Thursday, 16 August 2012

Tell the world that I'm coming home....

After Helen and Sarah left on Sunday we all needed a bit of a distraction so we went to the craft market for a bit. Not all of the stalls were open because it was a Sunday but quite a lot of them were, though a lot of the smallholders seemed to be taking the piss a little bit with their prices, and not willing to come down at all. We bought some stuff, after some hard negotiating, and then we went to open house, an Indian restaurant for lunch. When we arrived it was deserted and we weren't sure if it was open because all the staff were in the bar watching the tv. It transpired that it was open, so we went in and got a table. Once we were inside we realised why they were all watching the tv, the Olympic marathon was on and a Ugandan was winning! Most of you will know by now if you follow the Olympics that the marathon was won by a Ugandan man and it was the first gold medal for the country for something like 45 years! When he crossed the finish line everyone was clapping and cheering, all a bit surreal but all good fun!

In the evening we were planning to go to mish mash to watch the closing ceremony but in the end we decided we were too tired, and just stayed at the hostel. The next morning we just hung out at backpackers because Astra was leaving, until she decided that she wanted a last dash into town so that she could go on a boda boda again! We left with about an hour an a half to spare before her taxi to the airport was due to arrive, mad dash into town where Astra bought herself some more stuff from the craft market, (prices were much lower on a weekday, as there were far more customers) and then a mad dash back. The text wasn't due til 2, but when we got back at 1.20 it was there already and has been waiting since 1! This was a bit annoying because she really wanted to stay as long as possible, but she ended up leaving at about 1.45. 

After Astra left we had to go back into town to meet Sam, who was coming in from Ntungamo on the bus. We shopped for a bit (got some great new headphones!) and then he called to say he was at the post office, so we went there to meet him. We couldn't find him when we got there, so after much ringing and effort we eventually got through to him and it turned out he hadn't come on the post but, but another bus, and didn't know where he was. We told him to get a  taxi to backpackers, dump his stuff, and then meet us at the craft market on Buganda road. About half an hour later we get a phone all saying he is in the craft market, so we make our way there. He is nowhere to be seen. We call him again and tell him to meet us outside the gate. Still no sign. We call him again and it transpires that he's in another craft market on the other side of town! We did catch up with him eventually.

That night we decided to go out, as Sam had to leave for the airport at 5am, so we thought it would be a good idea to just stay up! We started out in bubbles (after dinner at a nice chinese) which was completely dead, but we had a few drinks there anyway. Then I had a tip off that a club in town called hi-table was good on Mondays, so we made our way there. It was a bit of a dive but not too bad, we were pretty much the only mzungus in the place! We got some shisha and sat in the VIP area (a cool 5,000 shillings- £1.25 - each.)smoking it and just hanging out really. At about one in the morning we decided it was finally time to get up and dance for a bit. It was fun, though I thought the men were quite grabby, even by Ugandan standards. At about 3.30 we decided to call it a night and go back to the hostel, sot hat Sam could get his stuff together and then go to the airport. We got bodas back and when we arrived at the hostel I opened my bag to pay the driver and.... Yep, my purse was gone, I had a bit of a drunken panic, decided there was nothing I could do at that precise moment, texted my dad and paul, and fell asleep. I slept really badly, and by seven I was dressed and sitting in the bar of the hostel, talking to the staff there about what had happened. I noticed in the morning when I had a more thorough check that my camera was also gone, which is pretty gutting. 

My purse had contained the key to my safe at the hostel, cash, my diving licence and my debit card. I obviously didn't expect to get the cash back but the staf at backpackers said that I might well get the wallet and cards back, as stolen wallets often just have the cash removed and then get thrown on the floor. I and to go to the police station to get a crime reference number for my insurance, I was warned that I might have to grease the palms of the policemen on the desk, but it was fine which was a good job because I was shit scared of having to try and do it! We then went to hi table to ask if it had been found on the floor. Predictably, it hadn't. When we arrived back at the hostel the manager told me that it had been found, a man had rung up but was too scared to bring it in because it was empty of all my cash. I told her it was fine, tell him to bring it. She called him and told him to come, and then told me that I would have to pay for him to bring it. I asked where he was coming from, and she said town, the cost of which would only be about 5,000 shillings, which is about £1.25. When I said that, she told me that I needed to give him more than that, more like 10,000. I was a bit sceptical but I decided that £2.50 was a small price to pay for getting my driving licence and debit card back. 

I was a bit suspicious though, as my purse had contained cash in the notes bit, interspersed with various receipts. This guy said that he knew I was staying at backpackers because he found the receipt in my purse, but surely if you were going to take the money and run you wouldn't bother to separate the random bits of paper from the cash and then put them BACK in the purse? Anyway, he arrived at backpackers looking seriously shifty and barely spoke a word to me. He handed over my purse which still contained my cards, and all of the bits of random  paper, which had been neatly folded up and relocated to the coin department of my purse. Very odd. After the guy left and I discovered this the manager of the hostel told me she was certain he had taken it, and to be honest so was I. But what could I do? He's on to a bloody good scam, stealing your stuff, and then looking like a good Samaritan and getting more money to return it to you! 

After all the drama we went to the cinema in the evening at garden city which is a big mall. We saw the new dark knight film which was actually not as bad as I thought it would be; it's really not my kind of movie. Both the boys fell asleep during it, which amused me as it was them who wanted to see it in the first place. 

The next day the boys went home, so we just hung out at the hostel until it was time for them to go. After that I was a bit lost without them so I just hung about the hostel. I spotted a Ugandan guy I was sure I recognised from meeting with paul once, and I texted paul and it turned out it was the guy I was thinking of. He text me and told me to say hi to him, but he had already left! Paul could tell I was a bit miserable on my own and eliab was out with a British girl who is going to work with volunteer uganda, so he arranged for me to meet up and go out with them. We had dinner and then went to makerere university freshers week, which was hectic! After we went to bubbles for a drink, and then I went back to the hostel as I wasn't feeling all that wonderful. 

My flight has been rescheduled so I'm actually coming home tomorrow, starting my journey later today. Can't wait to get home now! 

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Rafting and riding

Almost immediately after my last post Sarah, Helen, Jonny and Stewart left for their bungee jump. It's a really cool setup at adrift, where the bar looks out over the bungee tower, so I could sit with my big telephoto lens and take pictures of them jumping. There was a guy who worked there too who had a really old canon lens on a newish camera, trying to take 'proffessional' shots of them, but the lens was so old it wouldn't autofocus, so they just ended up with loads of blurry shots which he expected them to pay $10 each for! 

While they were getting ready for the bungee I was on the phone to the horseback safari place and managed to get Astra and myself on a trip that afternoon, so we left basically as soon as they got back from the bungee tower. It wasn't too far away, so we took a boda. The woman who worked ATF adrift made out it was a REALLY long way and that it wouldn't be at all satisfactory to get a boda, but we did it anyway and it only took about 20mins. When we got there we were introduced to another person who would be riding with us, who was a French lady of zero riding experience, and the guides who would also be coming. She asked us about our levels of experience, and so I told her that I had a few years experience but it had been a couple of years since I'd last been on a horse. Astra detailed her experience too and thus she decided which horses we would ride. She explained that we would be riding through some farmland and the horses sometimes would decide to stop for a snack on the maize growing or something, and you had to be very insistent with them about not allowing them to do this and kicking them on. She also said that they compensate the farmers for the crops that get eaten, so not to worry if we couldn't stop them! Anyway, she introduced us to our horses, and she gave me the most difficult one as I had the most experience of the three of us! I was a bit unsure about that as its been so long, but it worked out fine. We got going, walking along the Nile and then looping back through the villages and back to the farm. 

We were out for two hours and when you haven't ridden in so long, you get saddle sore pretty quickly! I was quite relived when I saw the jumps in the paddock coming back into view. I was nervous that I wouldn't feel confident enough to ride well or anywhere near the standard that I used to, but actually I got back into it really easily, and Astra and I ended up going for a really long canter, while the poor French woman didn't really seem to be enjoying herself, she tried a trot but couldn't get into a rhythm with rising, so when the time came to try a slow canter she was quite scared but she didn't say, so we ended up going with her screaming 'stop!' at her horse, but not actually pulling on the reins or doing anything that might actually make the horse stop. Anyway, the rest of the time we were trotting or cantering she insisted on just walking. I don't really know why she chose to go for a 2 hour trek without any previous experience! 

Astra got really lucky with her pony who was raring to go, while I got lumbered with the difficult and lazy one. Next time I'll keep quiet about my experience! He really was a lot of hard work to get going, lagging behind in both trot and canter, and stopping to eat all the time! 

After horse riding we caught another boda back to adrift (which felt amazingly comfortable straight after the horse, but after about 5 minutes I was ready to get off!) to find that the others weren't there, so we had to then get another boda into Jinja town, where we had dinner.  

The next morning we were up bright and early for rafting. We went and paid for our trip and I was chatting to one of the guys about how I went last year and how I managed to pull both shoulders out of joint in the rapid called 'the bad place' and he looked a bit surprised and asked if that meant I wanted them to take us on easier rapids and I was like no way! Then about ten minutes later he came over and said that two guys had requested to do the extreme rafting and they needed four other people, so did we want to do it with them? We said yes straight away, it's meant to cost another $25 dollars for the extreme version, but we got to do it for the normal price, which was cool. The rafting was really good and we only flipped the raft 3 times, out of eight rapids that we did. I did hurt my shoulder in the bad place again but Stewart helped me put it back in place. Afterwards we immediately went back to kampala, arriving back at about 8pm, and then going out for dinner and drinks.

This morning we had breakfast in the hostel and Helen and Sarah have just left, which is so sad! 

Friday, 10 August 2012

Bunyoni and beyond...

Hey guys! Sorry I haven't posted in so long, it's been a nightmare trying to get online. I'm now around Kampala so my posts should be more frequent as most places have free wifi. 

At the weekend I went to lake bunyoni with quite a few of the other volunteers, which was fun. It was really good weather, unlike last time, so I spent a lot of time swimming, and hopefully not catching bilharzia. The food was amazing, I ate so much crayfish, Garlic and cheese, all of which are treats we don't get at the lodge. 

The past few days we have just been chilling, as it's been summer school. The summer school was quite a different set up to last year, with only the older classes coming in and having actual structured lessons and long breaks for play. I can't help thinking that this is more constructive, but I do feel a bit sorry for the kids not getting to just relax, and also sorry for the little ones who aren't allowed to come in for play in the summer, like they used to. 

On Wednesday all six of us who were leaving the lodge and a few other volunteers went out for lunch, taking oz, Alex and Boaz with us. They all work in and around the lodge and are really lovely, we have all spent a lot of time with them. The lunch was... Amusing, as usual for sky blue! We waited for our food for a long long time and it arrived in dribs and drabs, with the people who were served first finishing before the rest of us even got our food! 

Yesterday morning we got up at an ungodly hour to sort our stuff out and catch the post bus. I was kind of sad leaving the lodge but it wasn't that bad as most of the kids aren't around now and I was leaving with most of my friends that I've made here, so I didn't feel like I was leaving much behind. On our last night morass came and made rolexes, which was really nice. Last week we realised that he doesn't actually own his own cook wear, and when he comes to cook for us he has to borrow from the kitchen at the lodge, which isn't exactly overflowing with equipment either. Anyway, last week the frying pan he was using was from the kitchen and the handle was broken and kept swivelling round, which led him at one point to spill hot oil all over his feet. I went into town and tracked down a frying pan for him (it was much harder than I expected!) and presented it to him yesterday before he started cooking, and he was really happy, which was nice. 

When we arrived in Kampala yesterday, I had arranged a driver to pick us up but when we arrived he wasn't there! I called him and he said he was on his way and would be there very soon. We waited about half an hour longer and then I called him again, at which point he said he had been trying to call but couldn't get through, and was in the completely wrong place! I was very clear that we needed to be picked up from the post office, so I don't really know how that went wrong! We just jumped in a taxi, anyway, which was cosy with six mzungus and a driver!

We got to the hostel and just dumped our stuff, and then went straight back out to Mediterraneo, where I had the most amazing steak. I don't think I could have been happier at that moment! After we ate we went back to backpackers and had (hot!) showers, got ready and went out to the Irish pub for a pub quiz. We came 5th out of ten, which wasn't too bad, it was a really hard quiz! While we were there I bumped into Hannah who I met last year and hung out with quite a lot, which was really nice. We went back to the hostel at a fairly reasonable time, as we had to get up at six this morning to come to Jinja. 

We got up at about six fifteen in the end and went and waited for our bus, which was only a bit late. Most people slept on the journey but I couldn't sleep at all, it was ok once we could see the Nile as its pretty cool to look at. Now we are sitting in the bar at adrift eating breakfast and waiting for Helen, Sarah, Jonny and Stewart to bungee jump! 

Friday, 3 August 2012

'I'm not drunk, I'm just stupid!'

Yesterday was the last day of term at school, and the kids only had to attend for half the day. we went along to watch the final assembly which was cute, they were singing and stuff, and then they just had to go back to their classes to be given their reports and a big file with all of their exam papers and work in. i took my camera over and took some photos, and when they were getting all of their wrk given back to them, i went along to Baby 1 class, where i have spent quite a lot of time, to get some pictures of them with their work. baby 1 and baby 2 are right next door to eachother, and the only thing that separates the 2 rooms is a thin screen made from palm fronds. this isnt the most practical thing in a room full of 3 years olds, as the sound goes straight through it, but its what they've got. anyway, yesterday i was in baby 1 standing by the screen when i heard the baby 2 teacher shouting, but not shouting like you would normally hear in a school, like properly raging shouting. i wanted t know what was going on, but i knew that if i actually went next door i'd never find out as the teachers are all sweetness and light around us, so i pressed my face right up against the screen and looked through the little holes in the weave. i could see her sat behind her desk, with a little boy of about 4 standing in front of it, looking a bit shocked. as i was watching she stood up, and using the full force of her arm, slapped the child around the face, sending him flying accross the room.

i don't think i've ever been so angry in my life, and what happened next was probably not the best way to handle the situation, but i just think its a miracle i didnt backhand her myself. i went running out of baby 1 and burst into baby 2, slammed my hands down on the desk and shouted 'How DARE you hit a child?!'she looked pretty taken aback, and she was clearly in a panic that she had been caught, and then she said lamely 'he was throwing paper...' i just looked at her and picked up the child from the floor who was in quite a state, and walked out. i was literally shaking with anger and shock, i knew i would be angry if i saw anything like that but i really surprised myself at how strong my reaction was. i just stood outside with Collins, the little boy, for a while while he calmed down and i tried to calm myself down. i was in tears at this point, and still trying immensely hard to to go back and shout some more or do her some serious damage. thankfully the baby classrooms are attached to the headmasters office, and he was there. i approached, i must have looked such a mess, crying, shaking, bright red and fuming! he saw me coming and came over, he thought that she child in my arms must be really ill or something, i think he was a bit shocked when i started laying into him, telling him that he needed to control his teachers. he went and spoke to her in the classroom, a big group of teachers had appeared at this point and they all went in to discuss it, i felt like they were going to hatch a plan to claim it didnt happen. when he came out Kenneth (the head) said that she had admitted it, and that she had apologised so that was ok. i told him that it absolutely was NOT ok, and it was his responsibility to make sure that she knew it wasnt acceptable to to make sure that it didnt happen again. he looked at me and asked what i wanted him to do. it was then i realised that there was nothing that could really be done, aside from firing her, which they couldnt do as they had a class full of children who needed a c\teacher. i told him (which i realise now must have sounded ridiculous, i only remembered i said it this morning) 'if this happened in England, she would be sacked. she'd never teach again. in fact, she'd probably go to prison. go directly to jail do not pass go do not collect two hundred pounds!' he looked at me a bit wierd, and then asked if i expected him to fire her. i told him i didnt, but he needed to come up with something otherwise it will just happen again. he went back and spoke to her a bit more, and then came back out and said 'ok, dont tell anyone, we are going to deal with it internally.' i laughed in his face. i told him that iw as calliing anne immediately that i got back to the lodge, and telling dennis as soon as he gt back from safari. i directly told him that i didnt trust him to sort it, because it was  happening in school all the time. there have been 3 incidents f volunteers actually witnessing assaults in the past 3 weeks, and so you cant even imagine hyow many happen when we arent around.

i walked little collins home and by the time we got there he seemed to have pretty much recovered. he lived absolutely miles away, about an hour and a half walk, and in the middleof the day with no water! i thought i was goig to die before we got there!

in the evening last night me, sarah and helen organised a quiz, which went down well, and is the source of the wonderful quote that titles this post! astra declared this towards the beginning of the quiz, and her team didnt stop laughing the whole time, it was no surprise that they came last! there was a fair bit of heckling coming from the teams too, there was a question in the sports round which was 'in which sport would you carry an octopus?' the answer of course being scuba diving, but lots of people complained, saying that diving isnt a sport its an activity! the debate was still going on thismorning.

today as there was no school we walked to the top of the tallest mountain again and took a picnic. it was absolutely boiling walking up there, but when we got to the top it was cold and raining. as soon as we started walking again it got hot and sunny again! so unfair.

i dont have much else to tell you other than im going chimp tracking on tuesday! mega excited for that! and only 6 days left at the lodge so sad!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

The Dreaded Head Fungus...

yesterday morning we took another trip to Mbarara to buy more baking ingredients, we have got through 10kg of flour in a week! we went to the wholesalers this time about bought 25kgs of it. Astra and one of the newer volunteers, Erica, have taken over the baking for the past 2 days, which has been a nice break. when we got to Mbarara, Alan, who was driving didnt know where to park the car, so he parked it in what looked like a space near the bank, and we all arranged to meet up 2 hours later. but when we got back we found that the car had been clamped! we were all panicking a bit but then we found out that it was only 20,000 shillings, which is about five pounds, to get it unclamped. We thought that was pretty good, a fiver to park all day wherever you want and there is no chance of your car being stolen!

when we got back from Mbarara some of the girls wanted to go on a walk up the mountain, so i decided to go too, thinking that i wouldn't go to the top, i'd probably just stop when i'd had enough. the thing was, when i got to that point we weren't that far from the top, so the others managed to persuade me to carry on. when we got there we sat and took photos and rested for a bit, and then we all thought it would be a good idea to walk along and up to the next peak; so i ended up walking to the top of the tallest mountain in the local area. by the time we got to the top it was starting to get a bit gloomy so we sat a while and watched the sunset, which was really nice, but then we had to walk back down in the dark! i hurt my foot at the top and i was wearing these walking sandals that are just like flip flops with  bit more support, so i was having to bend it to grip my shoe on with every step, which was really uncomfortable, so ditched them and walked barefoot. everybody here is always laughing about how i never wear shoes, i start out wearing them and then i just get fed up with them and take them off!

as we got to the bottom of the mountain there was a big herd of cows in front of us, and some of the rest of the group got a bit nervy but i was actually ok, they do have big horns but generally they justmove out of your way if you approach or if you clap. so i was walking along clapping to get them to move but then the ones we had walked past started following us and picking up speed, there were 2 boys with them looking after them and they were herding them towards us! we started walking quicker and one of the girls held my hand and started dragging me along because they were freaking her out, the next thing i knew we were all screaming and sprinting away because they had started to charge us! it was hilarious afterwards, i couldnt breathe for ages because i ws laughing so hard, but i will admit i was absolutely bricking it at the time!

its not been a great few days for illness though! there has been an outbreak of Ebola virus in north west uganda (im in the south west) so lots of people have been concerned about that as there have also been 2 cases in Kampala and we have to go there in just over a week! we have been warned to to go to the hospital, if we're sick we have to call out a private doctor to the lodge, and i dont know what we are supposed to do if the kids are ill. there has also been a big increase in the number of cases of nodding disease quite ner to us which is sad and worrying, though none of us are really at risk as it seems to only affect 5-15 year olds, it worrying in case the kids get it. Loads of the children have this fungal infection on their scalps, which im sure is just ringworm, because i caught it last year but not on my head, on my arm and it looked exactly like it.  the other day i had this wierd patch on my nose that i thought was sunburn on top of sunburn turning innto a little blistery patch, but it grew over a few days and i realsied i must have caught it again! i came prepared with the treatment and its only been 2 days since i started using it but its gone down so i think it must have been, and then yesterday i realised i had a patch on my chin too! its really obvious to me why ive got in in those places, when im sat with a kid on my lap i always rest my chin on the top of their head of if they are taller i would kind of lean against them with my nose touching their head or face, its so annoying because i know its completely my fault that ive got it!  anyway, it looks like ive noticed it pretty early so hopefully it will go down quickly.

ive had to deal with quite a few more cuts and scrapes too the last few days, which i dont mind doing but my first aid kit is looking distinctly empty! someone pointed out to me today that when im gone there will be virtually no first aid supplies at the lodge so i went to the pharmacy today and put together a bit of a kit with a big bottle of saline, some plasters, iodine, and bandages, and when i leave i'll also leave behind some lint stuff they can use for dressings and micropore tape. there is a 'first aid kit' at school which used to contain gloves and bandages and stuff but now it just contains a giant bottle of 1,000 paracetamol, which they give to the kids freely. i think im going to mark up all the stuff saying what its for and leave it at the lodge rather than t school because stuff just goes missing when you leave it there.

i cant believe how close im getting to leaving the lodge, im  not ready to go yet at all. last year by the time it got to a week before i was really ready to come home, but this year i just want to stay!

Monday, 30 July 2012

Bake and Bitch

hey guys!

theres been so much drama at the lodge this week! i dnt really want to write about specific things but lets just say there have been lots of hook ups, bitching and bed hopping!

towards the beginning of the week my new roommate, Astra was getting a lift into town on the back of a truck, but when she was climbing down she fell and hurt her arm quite badly. when she got back to the lodge we made a sling for it, and we were going to just leave it like that but when dennis saw it he made her go to hospital. she wasnt a big fan of that and when she got there moses apparently started jerking her arm around which was really painful for her, to the point of making her cry, but he still didnt stop. he declined to x-rayit, saying that he would do it the following day if she was still in pain, and sending her off with strong anti-inflammatory painkillers, valium, some other random steroid thing and menthol balm of all things! that night dennis brought dr moses to the lodge to look at her again as he was still worried, but she didnt want to be examined by him again which i think was reasonable, and moses was completely wasted anyway! the only good thing that came out fo that was that i made him tell me what all the drugs were as they werent labelled properly and astra didnt want to take them without knowing what they were.

the next day she kept saying it was ok and she didnt need to go for an x-ray mainly becuase she didnt want to be examined again, but the day after that we managed to persuade her to go back as she was still in a lot of pain. we went to the hospital around lunchtime and the place was basically deserted. we couldnt find moses and nobody wanted to help us, so we went straight to xray but there was nobody there. we eventually went back to the front desk where the lady was completely unhelpful and told us to go to town for a private x-ray. we were expecting that to be really expensive but her insurance would cover it, so off we went and got a private one, which was a much more pleasant place and only cost 20,000 shillings, which is about 5 pounds! fortunately the xray showed that it wasnt broken and its now getting better.

Alan, another of the volunteers who came with his 16 year old foster son, brought with him a solar oven that he had designed himself. he built it when he got here but unfortunately it didnt get very hot, so he took the oven part of it out, which is essentially just a big steel box, and built bricks around it with a space for a fire underneath to make a proper oven, so every day this week i have been making bread and cakes fresh for us to have for breakfast and afternoon tea, which has been going down a storm, but i wont pretend its not labour intensive. a few days ago i taught the staff how to make 'mzungu bread' and 'mzungu cake' which they were pleased with. denis says that making it with them once isnt enough though, i have to set a test! i think im just going to give them the ingredients and watch them to check they really know what to do.

on thursday a group of us went to Mbarara to buy ingredients for baking and other things that you cant get in Ntungamo, we even found heinz baked beans and maple syrup! ive made amrican pancakes for breakfast a few mornings too!

i dont have much else to tell you really, im getting so comfortable being here it doesnt feel that exceptional anymore, it just feels like normal life. i dont know how im going to cope when i go back to the UK! i cant believe ive only got a week and a half left at the lodge as well, i still feel like ive only just got here despite being the longest running volunteer by about 3 weeks now. ive been planning my time in kampala and jinja really well too, im going rafting again, doing horseriding and maybe quad biking, and doing some work in an orphanage in the city. exciting times!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Making the Mute Speak...

yesterday i came into town and used the internet but didnt post as i hadnt really done anything, other than go for lunch in town. we went back to a little place i discovered a few days ago, but they didnt have enough fod for 4 of us, so we went to another one next door, where we had a rather bizarre exchange with the woman behind the bar.

when we went in there were several groups sitting at the tables munching away, so we went to the bar and asked the woman for a menu. she looked back at us and said 'we dont have.' in quite a lot of these places they dont have a written menu, you just ask for what they have on the day, so i was like 'ok, do you have food? chakula?'  she looked a bit surprised and said yes, so i was like 'ok, what do you have?' she just looked back at me and said 'we dont have.' at which point we left! i dont know if she understood me really or if she just didnt want a load of Mzungus eating in her restaurant, but we werent going to get fed there! we ended up at sky blue.

this week the kids have got final exams, which is a bit rubbish volunteering wise as there isnt a lot we can do, but we can go in at breaks and after the exam has finished, even if there is like an hour til lunch the teachers dont do anything with them, just let them basically run riot, so we can go in and organise stuff to do then.

ive been working on my runyankole too, i can now count to 19 (can't for the life of me keep the word for 20 in my head), ask if you are ill, where you are going, and what you want, tell people to smile for photos, ask for things, say please and thankyou, name some animals and body parts, ask your name and age, and say that a mosquito has bitten me! the kids love it when you speak to them in their language, and today at break some of the older girls were teaching me some more things, asking me how many sisters, brothers and babies i have! I also learned how to say 'I will beat you', which started out as a bit of a joke around the lodge, we all learned how to say it and were constantly threatening eachother with it, but its actually really useful because you hear the teachers say it all the time, and then you know that they are breaking the rules by threatening the kids, and so you can keep a closer watch on them.

today at break Shila came and found me and climbed onto my back, she has special needs (though i have no idea of the specifics of the situation) and she doesnt speak. she does make some effort to make the sounds though and she's not deaf or stupid; if you tell her to write her name on a piece of paper she can and she's only in baby class, so its more than most of them can do. anyway, she's really cuddly and always wants to be picked up, despite being bigger than the other babies. once you pick her up she will tap you on the shoulder and then point to things she wants you to look at or where she wants to go, and the other day i was holding her and break finished and she was indicating that she wanted me to go to her class, as she kept pointing at it. i was like 'where? where do you want me to go?' she was just pointing and saying 'dey' which is a favourite of all the kids to point things out to you anyway, but i wasnt having it, and eventually she was like 'ba-bee' which was completely amazing, ive never know her say something understandable, ever.

i kind of passed it off as fluke, but today she was on my back and i kept asking her 'Nozahi?' which really means where are you going, but i was asking her and she was pointing where she wanted to go. anyway, i was asking her and she pointed so i started walking and then i stopped and asked 'where, here?' and she was like 'here! here! here!' it was so cool. i really want to just spend more time talking to her, because im sure that if she just had more one to one time she would be fine.