Day 16 – 28th June 2007

Phil’s Birthday!

Distracted Phil in the tent by making him talk about plans for the rest of Uganda Project and kept asking him loads of questions, while outside the tent, preparations were being made in the early hours of the morning. Burtie came along and announced it was breakfast time and thus Phil and I scrambled out of our tent to find loads of balloons fastened onto our tent leading up to the other side of the hut. Phil rolled his eyes lol. I was a few steps ahead and gave a subtle wink to the rest of the group already positioned to sing happy birthday as he rounded the corner. We gave him his birthday hat and told him to wear it at all times throughout the day. Bottle tops were set out to say Happy 21st and a massive banner was erected.

We all chatted animately in the morning and then it was time to go back to work. Phil had the morning off and he went to read in his tent. I don’t blame him. It is nice to have some alone time as we are constantly in and out of each other’s pockets and there’s no time to think on your own! The rest of us got cracking with digging to secure the foundations with a wall to stop the school from moving downhill. Also, there was more concrete breaking!

At lunchtime, I gave Phil his handbook present to his delight and the lunch hour was spent discussing the body language of flirting! Everyone practised the moves either obviously or subtley but it gave everyone a right good old laugh. Orla kept practising the Princess Diana look from under the eyelashes. She did it so well but she kept laughing all the time!

Also, because we had the balloon trail up and about, many kids spent the day poking at them and playing with them and it was good to see the small kids runnign around with cheesy grins on their faces!

At the end of the working day, we packed our big bags to take with us to the Murchison Education Centre as we are officially swapping with the other groups on Sunday anyway. On the Ferry over, we all burst into song as we did Sound of Music’s ‘Goodbye, Farewell!’ and then keeping our performing arts up, we did a dance on the bank of the Nile in which each person jumped in the dance line and repeated the same routine until all of us jumped in! It was a sight to behold and our audience were hippos peeking at us above the water and two baboons picking their noses.

We got to the Education centre and it was lit up by the glorious sunset. I had my camera tucked away in my bag and I couldn’t get it out to snap it. It was gorgeous! We pitched our tents and we were ready to party! But first! I needed a shower…not having a shower for at least a week will make you smell and I don;t want to smell for a party. So off I went in the dark to the shower block. It was an experience showing in the dark and the shower cubicle I was in already had the floor flooded, but I didn’t care. As I showered, I felt something slither past my foot, it was a big fat lizard but I didn’t mind the company. I called it Norman. We had a pasta meal and a cake was bought out for Phil and we all sang happy birthday again. He also received plenty of presents…a shower cap and a shirt…he wore them both!

Games were played such as twister or jumping over the fire. Even though the 2 groups hadn’t seen each other for a while, it was interesting to see that mingling weren’t happening much between them. It reminded me of Shipwrecked: Battle of the Islands.

Afterwards, after staying up most of the night, I stumbled back to my tent and lay on the rocky ground and I was able to fall asleep straight away thanks to a good few beers to the chorus of animal calls in the night. Ah, tis the life!