cold weather, think of me as I hike through forests to water holes with a heavy bag dripping in sweat!!

R x