Saturday, 12 November 2011

5 Days in Uganda

Finally getting through the border we drove towards Jinja to be beaten by nightfall. We ended up in "The Executive Hotel". Pete and I and 2 children to spend the night in the truck in the hotel car park   "guarding" vehicles. The others took 2 en suite rooms. Problem was no water and no electricity. Sarah declined the option of walking off with bucket on head to collect water! For this privelege we paid US$46 each room!
At least it was a relatively secure place and an early getaway meant we were in Jinja by mid morning although due to a good deal of local misinformation it took us a further 3 hours to find a campsite. A beautiful area by the waterfall at one of the sources of the Nile.
We met up with Rhys from Soft Power, another charity we had made contact with and donated the last of the footballs and a few other items. Quite an impressive organisation. Again more detail to follow.

We then moved onto Kampala. Camp sites in major cities are definitely to be avoided! The advantage was that the camp site we were in was very near to Sanyuu, the babies home we were to visit.
Several visits to the home were made and quantities of milk powder, nappies, wipes, toilet rolls donated. Sarah and the children spent several meal and bed times helping out. It was apparently a production line, even Nia(age 4) at one point was bottle feeding 2 babies. Imagine social services reaction in UK but with only 4 staff on duty reliance has to be placed on whatever volunteers are available.

We have seen so much poverty and deprivation but the babies home was well run, clean and the 49 babies happy and cared for although rescources were obviously stretched. We had several bags of clothes donated back in the UK which we passed on mainly to the babies home. A full report of the visit and photographs willl be posted shortly.

We still await the shock absorbers from the UK. TNT held onto them for 6 days before deciding they couldn't deliver to Uganda so FEDEX has now been enlisted. Thanks to Andy from Autofast for sorting. A very useful and efficient source of spares if anyone is in need. Hopefully next week they will arrive and we can continue north. In the meantime Sarah and co are at Lake Victoria and Pete and I (both suffering from some bug) are ensconsed in a hotel in Kampala.

We are finding Uganda very strange compared to everywhere else we have been. Every other international visitor seems to be involved in some form of charity or aid work. In Malawi and Zambia where we saw appalling poverty we  met only the occassional one.

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