Thursday, 28 November 2013
So currently I am in Jinja at the Nile River Camp as all of us had to meet here for our Induction with Project Trust. It has been the first time that all of us (the Ugandan volunteers) have met together since Day 1 and the change in us all is very noticeable! We all take no nonsense from Uganda and no one was going to pay more for anything as we know the local prices. We are all very confident and had many stories to tell!
I was meant to be white water rafting the River Nile today but I had a bad spider bite and my foot has hugely swollen but is on the mend so I have been left with an iPhone which is far too technicologically advanced for me... But it means I can for the first time since being here in Uganda have a day to myself and RELAX!!!! I'm honestly exhausted.
On my last day teaching my P.6 class I bought them all lollies and they were over the moon. I was sad to say goodbye to my class as most will be moving up to P.7 next year so I will have a new class.
So the photo attached is of the River Nile at sunrise. It's very beautiful and I will have to go rafting another day!
MOST INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCE... I HAD MY FIRST HOT SHOWER IN THREE MONTHS!!!!!!! It was incredible!!! Also the other day I walked up some STAIRS! I found a two story building! Such a novelty! Haha I must sound crazy!
So I have nearly been here for 3 months and wow I feel like I have done so much. Highlights would be the Home Again Orphanage, making some incredible friends and experiencing the culture like I never imagined!! There are many highlights but I find typing on an iPhone difficult so maybe I'll be more in depth another day!
So my plans for the next two months...
Travelling around with a few PT vols yet we have no firm plans then maybe visiting some other Vols projects, on the 14th I will be back in Kaihura for a wedding then down to Kabale to see more Vols projects then Christmas at Home Again Orphanage then I'm not sure!
Hope all is well.
Bella, Amooti xx
Tuesday, 19 November 2013
I'm thinking how Christmasy it must be getting back in the UK. Christmas advertising everywhere, Christmas lights going up, Christmas presents introduced into the shops far too early! Am I correct?! I bet it's now very cold and everyone is wrapped up in coats, hats and scarves!
For me there is not a hint of Christmas in the air. Just a lot of rain! It is rainy season in full flow now. It is quite literally a David Attenborough moment where he says, "A storm is approaching fast" and in minutes the bright blue sky is overtaken with dark clouds and lots of wind then my class turns from dark to really really dark and the paths turn into rivers. It gets really quite cold here in the evenings, I think I need to buy some more jerseys! In the day time though if it is not raining it is scorching yet for Ugandans this is their winter so whilst I'm soaking myself in suncream they are all walking around in massive coats and wooly hats...
So i'll briefly sum up October. The first two weeks I have definite culture shock, I realise that even more now that time has passed, I was part of an Introduction Ceremony and a bridesmaid at justuce's and Mariam's wedding, the next two weeks I was really rather ill but carried on teaching and getting to know my classthen the rest of the month I was getting better! Not being ill was fantastic and I automatically enjoyed my teaching more. We have totally been accepted into our community and I can't walk anywhere in Kaihura without bumping into someone who wants to chat with me.
Then there was Halloween where we tried to get a Pumpkin from Mukunyu Market but there were none and I think we all felt a little sad on bonfire night! October was a tough one!
Determined that November would be a fresh start for all of us we were let down! We got burgled and my room especially had been thrown around. The Ugandan police came over gun in hand and we were to spend the next week living with our "Host" faith. She was amazing and and I think she has grown rather fond of us! Our American friend kate lives with Faith and we ate jelly for a whole week because faith has a FRIDGE!! SO exciting!
Not much was stolen but Jodie's camera was sadly taken and out of all the things that could have got stolen, they stole the one thing that really hit a nerve! They stole my Kindle!!! Why did this hit a nerve? Because all it had on it was Formula 1 books!!!!!!! My Kindle was a leaving present from my family and I filled it with pretty much every Formula 1 book on Amazon. So when my kindle was stolen and I was half way through reading The Life of Senna only not to be able to finish it I was furious! Like I don't miss Formula 1 enough already, now I can't even read about it... However luck was on my side and Jen from project Trust came to visit all the Ugandan volunteers and my parents (probably concerned for my sanity having no Formula 1) got me a new one and Jen delivered it on Friday!! So I'm now very happy again!
Apart from that early drama in Novermber, the rest of the month has been great. Having been here for nearly 3 months, many things are getting easier. Such as; teaching, cooking, cleaning the house, adjusting to an almost 100% carb die, sleeping through noise of loud children and mooing cows, not even flinching at ice cold showers, not so fazed by long drops, lesson plans, travel etc etc.
After teaching I spend almost everyday at Home Again Orphanage because it is such a fantastic place. I would say I'm now quite a pro at handling babies, I have way too much fun acting like a 3 year old with the toddlers, I spend much more time with the younger children and I still visit the older children at their secondary boarding school. When the children are not around I spend my time with justuce, he took me mango tree climbing the other day! Eating ripe mangos from the tree was the best.
I have started a painint project at Home Again. Justuce made benches and we all helped paint them then I have made a sign and I am now working on paining the walls of houses etc. It's a working progress and should be very colourful by the time I leave.
The teachers at my school very much view me as a friend now. There are 4 teachers I get on especailly well with and even the P1's don't call me Mzungu anymore! There is a small group in my class who spend break with me and marvell over the wonders of blu tak and cellotape! They also like to hear about my family.
Next week I will be travelling to Jinja for our Project Trust Induction on how to set up our own Secondary Projects here. I'm excited to meet up with all my fellow Ugandan volunteers! We are all going white water rafting but me and Jodie are opting for the cheaper option of Zen Tubing.... down the Nile.... I think it will be terrifying!!!
In December our friend Prossi is getting married. We are gifting her 5 chickens as is the normal thing to do here... Then a trip right down to Kabale for one of the PT girls birthday then Christmas at Home Again Orphanage. I'm really looking forward to it.
To end my post I am happy to report me being here IS making a difference! My class had their english exams and the top score was 42% which is not great if your in England but here that is really good! A girl went from 16% to 42% in 2 months. I'm very proud!
Love to all,
Bella. (Amooti) xxx