Day 17 – 29th June 2007

Had a great night’s s;leep on the rocky ground in my tent thanks to the beers from last night. We all had to get up for 7am but I was already awake at 6am thanks to the builders at the Education Centre making an absolute racket! We caugh the ferry back early to complete our last day at Paraa Primary School before switching groups and we will then be refurbishing the Education Centre. Everyone was feeling tender from last night and no more so than Phil and Helen K who could be found leaning over the rails of the ferry on the far side!

At the Red Chilli Bar, we jumped on the jeep to the school and Phil and I clambered onto the top of the jeep and held on for our dear lives as we were thrown about due to the rocky uneven roads. One false slip and I could be landing on the bonnet of the jeep! But I really enjoyed it, it was good to have the sunrise and wind in our faces while gazing across Murchison National Park.

We all were happy to continue to concrete bash for a change and I was particularly proud when I managed to lift up a huge slab out of the floor. I continued until my aching back put a stop to it. Boydy gave me a back massage at lunch and I had to stuff my fists into my mouth as I was really ticklish and couldn’t stop laughing much to her annoyance. But in the end, she found ‘the spot’ and proclaimed it KNOT JUNCTION and it was beautiful as she loosened each knot. Felt so loose afterwards.

That afternoon, we were intrigued to see another group rock up to the School. Burtie and Phil got suspicious and followed them. It was one of the groups of the over-zealous churches of America. They managed to get people together and said that Sex was wrong and that abstaining from sex is better than using protection. This riled most of us as, yes abstaining is a good option but they were saying condoms were evil and that they stop god’s will. It’s groups like them that stop the hard work of people who try to combat the rising numbers of HIV/AIDS by promoting protection. However, as Uganda is mostly a god-fearing country, they seemed to listen more to the church. All of us challenged them and they were pretty dismissive until they tired of us and then left leaving the teachers and students more confused than ever. So we had to put on another play and another session about Sexual Health and also incorporate abstaining but only as another good option.

By then it was time for our group to leave. We all said our goodbyes to the kids and the locals put on a show for us! They gave us a show of singing and dancing and all of us clapped along and smiled absolutely loads. We all mingled together and everyone held hands as we finished off with a big song. Haha. result! Everyone wore differing colours of green and this show was serious for them! See the pics.

As the sun set, we got back on the ferry to go back to the Education Centre for our weekend off and spent most of the evening watching Disney’s Robin Hood on a very small TV outside with everyone croweded round it. The TV was powered by a back-up generator and it could suddenly go if there was a minor fault. It added to the fun of the experience! We also believed that the generator had a mind of its own as it seemed to go off just before every song depriving us of our willingness to sing along to the amusement of the locals who joined us.

Then it was an early bed time back into the tent with Phil, Jaimie and Orla.  Weekend is here!