Day 9 – 21st June 2007

Woke up to the dawn chorus, it was pretty nice to have breakfast and listen to the bird calls. Then soon afterwards, I changed into to my work clothes and I looked sexy oh yeah. Boots, socks, shorts and an Ugandan T-Shirt with my sunglasses. But Jami needed her knee wound seeing to first and this attracted most of us to watch her knee being tended to. More and more people sat on the desk and when Orla sat down on the edge, the whole thing collapsed and Burtie ended up rolling off onto her back and her legs up in the air. Nothing to get everyone laughing first thing in the morning!

Now it was time to refurbish two classrooms (the kids were moved outside under the shade of the trees for their lessons) and the bloody veranda! I managed to knock out 6 window frames embedded into the concrete with a mallet and it was so much fun! Felt really manly and certainly could feel my muscles! The morning went by really quickly, and lunch was served before you could say Pasta! We seemed to be having pasta every lunch and the novelty was wearing thin.

The afternoon was unbelievably sweltering and I got 2 blisters on my hands and a cut on my leg when I was trying to prise concrete off the veranda. The concrete off the veranda took forever forever and by 5pm, I only had 1m squared left to do, which I could do in 10 mins but the local builders who have been so lazy picked up all the tools and decided it was hometime, they were late anyway.

Throughout the afternoon, a plasterer was doing the celing of one of the classrooms when a panel broke loose and a load of bat poo landed on him and Sam W! It stunk to high heaven and it was decided to rip down all the ceiling to ge tthe poo down. Sam W told us later some poo went into his mouth and it took many mouth washes to get the taste out. I was glad he was using his own water bottle rather than sharing the water out with everyone haha. When the poo came down, so did a bat to which we all called Trevor! With funny antics of trying to get him onto a spade to put in a cardboard box, we hoped he would be able to stop being disorientated and fly off. Later on, when it was dusk we checked the box and he was gone! But the celebration was short-lived as we found out that all the bats will be poisoned to get rid of them. I wasn’t pleased about this as it’s not the bat colony’s fault for finding a place. Imagine the uproar in the UK if that happened there. Many places cannot be touched if bats are in them as they are a protected species. But here in Uganda, no-one seems to care. I kept pressing the leaders to find a way to move them out of the school humanely. How about we smoke them all out and block up the entrances and thus they would have to go and find somewhere else. It was still under serious discussion when I left to do Toilet Duty.

I had toilet duty with Sam W and Jaimie in which we had to clean the floors and disinfect the place. Certainly was an experience! And perhaps I could add ‘cleaning long drops’ to my CV, then the employers may be so impressed and give me a job there and then!

After watching Burtie and Boydy having a scrub bath (standing in a washing bowl), a guide from the UWA (Ugandan Wildlife Authority) came to talk about the animals in the area. Leopards, Baboons, giraffes, bats and lions. We asked if we could move the bats humanely and he said he was in support of that as if the bats were killed off then the insect and fly population would explode as bats feed on them.  Throughout his speech, we suddenly heard a lot of animal screaming in the background in the darkness and we asked nervously what it was. George II (the UWA Guide) said casually, ‘oh it’s just the leopards attacking the baboons nearby’.

Rest after work!

Afterwards, Dan and I went to the toilets and we heard something land on the roof. We were very aware that the toilets had no doors and we became worried that something on the roof would slither down and attack us. Both of us sprinted out of the boys’ toilets to the girls’ toilets which has doors and looked behind us. But there wasn’t anything to be seen. From that night-time adventure, it was bedtime!