Uganda Project – 11 – 12th July 2007 – Goodbye Murchison Falls
Woke up today and felt really rough. Literally no energy and I felt like I had a bad case of flu. After checking for symptoms for Ebola Virus, I was safe to assume it was just a case of the snuffles with just a lot of sneezing and sniffing. Nevertheless, I got cracking to help refurbish the education centre in Murchison Falls. We needed to get cracking after we didn’t really do much the day before that ended with a massive water balloon fight across the premises! So onwards to the building site and lo and behold, the builders didn’t have anything for us. Determined to make myself useful, I grabbed a bag and picked up a lot of rubbish around the site. Did it for a while until there wasn’t anything left. I like to think I did my bit for conservation.
The rest of the morning was spent playing games with the group and some of the little kids there. But we had to stop play as the rains came thundering down in the afternoon. So read a book in my bunk and started to think about what to do when I get home in a few days time. I’ve just left my job after my contract finished and I wasn’t too sure what I’ll be up to.
Anyway, after the rains stopped, I was at a loss what to do so I did what any budding dictator would do. Write a guide to world domination with Dan and Sam. It proved to have us in hysterics.
After dinner, we just chilled out and I decided to give a lesson on star constellations to a few people. I’m an astronomer you know! Doing a high level qualification in astronomy was enough for people to listen to me. It was fun for everyone to pick out of the sky, which was a planet and which was a star. They couldn’t get how I managed to pick out Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are too far for the naked eye to see. So how did I pick them out? It’s simple. Stars twinkle as they give out light whereas planets don’t as they just reflect light from our sun. Ain’t I clever? But I couldn’t get over the feeling I was so small in this universe as I laid on the ground staring up at the Milky Way Galaxy that displayed in its glory across the sky in the best conditions ever. There’s no light pollution at all.
With this sense of wonderment, I went to bed.
Waking up, we were all ready to leave Murchison Falls. It was our last full day here. And what a last day. It was absolutely the hottest yet. I kept drinking bowlfuls of water and soon enough at this rate, I’d thought I would turn into a camel! Most of the morning was spent packing up and there were some surprises as I finally cleared out my bag after 30 days:
1) Termites ate my towels and blue t-shirts and happily made a small nest at the bottom of my bag.
2) My Waterproof coat has mysteriously gone walkabout.
3) Questionable mould grew in my bag. I suspect the rains finally defeated my waterproof bag!
4) I forgot I had a pack of biscuits in my bag. They were split open and giving a feast to the termites. They were mushy. ew.
That afternoon, we jumped on the Nile ferry and headed on over to the Paraa Primary School to see how the other group fared. It was a complete joy to see the kids again . They kept asking us lots of questions and I managed to catch up with Mandela! He had his hair cut. Everyone asked when we were coming back. I wanted to say soon but who knows…
Check out the pics.
In the late afternoon, I got dragged to be on the England Football Team against Uganda Football Team. I kept protesting that I would be better off as I’ll just ruin it for everyone. I’m hopeless at football! We lost 3-1. As always, I was truly rubbish. I actually stopped us scoring. Oh, the shame of it all.
In the evening, we went to Paraa Lodge for a last hurrah in Murchison Falls. I’m surprised the 4 star lodge let us in when we were extremely dirty and sweaty from the football!
Back to the education centre for our last night there, i managed to get a lovely shower (absolutely refreshing!) and had a banquet fit for a king with the locals. Everyone got really excited when there was a rumour that there would be a starter! Sceptical that it would be pasta, we were overjoyed to see that it wasn’t the case when the starter was pumpkin soup with a hint of coriander. The main was spicy chicken served with beans and roast potatoes. You could even have a slab of goat meat if you wanted! And for dessert (wow!), we had fruit salad. The goat was absolutely delicious!
With our bellies filled up, we were all knackered and went to bed to get ready to leave first thing in the morning. 5am wake up call! Dang…