Tuesday, 31 December 2013

So busy!

Hello everyone,

Sorry it has taken me so long to write a new post but with the holidays having started I've been off travelling around Uganda!

So I have no idea what I last wrote about as my blog is covered in photos now so I'll give you an account of my December travells.

On December 1st a few of us PT vols went to the Ssese Islands which was meant to be relaxing however we were woken up by the owner of our camp crying and told us that she is very sorry but we need to pack up our bags and leave now as there are 40 men outside with hammers about to destruct this campsite of wooden huts. I was quite sleepy as there had been the biggest thunderstorm I have ever heard in my life so when she knocked on the door I thought maybe she was asking us if we wanted some breakfast so I peeped behind our hut to then realise she wasn't joking... A lorry of gleeful looking men had arrived clutching saws, hammers, crowbars and goodness knows what else. They wasted no time and started demolising this campsite that had been this German Couples 20 year project. They had hand-painted all the huts and without warning their lifes work was being destroyed. I was furious. For many reason I was angry, what was happening was completely unjust and completely corrupt but they were hacking down these huts and not even saving the art!!! If someone destroyed my art all hell would let loose and it was apparent that the man who owned the site and had painted these huts did make all hell break loose! I was very sympathetic.

We took our bags out of our hut (we had been reassured that our hut would not be destroyed until we were all out) and looked apon this mess and chaos in horror. We then helped this German couple evacuate the little belongings they had onto the grass before the men could get to them.

I am fully aware that I do not know the whole story so maybe it is not fair for me to make a judgement but quite honestly, from what I was witnessing, this was someones livlihood being destroyed and it was awful to watch. The couple were crying and shouting, the men destroying were laughing and cheering when the huts fell, the police were sitting around eating omlettes and I couldn't believe my eyes. I know unjust events happen in the world, things like this must happen everywhere but seeing it in the flesh was just awful. We all tried to help this couple as much as we could but there wasn't a lot we could do. We were all so fired up and angry that we went over to the police and demanded to know why this was happening. They didn't say much but from what we heard it sounds like the resort next door wanted some more space to expand and basically bribed the police to get rid of Hornbill Camp. It's disgusting. It put a new perspective on my happy little love of Uganda. Of course before this event I knew about the corruption of the police but seeing it brings out many strong emotions which is why I chose not to write about this for a while so I could calm down a bit before getting carried away with what I could write... I will try and post photos of this event when I get better internet.

On a "sweeter" note, during this I also saved a wild baby monkey from some horrible children who thought it was very funny to shake the tree until it fell out. I have noooo idea what they were going to do with that monkey but I snatched it out of their hands and set it free! Then I yelled at them. And then I realsied that I had in fact just held a wild baby monkey... So that was quite cool. It had big round bright blue eyes...

So after the Hornbill destruction we had to find somewhere else to stay. Problem was we had hardly any money but another camp was symphatetic and lowered their camping prices so we stayed another 2 nights which was far more relaxing. I swear holidays in Uganda just do not happen!

After Ssese I ended up at Entebbe Airport (no I was not planning on coming home!). My friend Jess had a parcel being held there who were trying to charge 200pounds tax... I was left in the cafe (BAD IDEA!!! THERE WERE KITKATS!!!!) and I could see people about to leave Uganda for other countries. It was odd being there, almost like a test. If the offer arrised would I be happy to get on a plane there and then after 3 months. I would happily go home, sometimes I crave normality! However I thought about all the things I have done and the friends I have made. It's been a crazy 3 months and I don't think I would ever feel fulfilled going home after 3 months. So airport time was reflecting time (and eating time...).

Then I spent a few days at Jess and Abi's project. I love there project so much and had a wonderful jerrycan "shower." It was nice to go back to rural Ugandan life. Then from Myanze we went to Masaka where there is another Project Trust project. It's very much "off the beaten track" and we had a hilarious journey of playing Human Tetris trying to fit far too many people in a car. But that's Uganda! I will be in awe in England when I can have a whole car seat to myself. Masaka is past the equator so I got very excited when I passed the equator sign. At Maska we all just had a relaxed time at Rosie's project. It's interesting to see how different all the Uganda Projects are. In the Masaka supermarket (this was a legit supermarket!!) I found WALKERS CRISPS!!!!! I have not seen crisps in 3 months. Lucky me!

From Masaka I then stayed at Beth and Clara's project in Mpigi. Not sure if that is the correct spelling. There project was on top of a large hill. If I had their project I would never leave because of that hill...

Finally back to my project in Kaihura. The moment I got back home I rushed off to Home Again Orphanage as I had really really missed Justuce and Mariam. I'm happy to say they had missed me too and Mariam ran down the hill to give me a huge hug and Justuce hung up on the person he was talking to on the phone! They got someone to go and get me a soda and a chipate- bonus! So I sat with them for a long time and we talked and talked. It was amazing to see them. When I left my friend Joyce saw me and we were both equally excited to see each other. We went to the cafe and shared a Novida and cookie.

The next few days consisted of having other vols stay at our house and being at Home Again. I have started painting another sign. I was going to go to Kabale but once a pot of paint is given to me all plans have to be cancelled! So I stayed in Kaihura. I also visited the most beautiful lake in Fort Portal and had  lovely swim. It was the most relaxed I have felt since being in Uganda. It was good to just relax.

So, Christmas!

I was excited for Christmas. I may not have my proper family but I have my Ugandan family and friends. Some of the other PT vols were not looking forward to Christmas but we all had the best day ever.
We bought some BACON, (starting to notice I'm putting all foods in capitals... I think I just miss food!) for breakfast. Wow wow wow it was delicious! We then opened some presents as we did Secret Santa. I got many little African crafts I was very pleased. I then opened my present from my family. Ooohhhhhohohohohhhh they spoilt me! I ripped open the paper and saw a glimpse of the Red Bull Racing logo. I had to stop unwrapping for a minute to compose myself. I pulled out a Sebastian Vettel 4 Times World Driver Champion T-shirt! I was THRILLED! I couldn't wipe this smile off my face! Thren I also got some Skittles (!!!!) Strawberry Laces and Moams.... These are sacred items in Uganda. I still haven't touched them. I'm saving them for when I reallllllly want them!

After presents we went to Faith's (my host) house and gave her a Juicer that we had all chipped into for her. She was delighted. Then off to Home Again for "Christmas Lunch." I had a chipate with rice and spaghetti of course there was no cutlery so I had a Christmas lunch with my hands haha. We then had sackraces with the children, tug of war and a water-balloon fight. The babies were just sitting around covered head to toe in rice. It was very funny. The rest of the day was just music and talking with our friends. It was "sooooooooooooo nice" as Ugandans say. To finish this amazing day we went back to Faith's house where Kate made the most amazing meal of: Meatballs, mashed potato, carrots, green pepper, gravy, stuffing and BREADDDDD SAUCEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! I love bread sauce. The food was so rich that it was difficult to eat it all and my stomach was yelling at me to stop eating it but who knows when, if ever again in Uganda I will get a meal like that again! It was a lovely day in all aspects and a day I will treasure. I also got to talk to all my family on the phone which was really good. It was odd putting Factor 50 suncream on on Christmas Day...

On the 28th I went to Kampala. I guess you could say I had a food splurge. So there is this thing, called a supermarket, which sells many of the smae things but with different choices of flavours and brands.... It's beyond me. It was also two stories and had moving stairs! (escelators) Such fun! I spent a long time in there and to my absolute delight I found the one thing that I have missed so so so so so so sooooo much. Dark chololate MCVITIES digestives. I think I let out a little scream. I am so happy I now know I can buy them in Uganda! I also spoilt myself and bought some BBQ sauce and some Plum Sauce to make rice a little bit more exciting.
I then went to a cinema. This cinema is a lot nicer that the Dereham cinema at home! I watched the Hunger Games - soooo good! But there was this bit with a load of aggressive monkeys which sort of put me off going Chimp Trekking but then I reminded myself that its just a film..! Then to top my day off I went into a CLOTHES SHOP! Like a shop that has the same item of clothing in many sizes and choice of colour! So bizarre. Since September I have been buying clothes in markets rumaging through a pile of clothes on the floor. We call it "pile shopping" but I actually quite enjoy it! Plus it's super cheap. Oh wait- I also treated myself to a blueberrry smoothie. What a self indulgent day!

So tonight is New Years Eve. I am spending it with my friend Clara. We wanted to do a sunset cruise on the Nile but no-one is doing one tonight but soon we are going to Jinja anyway and tomorrow we are going... ZEN TUBING! I was going to do it in November but I had a hugeeee spider bite on my foot so I looked a bit like I had elephant foot. We thought we would start 2014 with a "splash". Cringe. It will be so fun and maybe after we will go to Sipi Falls.

So I hope everyone has had a lovely Christmas (all that food......) and have a wonderful New Year! You can picture me tomorrow sumersaulting down the Nile rapids in some sort of ring...
I hope I haven't rambled too much and I have sacrificed breakfast to write this post so if I have rambled, well that's just too bad! Because I'm now hungry but for once I've put people before food! (It's ok I have some choc digestives left in my bag and I'm sure on the way to Jinja someone will sell me a chipate through the window ;) )

Happy New Year!

Love from Bella. (Amooti) xxx

P.s. It rained today... so strange!


  1. Bella, it's Ms C here, from Kett and I am so excited to have discovered your blog! It sounds like you are having the most amazing time and coping very well with all the challenges thrown at you. I never doubted you would! I'm up at this ridiculous hour (4am) as the latest addition to our family (another boy!) is nearly 4 months old and is wide awake and hungry. I will see to him and then carry on reading about your adventures. You held a baby monkey?! Very jealous! Lots of love to you from all of your WC family and take good care of yourself x

  2. Hi!! Lovely to hear from you! Congratulations on another baby boy!! Hope all is well with you. The monkey was very sweet but I didn't fully take it in as there was quite a lot going on that day..! Still enjoying myself but it can be very exhausting at times! xx