Thunderstorms and a massage
We woke up feeling excited for the massage we had booked the previous day and then, to our dismay, the heavens opened. Nothing was going to stop us as we powered trough and arrived at alnissa ready for a pamper. Despite being drenched through it was amazing! The perfect way to start the last weekend.
Retail therapy followed by scran
We then went shopping for family and friends. I really enjoyed wandering around all the different stalls. To my delight I found the perfect fabric to make some pillowcases at home. What a grandma. To dry off from the rain we took shelter in the deli where we all enjoyed a coffee and I got myself a panini, it was delicious 😋
A performance by acacia tree dinner theatre
Our day ended with a performance of Ssukaali, a bride’s price. The production blew me away, it was amazing to see (as part of the gender team) a performance that portrayed the realities of our research. It was the perfect way to end our last weekend.
Emma we miss you already!
See you later 👋
Today was the final day of running the holiday camp for the climate and drug addiction team, and whilst we were all buzzing for the day’s activities, I think we were also upset that this was the last time we would do it. Amaani started the day off with an enjoyable game of Pictionary, allowing the kids to show off their competitive side. This was followed by bingo, where Chris’ excellent hosting skills revealed his inner passion for the game. After a quick sunbathe and classic meal of rice, posho and beans, Lily brought the kids’ papier mâché balloons out and had them paint them. They all looked great at the end, and their beauty was particularly brought out by the large googly eyes being stuck on them.
Then came the long-awaited game of football between instructors and kids. We were outnumbered, and let in two goals within the first twenty minutes. Fortunately, Omo Martin – a Ugandan volunteer – managed to pull two back for us in the second half. I hit a beauty of a shot right into the bottom corner, but Holly and Ashleigh’s keen eyes meant that it was disallowed because I was offside. We decided to settle it with penalties, where us volunteers narrowly won in a nail-biting finale. Exhausted but satisfied with our win, we were allowed no rest as the kids physically dragged us into the hall to dance. We clearly weren’t as good as them at dancing (except maybe Matin), but had a good time anyway.
As the sun set, the meat-eaters of the group grabbed a stick of goat and roasted it themselves in the bonfire. After hearing about how raw red meat can’t actually give you food poisoning, I watched them nervously tuck into it, assuring me that it tasted like a proper steak. An hour or so more of dancing followed before we had to part ways with the children. We’re going to see them again next Friday, but it was still sad leaving them after spending every day that week playing and interacting with them.
Today was also of course the first day of the Premier League season, and so a few of us headed down to a bar called The Bourbon, which is situated directly upon the glistening waters of that powerful beast we call the River Nile. The game was okay, but myself and Matin were more focused on playing pool, dispatching Rasta Ronnie and the crew with style.
We don’t have long now but I aim to make the most of this final week, bye for now,
Today was the first day of the holiday camp for the children who live on the land. This week the holiday camp is ran by the drugs and climate team while the gender group carry out their final project.
I was excited to get to know the children that we’ve seen so much around the land on our visits, and I could tell they were eager for the two weeks of fun to start!
The day was kicked of with Chris’ world map activity- it wasn’t just the kids that learnt some geography that day! Everyone who participated was excited to share where they were from and point it out on the map.
Next was Emma’s astrophysics class. A lot of questions from the children, as you can imagine, but they were all so intrigued to learn more. She projected the star constellations onto the whiteboard using a computer programme, I learn a lot myself about the shapes of the constellations.
An unscheduled activity- we all received some tattoos after the children were left with the whiteboard pens.
The day was finished with Matin leading a game of rugby which was very competitive to say the least! Although the rules were misunderstood, everyone had fun.
It was my 20th birthday that day so we all went for a meal at a Chinese restaurant called Ling Ling’s. Everyone was excited to see Emma who had just flown into Uganda that day- creds to her for making it to the Chinese after such a long flight!
Bye for now,
So today was the start of the Gender team’s project… we were so nervous! From our research we had found that there was a major lack of sexual education, resulting in many girls dropping out of school due to teen pregnancies. This lead to decide on holding free sexual and reproductive health classes in Danida, Masese.
Razia, Sandra and I had an early start, leaving the guesthouse at 7:30am to get to Masese and set up for our lesson starting at 9am. After some introductions from us and our teacher Deborah, who is a family practitioner, we started talking to the girls about what we mean by reproductive and sexual health and the importance of it.
The girls were so eager to learn, asking so many questions in regards to contraception and STIs which Deborah was more than happy to answer and dispelled some myths about if contraception can stop you conceiving in the future and how you can protect yourself against HIV/AIDS.
It was such a relief for the class to be such a success, with all of the girls saying they enjoyed it and had learnt a lot. While we still have some more classes to trial and we have some improvements to make, we’re all so proud of ourselves and so happy with how it went!
This evening was a debrief (with Emma from Uni – we’ve missed you!), some fruit salad and I think now I’m definitely in need of an early night!
What a day!
Our second weekend in Uganda has been absolutely lush. The weather has been really good and the company wasn’t bad either..
Our day began at Kalagala Falls beside The River Nile. We went for breakfast and watched the Rapids down below us – my Rolex was delicious! Before we left we took one last stroll along the Nile and boarded the bus!
Once we arrived back at the guesthouse, the sun was shining for sure! A few of us walked into town for a mooch around the stalls. Others stayed at home to sunbathe and make lunch.
Today was Amaani’s birthday! To celebrate we all went to the Source of the River Nile. Ellis took part in a traditional Jinjan dance whilst wearing what can only be described as a hoola skirt. We soon boarded the boat onto the Nile.
Our tour guide, Jo, had excellent knowledge on the local area and the nature surrounding the waters. We found it particularly interesting when he told us that Kingfisher Birds can travel faster than the speed of sound..(hmm)!
We were all totally in awe of the vast array of bird species surrounding us and were especially impressed when Matin spotted some Otters on the bank! As our voyage came to a close, we were greeted by monkeys in the trees.
Now, we’re all eating Tea (or Dinner if you’re Southern) sat by the Nile after watching the sun set.
I think I speak for everyone when I say…
We’re all in deNILE about how amazing today was!
Bye for now!
Following an unfortunate start to the day with no power, we headed off to Kalagala Falls at midday.
An hour later, we arrived at Kalagala and were shown to our (very nice) dorms. We then went down to the restaurant for food. (I had halloumi stir-fry- would recommend!)
After lunch, we headed off to the river, which was stunning. Everyone had fun doing photoshoots with the scenic background and enjoyed the scenery and the soothing sound of the water.
We stayed at the river for a while, soaking up the sun and appreciating the beauty of nature. Then back again to the restaurant for dinner and drinks.
After a long day, we went to the dorms to sleep. It took me a while to fall asleep due to the extremely loud crickets (and a hard pillow), but I’m very much looking forward to tomorrow!
The start of a new day and I’m exhausted already, I’ve never woken up so early since secondary school, but at this point I’m only but proud of myself for getting out of the door in time and ready to WORK WORK WORK!!!
Today, we had to prepare ourselves for the pitch that will happen at the S.A.L.V.E. land tomorrow, in order to present our practical ideas as a response to the issues we found in our community research and debate. Yesterday we had a breakthrough in our work and created samples of the work we would be replicating in our practical for our social enterprise idea, pieces of fine art if you ask me!
It’s exciting to see your project pan out into something physical and practical, giving you a sense of hope that although the impact you might have may not change the world, but it will have some sort of impact on your community, whether small or big.
However, as I mentioned earlier we were working toward the presentation of our practical idea for the pitch, and we were trying to cover potential questions that may be asked during the pitch. As part our preparation for tomorrow we had to carry out a practice pitch in front of Joshua, Chris and Megan. Thankfully it went extremely well with a few helpful suggestions to add figures for the cost per person for our crafting workshop.
So we head out to town whilst huffing and puffing through the insanely hot weather. When we got to the Rolex joint for lunch we tried to add extra details and suggestions to our handout for the pitch to place on a USB ready to print. But suddenly, everything deletes from the USB and my USB drive is acting up; after sweating through ways on how to retrieve all our hard work on the drive we ended up in the printing shop ready and prepared for tomorrow. Wish us good luck
If you look up the word productive youʼll find a picture of the the gender team. Today weʼve been sourcing materials and fabrics around town for our reusable pads workshop. As well as this weʼve also been looking for resources for our educational programme.
Exploring the nooks and crannies of Jinja really put into perspective the large scale of a seemingly small town. We dipped into underground stores, explored pitch black markets and dipped down alleyways all to find our materials which was an adventure in itself.
The day felt super long but after visiting shop after shop we finally managed to price everything up and find the cheapest deals in Jinja town- itʼs safe to say I now know Jinja like the back of my hand.
After our bargain hunt it was time for lunch. We ended up in the Rolex joint…which isnʼt as nefarious as it sounds. The Rolex is perhaps the pinnacle of fine dining; a delicious combination of chapati, omelette and vegetables/meat. It was honestly the best 3000 shillings Iʼve spent on the trip so far.
After lunch we headed back to the guest house to get crafty and start designing our reusable menstrual pads with the expertise of our fellow volunteer Seamstress Sandra. Earlier on in the day we created a template and printed/laminated it at a local printing shop. We then used this to create a prototype of our reusable pad using the materials we bought in town, creating a simplistic method as we went along. The final product was amazing and we were all very proud of what we had achieved.
One things for sure if I can follow the method and sew a pad then everyone and their Nan can too! All in all itʼs been a good days work and weʼre super excited for our community discussion tomorrow. Fingers crossed they like our ideas!
Cheers to eating more Rolexes!
Today we had an early and surprisingly punctual start at 8am – largely due to the fact that the Ugandan volunteers were meeting us at the guesthouse, where we’re staying.
We took a cute group pic and we went our separate ways to continue our research for our group projects. As part of the gender equality group, we walked to town, encased our sweaty heads in helmets (because safety first!) and hopped on another boda boda to Masese.
Once we arrived, we further divided into three groups to look at the specifics of our proposed action plan. So Ashleigh, Joseph and I went to Masese Co-education Primary School to observe a couple of classes in preparation for potentially running a S.A.L.V.E education centre for girls who have dropped out of school. The headteacher, Christine gave us permission to do so and left us in the welcoming hands of the deputy headteacher, Rosemary, who gave us an in-depth tour of the school.
We sat through an English reading P2 lesson and a P3 lesson in business, which consisted of mainly 7-9 year olds and 10-12 year olds, respectively. They greeted us with so much excitement and had an abundance of enthusiasm when it came to shouting out answers and being active participants in class.
After spending a few hours in Masese, we returned to the guesthouse with the rest of the gender equality team. We brainstormed and finalised our questions for our community debate on Wednesday (MY BIRTHDAY!). We also figured out our next steps for tomorrow to ensure we complete our research. Another full day ahead of us, so best believe I am sleeping early tonight!
Saturday marks the first week since we landed in Uganda so I thought it would be nice to mention some of my favourite moments of the week. From the first team activity led by Joshua, to the gender team’s first boda boda ride; every moment is memorable and definitely unforgettable.
My favourite place in the S.A.L.V.E land was where the statues are placed which were covered with encouraging quotes. My favourite quote being “you the mother of earth, don’t drop hope within you, reframe from failure, you may succeed in another way.”
Everyone was excited for Saturday to arrive as it was our first free day. Some of us spent Saturday morning relaxing on the veranda, whereas Grace, Emma B and Chloe decided to go for what was a hot, sweaty run. Good luck girls!
The group had planned to go to the Source of the Nile on Saturday, so everyone was really excited. Unfortunately, after walking for half an hour in the scorching sun, it suddenly started to rain, causing us to cancel the plan and return home. After watching Incredibles 1, some of us decided to have an afternoon nap before our trip to Casa Mia for some pizza. Others played some card games which got really competitive! (and let’s just say some of us ended up with red hands. 😂)
My pizza is in front of me which I cannot resist anymore, so on behalf of me and the team; PEACE!