Day 4 – 16th June 2007
What a relaxing day it has been! Siobhan, one of the organisers, said we could sleep in this morning as nothing has been planned today until 4pm. The sleep in was certainly needed as everyone certainly partied hard at the bar until 4am!
We went to this unique restaurant just outside the campsite last night called Green Light. It had a serrated roof, walls made of wood and sand on the floor. certainly a new experience! I sat with Martin, Ollie and Siobhan which we talked about a variety of subjects ranging from sleep patterns and the disposal of dead pets. Netherlessness, it was certainly bonding haha. We had a 3 course meal costing 10,000 shillings (£3.33) that was extremely nice! The main course had meat in it which i wasn;t sure what it was until half way through, I was convinced it was goat! I thought it was rather chewy yet really nice but after further enquiry, it turned out it was beef!
They say that Britain has the most unpredictable weather…they’re wrong! Halfway through the meal, the rain absolutely downpoured and slammed against the steel roof causing an almighty racket and the inside lit up with thunderous lightning. During the downpour, the restaurant suffered a power cut and we ate under candlelight and headlights! It was certainly surreal! After the meal, we cheered for Amy Bland as she found out she got a first in her degree!
Congratulations! The other table with Johnson, Doherty, Berman starting singing party songs and they indeed got worse for wear afterwards much to the amusement of the locals peeking in the restaurant. We played peekaboo with the small kids that ran into the restuarant to shelter from the downpour. They are darn cute!
The came the inevitable, we had to run to the campsite in the dark and in the downpour! All of us ran for it and we were really surprised to see a river of rainwater following the road. I managed to jump clear due to my long legs but many people waded through. Doherty lost her flip flop in the flow but luckily, a local kid brought it back to her. When we got back to the campsite, a white water rafting display video was shown in the bar as the campsite is also the base for white water rafting in the Nile. We dried off and started partying with the other groups that came from Australia, Germany etc. The last of our group, Sam, Kat, Lucy and Helen finally arrived into Uganda and joined in the festivities. Helen, Ade, Phil and I stayed until the bitter end at around 4am and congrats to Helen who were the last to go to bed! When I got to my bed, I noticed there was a mosquito trapped in my net…how the hell did it get in?! Luckily, I trapped it with the lid of my water bottle bottle and flung it outside.
Woke up about at about 10am and I was feeling really refrshed and active much to the annoyance and bemusement of my fellow hungover peeps. Ollie and Helen were the worst ones affected! Had a fruit salad for breakfastwhilst watching the views of the Nile…I never get tired of the views. Chatted to Kat for a bit on the porch whilst basking in the sun.
Afterwards, Jaimie, Helen and I went swimming in the Nile whilst Boydy cut Jonesy’s hair. It looks really good, so I might ask her for one later…At the bank of the Nile, it was teeming with wildlife – red dragonflies the size of your forefinger, long necked ducks, large fish, which one slithered against my leg, geckos, spiders and lots and lots and lots of ants! There were plenty of exotic flowers. After swimming, I took a shower. The shower was without a doubt…stunning! it’s actually outdoor with one side open to the view of the River Nile and you could watch nature and the river in the nude! However, the shower was strategically placed that no one could see into the shower from all angles, so no one could see my zeus like form and scream with delight! The water was refreshingly cool as it was actually water drawn from the rapids!
Now it was time to visit the education centre at 4pm! But before we went, we spotted a monkey in the trees and he was lapping up all the attention! He made a show of grooming himself and stared at us with amazed eyes! I also decided to pack my bag as we were travelling the next day to the north of Uganda, but this was futile as I kept constantly packing and unpacking as I kept remembering a few things to place at the top of my backpack. I should have got a front loading bag than a top loading bag. Then at the end, a bloody massive spider scuttled out of my bag while my hand was in it making me jump! I had my hand in that bag for the last half hour and not once it felt threatened and bit me!
We walked to the Education Centre thatwas nearby the campsite and we met with so many children who gave us dazzling smiles and took our hands as we walked whilst practising their English which was remarkable!
The Education Centre was gorgeous and very vibrant. We met the leaders Hannah and Zara who showed us around the complex – it was split into five sections for the kids to be taught and rotated in such as horiculture, science, IT, sex ed and drama. In the evenings, the education centre doubles up as community centre for adults to be taught about AIDS etc. The centre had 2 floors and many kids refused to climb the spiral staircase as they have never been on another floor from the ground in their lives and were scared! The upstairs floor was a viewpoint and can serve as an extra classroom.
After the tour, I sat with Helen and Kat on the floor rug in the main room and listened about how Softpower Education was formed, developed and how the Leeds-Uganda Project got involved. We are the fourth and biggest group to get involved. A 17 year old girl called Sara who in her gap year came and helped out with Softpower Educationter her visit, she promised to bring back more people the following summer as she was determined and committment to the aims and objectives of Softpower Education. After this, we were treated to a rap song by the drama teenagers about softpower and caught on with us particularly the chorus…na na na na na na na na na softpower!….and certainly became engrained into our minds for the rest of the trip!
We walked back with some kids after receiving some softpower t-shirts and I played footy with a makeshift rolled bag with a boy called Roko.
We went to dinner at the Black Lantern, and had a curry buffet. Sat with Sam W, Katie and others and afterwards we went outside in the dusk and saw to my amazement, loads of bats flapping around in the air! Didn’t help that I wound up the girls that they like to feed on exposed toes while you slept hehe.
A reassuring talk by ‘Fraggle’ about Murchison Falls where we will be heading was made and filled with hippos, leopards, snakes etc! If you are chased by a hippo, you need to run in 90 degree angles as they cannot turn easily…there you go, something new to learn for the day! The mention of the Lord’s Resistance Army expelled any fears people may have had as they operated in the area where we will be going a while ago and an re-emergence was highly unlikely and helped that Murchison Falls is slowly becoming a top tourist destination. After handing in our passport, bank cards, yellow fever certificates and spare dollars for safekeeping as there is no safes up in Murchison, we knew we would be back in 2 weeks time.
For the rest of the evening, we had a great time as we played lots of drinking games with the locals into the humid night…such games included ‘on the clicks’ and ‘bunnies’. I went to bed early after a lot of dancing and knowing we had a long journey ahead of us. The Rexy Ugandan Edventure continues!
See More: Uganda Project Series
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