Monday, 29 August 2011

Clubbing and casino's...

hey guys!

just a quick update on my last couple of days...

i met up with a few people from the lodge on saturday and we went to the craft market and then went to open house, which is a restaurant/bar owned by a friend of paul and tariq for a drink. they wanted to go somewhere nice for food so i took them to mediteranneo, where i had prawns and squid, but could hardly eat any of it, which was deastating! they felt a little bit underdressed for the occaision, and it was all a bit awrkward because they had come straight from the market (where it was raining hard) to open house and then mediteraneo without getting changed or having a shower or anything, which wasn't great. the girls looked ok, most of us were wearing dresses and pretty flip flops, which is fine for that sort of pleace, but one of the boys in particular has long hair, was wearing a vest and walking boots and carrying a big rucksack, looking just like a backpacking hippy. the staff at the restaurant didnt seem to care very much though, and we spent a fair bit of money there so i think they were happy

after mediteraneo we made our way to backpackers, where they are staying along with all of pauls volunteers, so we had arranged to meet paul and tariq there. backpackers is actually really nice for a hostel and i ended up staying the night because paul was taking his volunteers out to iguanas and i was knackred from the night before's antics so it was easier to stay at backpackers with the people i know from the lodge.

it was nice to meet some of pauls volunteers though they didnt speak to us much in the evening, but started to branch out from their group by morning. breakfast the next morning at backpackers was really good, i had pancakes!! the food and drink there is cheap but generally very nice, and the atmosphere is good.

once we finished breakfast we went back to the craft market as people had started to close up their stalls when it began to rain and so there were still a few things that people wanted to get. i have bought so many things in that market, i literally have no idea how i will get them home, so tomorrow is going to be a bit of a mission when i'm packing up!!

last night was pauls volunteers final night in uganda so he had organised for them to do a kuroga at open house, wich means that they cook their own curries outside. because there were so many of them they split into teams and made it into a competition to see who could make the best curry. it was nice being there and the volunteers where much friendlier to me yesterday!! i was talking to one girl and it turns out that she is really good frinds with Molly, who i was sharing a room with at the lodge! so bizzare..

we left open house pretty late and the boys then decided that they wanted to go to a casino (again!), so off we headed to simba. i've never been to a casino before so it was interesting to say the least, and the poeple who we were with go to them all the time and dont seem to think too much about the money they are spending. ron bought a load of chips and then just handed them over to me and Krisha, saying 'go and play'. we didnt need telling twice but i ahd very little idea how most of it works, but i could manage roulette so that's what we played for most of the time we were there. we had a load of 1000 shillling chips, which are only worth about 25p, but the little circles of plastic are so far removed from actual money tat its easy to throw them away. there were some crazy characters at the casino, and there was one guy at the roulettle table we were at who was playing with black chips, worth 100,000 shillings each, which is about £25. he had a massive stack of them and was just chucking them on the table like it was nothing.

i won a couple of times which was nice, but really i found the whole thing a bit pointless, especially as wehn we decided we wanted to go, instead of cashing in his chips, ron played untill he lost them all, cursing every time he won because now he 'had' to stay longer.

we got back early thismorning and haven't really gt any plans for the day, but i think we might be going to the cinema tonight. tomorrow is my last day and i am going to go for dinner at the sushi restaurant again with Krisha and Hannah.

see you all soon! love, Lucy xxx

Don't you know who i am?!

i wrote this post on saturday, but was unable to post it, so here it is today :)

Hey all.
As it was Friday night last night, we went out and met up with some friends. We met everyone at a Japanese restaurant where we had completely amazing food. Every time you order something they bring you this little bowl of salad which was so nice, I have no idea what was in it, but some shredded crunchy stuff and then doused in a really nice gingery dressing.

When me, paul and tariq arrived we were bit early so we ordered some tempura prawns to keep us going, (naturally, they came with the salad beforehand) which were absolutely divine, and then people started arriving so there was a bit of a time delay, but eventually we ordered food. There are a lot of male expats in kampala but very few women, so in a group of about 20 men there were only 3 of us girls. Thankfully they were really lovely and I had met one of them before, so we stuck together.

We ordered a baby maha roll which was prawn and some sort of vegetable inside, and then nori and rice around the outside, with a slice of avocado on top. That came recommended to us and was absolutely amazing. I have never really had sushi before, and I was a little bit wary of trying it but it was very nice and at this restaurant they fly all of the fish in fresh that morning, and you really could tell it was fresh. We were the last little group to get our food and so by the time we got our baby maha most people had finished eating! It did have the advantage that we could go around stealing nibbles of everyone elses though, so I got to try a lot of things! The boys had some amazing teriyaki beef from the hot food menu which we couldn’t get enough of, and we were very pleased because we had ordered the teriyaki beef sushi roll, which was yet to materialise. When it got to about half 10 we got a bit more vocal about the fact we were STARVING etc as the owner was sat only one seat down the bar from us, and he gave his chef a bollocking, as they had clearly forgotten our order. They brought a chicken roll rather than beef, but we couldn’t be bothered to argue and it was very nice anyway.

I also got to try sake last night which I have never had before, and was oddly served warm. Not like red wine warm, but it had actually been heated up. I thought that was odd and that I wouldn’t really like it but the temperature definitely added something to it and I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would (though I didn’t go back for another cup!). When we were finally through with the sushi the boys all decided they wanted to go to the casino as there was a cash poker game happening and they all have money to burn and wanted to get in on the action. Me, Hannah and Krisha just looked at eachother like please, no! And decided to make our own way to a bar, rather than going to the casino. It turned out to be a good move and a few of the boys came to their senses and came with us to the Irish pub that is so popular with expats in Kampala. There were lots of people there who I recognised, including a south African guy called Rob who I have been on a couple of nights out with, and tieese, the Brazilian girl I shared a hotel room with when we went to Rukinjiri. Hannah and Krisha who used to live here introduced me to lots of other people as well, and it was nice to be socialising a bit independently of paul, as I don’t want to get in his way and it can be awkward for me when I don’t know people and I don’t get introduced.

The boys came and met us in bubbles after a bit, and it materialised that paul had lost a little bit of money (though he didn’t say how much, and I expect our definitions of ‘a little bit of money’ are very different!!) but Tariq had won 400,000 shillings, which is about £100. When we got bored of bubbles we moved on to a club called iguanas which is popular with young visitors on projects like mine, because it’s cheap and has something of an African vibe to it, unlike some of the other places I have been to in Kampala.

We didn’t stay in iguanas particularly long as pauls friend Ron needed to get to Cayenne to meet a friend. I like cayenne as it’s a bit more civilised than iguanas though is less exciting, so we all trooped off. We got there and had a few drinks and it was fairly uneventful, but it was fun. The girls had bought a joint from a boda boda driver and ron seems to have quite a lot of power at cayenne so we went and sat in a corner to smoke it. It was funny because there was absolutely no weed in the thing, it was basically just a rollup. The security man got all suspicious and came over so we put it out and then we were laughing and we were like mate, smell it, theres nothing in it! Although he didn’t look too convinced, he was clearly a little bit fearful of upsetting ron, so he took it away and brought us a whole packet of cigarettes to replace it. They didn’t interest us in the slightest, but it was funny seeing his reaction.

By the time we were talking baout leaving cayenne it was nearly 5AM and I was absolutely knackered. I wanted to go home but paul and tariq insisted on us going to this place called club pa lui where they went the other night and paul upset someone by mooning them. Thankfully we got there and the bouncer said that they weren’t letting anyone else in because it was too late, so we all trooped off home. Ron and Krisha came with us which was nice, and me and krisha were planning to meet up today anyway, and we will probably see Hannah later as well. I’m not entirely sure what we’re going to be doing but they seem to know good places to go from living here so I’m sure they’ll have some ideas.

I cant believe how long this post is! Over 1000 words just describing one night, sorry if it’s not that interesting for you to read...

Love, Lucy xxx

Friday, 26 August 2011

People and power cuts...

hey all, its been a while!

i left the lodge on wednesday with sofia, and paul drove us and two of his own volunteers to his flat. unfortunately we arrived in kampala a bit late, so sophia coudnt join us for dinner as planned, and had to go straight to the airport pretty much when we arrived at pauls flat.pauls two volunteers, florie and lydia were really nice, and we all went out for dinner at mediteraneo. i had been looking forward to lasagne there for so long! it was really good, and as always seems to happen when you go anywhere with paul and tariq, we ended up as a huge party of people at the restaurant. they had begun laying a table for 6, (us and one fried of paul and tariq) while we sat in the bar, but it quickly had to be changed to a table for 12, and as we walked to it we saw tieese (brazilian girl i shared a hotel room with at georges wedding) and a friend of hers, so they joined us, and then a few minutes later some more people arrived, so we ended up being a table of about 15! i think the girls were a bit intimidated and wwhen paul suggested that we go out after the meal, they looked pretty horrified, so the 3 of us went back to the flat and basically went to bed. i kept waking up in the night and wondering if they were back yet, but they didnt get home til 7am! it was than tht i was quite reived that i hadn't gone out. yesterday the girls wanted to go to the craft market so paul drove us there (his volunteers aren't allowed to use boda bodas, too unsafe) and we shopped for nearly 3 hours, which was great but exhausting. after that we met paul at his friend ron (who i have met before)'s restaurant, which was really nice, i think we all ended up eating chicken tikka roti/wraps. they had to get to the airport so we said goodbye to lydia and florie at the restaurant and they went off to entebbe in a taxi. we went back to the flat and just basically chilled out until the evening, (well, i was chillin', but paul was sleeping as he had only had about 2 hours sleep that morning.)

at about 8 oclock we were debating what to do, as we had been invited to a pub quiz at the irish pub, and i would have liked to have gone, but paul and tariq were knackred from the previous night, so they decided to stay in, and get food from the hot food counter at the supermarket (they dont cook). then the power went out, and they got annoyed because they had wanted to watch a film, and now they couldnt. the debated for ages whether we shoud go out now, to a restaurant, as otherwise we would ahve to sit and eat in the dark. eventually it was decided that we should go and buy food and bring it back and eat in the dark, but thwere was some debate about whether to take the bike or the car. eventually the car was decied on and it was a bloody good job because as we were waiting for our pizzas (at the first place we went) it started pissing down. the ridiculous thing about this story is that once we decided we were staying in i put my onepiece on as it was cold in the flat. then while we were in the car on the way to the supermarket paul decided we should go to cayenne to get pizzas and then go tot he supermarket. cayenne is a club that i ahve been to before and lots of pauls friends and acquaintences hang out there, and they are poeple i have met and will be seeing again. we had to wait for the pizzas at a table with me in my pink onepiece looking like an absolute twat thinking oh god i hope nobody recognises me. you get frisked going into most places here and the woman who was searching me openly laughed at me as i went in. oh god. then we went off to the supermarket in the pissing rain and it took AGES because there was traffic and the most torrential rain i have ever seen and we eventually got back to the flat 2 hours after we left.

the pizza was cold and they dont have an oven so we had to reheat it in a frying pan, which was interesting but actually worked quite well. after that there was nothing to do and it was actually quite late so we went to bed.

this morning paul got up and went to work and me and tariq slept in (though tariq sleeps in every day). when i got up i started cooking breakfast (i had bacon for the first time in 8 weeks!!)and tariq got up and as soon as he saw the kitchen and the aftermath of last night he rang his maid like 'hi, i knw its friday (she is muslim) but could you please come in and clean the kitchen?' i looked at it and it wasnt really messy at all, there was just some washing up to be done and the worktops needed wiping. she said she could come at 2.30 but that would mean the we couldnt go out as planned, so i offered to do it. it literally took 5 minutes and now its sorted, so later we will go to mediteraneo (its basically their fave place and it had free wifi) for coffee and stuff and to use the internet and we dont have to wait for hajat or disturb her holy day.

later today some of the people from the lodge should be getting to kampala so i hope to meet up with them for dinner, and then as its friday we will definitely be going out and it will be busy in town and stuff so that should be fun, and paul and tariq know good places to go and people who can get you in for free so we will probably hang out with them.

at the weekend lauren and kathy from the lodge and me are going to go horse riding just outside kampala. i'm not entirely sure what is involved because lauren is organising it but the general gist that i got is that you go all day and its in the hills and stuff and its not expensive, so that should be fun. it'll be interesting to see how much of my riding skill i have retained!

i cant wait to come back to blighty next week, even though i'm having a great time here. i'm missing home and my family and my bed and food (although food isnt a problem in kampala)a lot and it will just be lovely to be home.

see you soon!!

Love, Lucy xx

Monday, 22 August 2011

Sickness and summer camp...

hey all! sorry i haven't posted in a few days, but we've had no power!

on saturday i got quite ill quite suddenly and couldn't leave the lodge because i couldnt stop being sick. it was a wholly unpleasant experience and even prompted a tearful 'i want to go home!' phonecall. i had pretty much recovered by yesterday and so tried to come into town as i still have university accomodation issues i need to sort out online, but thewre was no power in the whole of the south of the country and the internet cafe was closed so we couldnt even bribe them to put the generator on.

all of the other shops in town were closed so we literally came in and then came home again. marass forgot to come yesterday as well, so i didnt get my chappati lesson, though to be honest my stomach was still feeling a little delicate.

i dont have a huge amount else to say, i missed out on sals on friday because i had started to feel unwell by that point, and ive spent the last 2 days recovering. tomorrow is my last day at the lodge before i got back to kampala, which will be really sad but i am definitely looking forwards to a hot shower and a meal at mediteraneo (amazing italian restaurant in kampala)!

see you all soon! love, Lucy xxx

Friday, 19 August 2011

ageism and art (on the face)...

hey all!

yesterday we had summer camp, and a lot more kids turned up, which was uplifiting. a teacher also came, actually the mother of the girl who i had admitted to hospital with malaria.she tells me her daughter is completely recovered. the kids were bit nuts yesterday, especially as there were quite a few from ruhanga boys who arent used to having volunteers around, ajd arent used to doing those kinds of activities. we let them use the dressing up stuff, and they did colouring in quite hapliy all afternoon, intermittently going outside to check out the outdoor games.

prossy, the racist baby, was quite friendly with me yesterday and even sat with me for a cuddle for quite a while, and wanted to be on my hip for most of the day. i absoolutely love babies, so i was happy to indulge her. when i was stood chatting to the teacher and to Amon, our volunteer coordinator, she fell alseep on me, whcih was so cute, what was not so cute however, was that as i took her into a classroom and sat down with her still asleep in my lap, she proceeded to empty her baldder all over me. that si the second time that child alone has peed on me! she is far too much of a tiny tot to be walking around in underwear, because she wets herself even when awake, but her mother can't afford nappies for her. i'm gonna buy her some today, at least enough to last a week, and then i'll know its safe to pick her up!

yesterday we had the treat of 2 good meals in a row. mash for lunch and chips and meat for dinner. it's not that i dont like the food here, but its so repetative i just have no appetite for it. we get plain rice and plain clumped together spaghetti every day, apart from the occiasional interruption when we get mash or chips. and of course rolexes on a wednesday night, when marass comes. he is coming on sunday for an extra visit, when he has promised to teach me to make chappatis!

today we did face painting with the kids at school which they absolutely loved. we all arrived with our faces painted and they wanted to look just like us, though a lot of them went and washed it off almost immediately. i think some of them thought it was real paint, and if it dried it wouldn't come off easily. the teachers also wanted to try it, though they seemed hell bent on lightening their skins by just using the white paint. it didn't work well. i have noticed a lot of skin lightening products in the shops here, and it is clear that a pale complexion is sought after.

after face painting me and lauren decided we wanted to come into town (mainly so that i could sort out my uni accomodation!!!) so we flagged down the first passing vehichle, which just happened to be a truck. first he wanted to buy 100 bricks from the birckworks next to the lodge, but he didnt tell us that before we got in! we could ahve walked by the time he had loaded all of his bricks!when we were finally underway, he turned to me and asked how old i was. i told him i was 18, anmd he laughed and said 'no no no, you are 30!' i was like ummm no i'm not! then he looked at lauren (who is 28) and said she was 22!he totally didnt believe i was 18 in the slightest. we had also got into the truck with our faces still painted like butterflies, but he didnt say anything about it! we are going out to sals tonight and we plan to keep our face paint on for that!\

tomorrow is saturday and so hopefully everyone who is out on trips will be back by then, so the lodge will be a bit busier. its so wierd that its so quiet now, there are only about 6 of us left!

we watched a film called the tourist last night which has johnny depp and angelina jolie in it, so we were expecting it to be good, but it was absolutely crap, but quit amusing at how bad it was. lauren geussed the ending within about 30 seconds, and we were like, 'oh god that would be rubbish', and then thats exactly what happened!

not much else to tell you all really, see you soon!

love, lucy xx

Thursday, 18 August 2011

shopping and summer camp...

hey guys!

today is market day, so we will be spending a few hours browsing and buying i'm sure. one of the girls at the lodge managed to buy a shawl/scarf thing like a pashmina but much heavier and warmer, and i want to try and find one of those because it gets pretty chilly here in the evenings especially when you have to get open air transport, like boda bodas or in the back of a truck.

it was the first official day of the summer programme yesterday, which was supposed to begin at 1pm. i arrived at 5past, i9 was the first volunteer there, and there were only 4 kids and no teachers (who we were promised would be there, 1 per 30 kids)by the end of the afternoon about 20 had turned up in dribs and drabs, but it wasnt a great turnout. i think they had fun though, despite being called through to see lauren, the dental student, for a check up.

there was one kid who i havent net before from the school down the road who had a swollen eye. i asked him what happened, wondering if it was an infection. he answered simply 'my mother. she hit.' i was pretty horrified, but as time went on (not that i condone violence to children in any way) i could understand why she was driven to it. he was a sure candidate for ritalin.

last night it was chris and rachel's last night so we went out to the pub, and then marass came to the lodge to make rolexes. he has promised to come on sunday and teach me how to make chapattis!

not much else to tell you really, i still have my cold, which i think is giving me a sinus infection (THAT wont be fun on the plane)and the lodge is in turmoil a bit because today is a level results day, so lots of people are in the internet cafe with me, trying desperately to access a jammed ucas site.

quite a few poeple left on trips today as well, so there arent many of us left. i am now the 3rd most experienced volunteer at the lodge, after hari and steve.

so excited to be coming home in less than 2 weeks!! its not that i'm not enjoying myself, because i am, but i really miss home and i'm really quite excited to come home and see everybody.

love, Lucy xx

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Running on africa time...

hey all! not much has happened since my last post, but i'll fill you in anyway.

the kids were meant to arrie yesterday at 1pm for the summer programme, which is basically free babysitting where we do games and fun activities with them. two kids turned up with their parents, who informed us that the kids wanted a break from school, so nobody will be coming until wednesday. that was a bit dissapointing, as i was starting to miss school since i havent done a full day for quite a while (many trips to hospital, and then gorillas) but at least i'll see them tomorrow.

yesterday afternoon i came into town for the internet and stuff, and then we went again in the evening for dinner at sky blue. we came early bacause they are evry slow there, but i was still full of chapattis from afternoon tea! (the decision to go to sky blue was spur of the moment) i had a small meal and it was so nice to have a change from the lodge food! when we had finished it was pitch black but also absolutely pissing down, so we got soaked trying to hail a cab. there was a driver at sky blue who offered to take us but he wanted 5000 per person! (it should be 1000, and thats the mzungu price!)

that morning when we had gone into town, 3 of us crammed onto a boda boda but on the way back i didnt want to do that because i always think it feels waaaay more unsafe, especially if you're at the back, i said i would get my own and follow the other 2 girls back. we both got bikes, and set off. my driver looked a bit funny, but i didnt think anything of it. about 30 seconds in, he named some town that i've never heard of, and i said no, its in ruhanga. (he had previously said he knew where he was going) on hearing this, he doubled the agreed price. i argued, but he wouldnt back down, so i told him to stop and i would find someone else. he refused to stop. i was bricking it. i shouted at him to stop NOW, as firmly as i could, but he laughed at me and kept going. we were still int he middle of town, and i was well prepared to make a fuss, but only as a last resort. i had an idea; i was holding onto his waist. i started pinching him. he stopped pretty quick. i jumped off and tried to hail another boda, while he shouted obscenities and gibberish at me. it was then that i came to the conclusion that he was a complete nutter. i got on the back of the other girls boda boda. it was definitely safer than my guy!

when we got back to the lodge after dinner last night, we were plunged into darkness by a power cut, which was very annoying. most of us went to bed really early just because there was nothing else to do.

not much else to say, except that some people are going on a 'hospital tour' this afternoon, which i think is a bit wrong, a bit like going on a slum tour in india, a bit too much like 'poorism' for me, and i've had enough experience of that place anyway. so many kids at school are ill, particularly with a fungal infection on their scalps, which turns out to be ringworm. i've caught it, i have it on my face and arm, it looks so gross. i feel like people are judging me in the street (more than they were already, that is!) but i got some stuff for it so hopefully it should go soon.

also, my shoes are missing. it's very annoying. i brought 2 pairs on new leather sandals with me that i like a lot, one brown, one black. the black pair have been missing for about a week. the brown pair, i wore yesterday, didnt even know they had gone, but today i saw restay, (the woman who cooks for us at the lodge) wearing them. i asked her where she got them, and she gestured vaugely in the direction of the bandas, and when i told her they were mine, and she noticed i wasnt wearing any shoes, she reluctantly handed them over. i'm a bit hurt that she did that, especially as she and the other staff regularly get donated clothes and stuff when people leave, and people often bring donations too. i'd happily give her my brown sandals when i leave, but while i'm here i need them! i thought i must have just been careless with my brown ones but now i'm starting to wonder if they have found their way home with a member of staff too. i now have the uncomfortable job of trying to track them down. they are my favourite shoes!

see you all in 2 weeks!!

Love, Lucy xxx

Monday, 15 August 2011

marriage and mad men

hey all!

not that much to tell today, a lot of people have left the lodge and i'm now alone in my room, which is nice on one level but crap on another level.

yesterday we attended a bit marriage ceremony which was held in the school playing fileds. its was beautiful and very posh. there were twelve wedding cakes! the family were clearly quite well off. there were fairy lights everywhere, and a bubble machine, and a dj. all of that was running off a very small generator! there were also several entertainers who were hilariously crap. there was a gospel choir (who mimed to a CD), two different solo singers (who mimed to CD's) and an 'acrobat' who was good but ran out of material after about 5 minutes.

the food was great, the 3 cows seemed so good after 5 weeks of not eating meat! there was not cutlery though, and it is considered rude to eat with both hands, you use your right hand for eating and your left hand for 'other things'. eating rice and mea and stuff with just one hand is hard work. perhaps the most difficult item were the chappatis, which needed to be torn into smaller bit and could then be used as a scoop for the rice. try tearing a piece of paper with one hand. its bloody impossible. had to use a sneaky finger on my left hand for that one, but i eventually got the hang of it.

they also served the disgusting millet drink that i had a georges engagement party, and some of the volunteers accepted a glass without knowing what it was. it was hilarious. there were a couple of hundred people at the wedding, so we didnt really have to worry about people noticing us daring eachother to drink it.

the little girl i took to hospital the other day is home now, after 2 nights on the childrens ward. one of the boys has been to visit her while i was seeing the gorillas and reported she seemed loads better which is good, and also brian's parents took him to hospital for an HIV test. i dont know the results, but i geuss it's not my business anymore.

yesterday at the wedding one of the girls brought me a child with a huge gash on his leg and asked me to take a look. he said he'd got it a week ago but it was still open and really looked like it needed stitches. it turns out he's the son of a member of staff at the lodge, but i doubt he'll ever get treatment for it. he's not a student at school, so he's not in my care, and so i have no right to take him for treatment. i find that sort of thing immensely frustrating. i'm told that here ilness is still sometimes thought to be the work of the devil, or may be a punishment for sins, so people are reluctant to seek treatment, fearing gods wrath. they also may relate it to witchcraft which is so ridiculous, but is still a crime here and is serverely punished. i'm told a child with HIV may be cast out of the family because they are blamed for bringing the disease on the family, despite the fact they would have caught it form the mother.

the summer programme at school starts today, so were arent allowed to use the blackboards (its illegal to educate the children during the holidays), or get them to write anything. it doesnt start till 1pm though, so we have a our mornings free from now on.

oh and the title... the local mad man turned up at the wedding. it was tragically funny.

love, Lucy xx

Saturday, 13 August 2011

backhanders and beestings....

so yesterday we went to see the gorillas. actually seeing them was absolutely breathtaking, but the trip wasn't without its problems.

we stayed the night at gift of nature lodge which was absolutely lovely. we were so pleased to have proper pillows and real scrambled egg in the morning!

it turns out we dint have permits (i dont think) but our trip was a 'special arrangement' between denis and his friends. having compared notes with someone else at the lodge who went last week, it definitely sounds like we got the rugged version. rosie and ross (who went last week) said they had a guide, and a man at the front and another at the back with guns, and the guide had a machete that he used to cut a path through the vines. we had one man who had nothing more than a stick to steady himself on the wet ground. not a gun or machete in sight! of course at the time we had no idea that we were SUPPOSED to have a guide with a gun, so we werent too woried.

the trek was very tough going, at high altitude its very difficult to breathe properly and the terrain wasnt easy to get through. you don't take paths, you follow where the gorillas have been, and when your guide can't cut the vines, you find yourself entangled and falling ungracefully on your arse really quite often. we trekked for about 6 hours in total, during which time we all got stung and bitten by an array of tropical insects.

finding the gorillas was an absolute joy, and such a relief to stop climbing. we saw the rare sight of two families crossing eachothers path, which mean that they were making aggressive sounds to warn eachother off. i would have appreciated a man with a rifle at that point! the first gorilla we saw was a big silverback male who had been extradited from his group. he was very funny and spent a lot of time with his middle finger stuck up at us! i have some great photos of that. we later saw a female who was only about 3m away from us, which was absolutely amazing/terrifying.

on the way back the climb was really hard, and i found myself having a panic attack because i felt like i couldn't breathe. i've never had one before and it was pretty bloody terrifying. one of our group as well, steve, was vomiting though he claimed it was just from the exertion of walking. when we finally got back to the car it was a very different story.

when we got to the top, we were all breathless, but steve didnt regain composure like the rest of us, and continued to struggle to breathe. he said he had felt fine until he was stung on the head by a wasp. getting in the car, it quickly became apparent that he was having a pretty servere allergic reaction to the sting. his lips turned blue, and he said he couldn't feel his arms or face. the serisouness of the situation was aparent to us, but the african road seriously hindered us in getting to hospital quickly. when we eventually arrived at the hospital they were so chilled out it was annoying, and they didn't seem too bothered. thankfully steve seemed to have manufactured enough of his own adrenaline by then to be slowly recovering.

thats about all i have to tell you at this point, its been a miserable rainy day here and i have a rotten cold, but tomorrow we are heading out to a wedding party of the sister of one of the staff at the lodge. they have kiled 3 cows for the occaision!

Love, Lucy xx

Thursday, 11 August 2011

gorillas and getting admitted

just a very quick post today to elt you all know that i'm leaving for gorilla ntracking tonight, and i will be tracking tomorrow! so excited, and this was quite unexpected and sudden that we are going so soon!

i ended up at hospital today again, with a poor child who was so ill i'm not sure she'll make it through the night. she had a temperature of 40 degrees, a racing pulse, she was shaking and said she had a headache. she was breathing really shallowly and fast, and she refused to eat. her mother insisted she was fine, as did several other staff at the school. i took her to hospital and she was admitted fairly sharpish. i still fear she wont be there when i get back tomorrow.

her mother eventually came after a bit of persuading and being given the money for transport. she said she would come quickly to try and persuade the hospital to let her daughter out! its so frustrating that the parents of these children dont ever bring them for treatment, even when they are at deaths door.

that is all thats really being happening at my end, i'll post as soon as i get back from the gorillas and i've been to visit her a the hospital.

love, lucy xxxx

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Hospitals and HIV testing

hey all. i've had a fairly uneventful couple of days, but i'll fill you in on the details anyway.

yesterday i was ten minutes in to teaching a class (which was going very well, by the way!)when a child was shoved at me with the declaration 'he is sick. take to hospital.'

i was somewhat taken aback and also pretty pissed off with this development, but i took him anyway - what choice did i have?they were convinced he had malaria, and he did have a skin complaint which looked a bit like scabies on his wrists.

when we got to the hospital it seemed unlikely that he had malaria but the drugs were prescribed for him anyway. he had a blood test which was negative (though not very high tech. they put the blood on a slide and look for 'bugs' under a microscope.)when i got him back to school i tried to persuade his teacher who is a bit of a dragon to let him take it easy for the rest of the day, but she wasn't having any of it. one of the teachers took all of the tablets from him and said she was taking him home. whether or not the drugs made it home with him is another matter.

that evening me and one of the other girls from the lodge, rachel, went out for dinner to sky blue, which was really nice. i had a rolex and chips, which was waaay better than what was on offer at the lodge.

today i went over to school for break, where i noticed that brian, who has been absent for several days, had conjunctivitis symptoms again. since he had it less than a month ago and still hasn't managed to shake it off, i was worried, so i walked through the mountains back to his house to ask the mother if the drops had been helping. she told me that she'd been putting them in religeously but it wasn't making a difference. i tentatively enquired if they would allow me to get him tested for HIV, and the parents agreed to this. i took him back down the mountain and we headed off to hospital. i have had a child tested for HIV before and it was no issue, i asked and they did it. well not today. dr moses wouldn't budge. he wanted to the parents o be there, despite the fact they had agreed to the test but declined to accompany us. it was very frustrating,. but he did at least provide some alternative treatment which will hopefully be more effective.

i have to take him home later and ask one of the parents to accompany me to the hospital, so he can have the test, though both parents refuse to be tested themselves.

tonight is sophia's birthday, so we are going out to a concert by some ugandan pop sensation, which should be a laugh, i'll repot back in a couple of days!

love, Lucy xxx

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Drinking and dowries...

Hey guys! It’s been such a good couple of days, I think this is going to be a long one. As already mentioned in my last post, we did white water rafting and had a night out the previous day.

On Friday when I got back to pauls and I decided to stay, it was pretty apparent that we would be going out (it was a Friday night, after all, and I was missing a night at Sals.) we first headed out to mediteraneo, the Italian restaurant where I met up with paul for lunch on Wednesday. There we met up with a couple of friends of paul and tarik, including a Serbian guy called George. We had a few drinks and some of us had dinner (I had fresh ravioli, DIVINE), and I found out that George was getting engaged the following day, so he had to travel to rukingiri where the girls family lives. He invited me along for the ride, so I decided to go.

After mediteraneo we moved on to a shisha bar called casa blanca which was a real hole, but we sat outside and after much waiting and arguing they produced a pipe for us, which was enjoyable. George used to be a barman (in a very classy bar, I imagine) and makes amazing cocktails. He has an amazing command over people, and eveyr place we went he would just nip behind the bar and mix up something amazing, so even in this crappy bar we had great drinks.

After the shisha George decided that he needed to go home and rest, but we stayed on in town and went back to the same irish pub we went to on Wednesday, but it was packed so we didn’t stay long, before moving on to a place called cayenne, which pauls friend ron got us into for free. Apparently there are a lot of rich Indians around in kampala and they don’t pay to get in anywhere. Cayenne was really nice and I actually bumped into one of the girls who was rafting on the same day as me and we had travelled on the same bus to jinja. We had some great cocktails there as well, despite the fact that George had left!

We eventually went home and slept for a couple of hours before getting up at six to set off for rukinjiri. We travelled up in a car that George had just bought but it was pretty much falling apart. We stopped on the way for samosas which were really nice and we finally arrived at the hotel at about 2 o’clock. After showering and getting changed we had to drive to the village that is home to the bride, Helens family. The engagement thing was really interesting, there were a lot of very strict rules we had to follow. When we came into the house we had to walk in a straight, single file line. We were taken into a room where we were given this absolutely vile drink made form ground millet. I only managed on sip and I heaved 3 times before I could even swallow it. Most of the others managed most of a glass, but I have no idea how they did it. George managed a glass and a half. I was really worried about appearing rude by not drinking it, but I figured it would have been ruder to throw up everywhere than to leave it in the glass. After the drink we had to walk in a line again to this makeshift marquee that had been set up, and we had to sit facing all of the family and village elders but we weren’t allowed to greet them, we had to wait for them to come to us, which they didn’t.

One of the elders made a speech and we listened, but it didn’t make a lot of sense. The general gist was (I think) that they were happy we were there, despite the fact they didn’t look the slightest bit happy. Then we went off to a separate room where they fed us for 2 hours. They had this really nice chicken which was cooked wrapped in banana leaves, and there was a parcel for each of us. Georges parcel contained a whole chicken that he wasn’t allowed to share!

After the food we went back and we all had to speak and say who we were. Then they asked us why we were there and I was dreading having to answer that but there was an adjudicator type of person and he answered for us. Then all of the daughters of the family came out and they had to give a flower to the man they wanted to marry. It all seemed a bit odd because they clearly already knew who was getting engaged to who, but thats the way it was. After that basically they had to negociate about the dowry price, even though we had brought loda of stuff with us, they require a lot from the man. He had been told to buy 20kg of sugar, 10kg of salt, lots of waragi, bread, butter, biscuits, soap, and bottled water. On top of that they asked for 10 ankole cows, with the biggest horns, but to show his gratitude he offered 12. That would cost about 12million shillings, which is about £3000. After that it got a lot more relaxed and we basically danced and partied. They wanted us to stay there which I think would have been fun but George was a bit snobby about it and was like ‘I don’t want to sleep on the fucking floor, it’s like Auschwitz in there’ even though they had mattresses and stuff, I think it looked fine, but we went back to the hotel, where the Serbians (along with paul and tarik) drank for hours. Me and the Brazilian girl I shared a room with went to be quite early as we were so knackered form the night before!

This morning I came back to ruhanga, which was on their way home so they dropped me off, which was nice. Now that I’m back it feels a little weird but it’s nice that I feel I’ve come home, and I’ve surprised myself with how pleased I was to be back!

love, lucy xx

Friday, 5 August 2011

long time no blog...

hey all! its been an eventful few days; so much so that i had to take notes on my phone so i would remember what had happened and when!

on tuesday night i was just at the lodge and not much really happened, we had a quiz and a big load of new people arrived.

on wednesday morning i had to make my way to kampala on my own which was a little daubnting but turned out fine. when i got there i couldnt get hold of becca who i was meeting or paul so i had a bit of a panic but paul soon called me back, and i met up with him in a really nice italian restaurant for lunch. the boda boda driver whop took me there tried to rip me off so badly! it should have been about 3000 shillings but he tried to charge me 10000. i gave him 4000.

once i had met up with everyone we went to a craft market and bought lots of souvenirs and stuff. then we all made our way back to pauls for a shower and we went out for the evening, whihc was certainly interesting! we went for dinner at an amazing indian restaurant and then went to an irish pub (wierd to go to an irish pub in uganda, i know), and then a club called iguana, which contained a fair few mzungus! kampala is like mzungu city, it feels so wierd after being in ntungamo for so long. we were as bad as the ugandans, shouting mzungu! every time we saw someone!

we bumped into several friends of paul and tarik while we were out, and one of them bought us some absolutley vile shots, with kalhua at the bototm and baileys on top. before i'd even swallowed it i know i was going to vom. most of the other girls were sensible and took them away to drink them, before passing them on to grateful locals.

we got back tot he flat and went to bed at half four, and then our alarms went off at half five to get up and go to the place where we were getting picked up to go to jinja. thankfully the bus ride was long so we got a bit more sleep.

when we got to jinja they gave us egg and suasage on a stick before bundling us into helmets and lifejackets and onto the rafts.

the rafting was something else. great fun, but bloody terrifying and quite painful at times!! we did about 8 rapids in total, one of which is named 'the bad place', and we didnt intend to go into it, we decided to go along side in one called 50 5o. well, the current was too strong and we were pulled into the bad place, capsizing and resulting in becca getting a black eye, nicola vomiting and me dislocating both shoulders. that one wasnt much fun. after that though we had lunch and we did some more, which we remained upright for, and we thouroughly enjoyed those ones!

once your raft touches land your hour of free booze begins, so we made a mad dash up the hill to the bar, (i wasnt even drinking!) some poeple managed to fit in 4 beers! after that we had an hours drive back to jinja, but we had to make a toilet stop for the people who had been drinking!

the dorms at jinja were really nice with 3 layer bunk beds and a nice bar and restaurant, whihc had a great view of the bungee tower!

this morning some of the girls did a bungee jump and i was the desiganted photographer, i got some great shots! we then made the journey6 back to kampala to pauls to pick up everyones stuff, and i decided to stay overnight and go back and meet the others at bunyoni in the morning, as they wont get back to the lodge until early hours of tomorrow anyway.

phew! sorry for the factual post, but so much happened i just needed to get it down. i wont be posting again untill i get back froim bunyoni on monday, or it could even be tuesday

love, lucy xxx

Monday, 1 August 2011

today i had to take one of the children to hospital (again!!) he had a skin infection in his eyelid, nose and all over his body, and septic wounds on his legs. when we got to hospital they told us he also had worms, so we departed with a large coctail of drugs.

yesterday there was a huge intake of new volunteers, 8 people arrived at once, and another 8 are due to arrive on tuesday. the lodge doesnt seem too packed though, as 7are on safari and i am due to join them in jinja on wednesday for white water rafting! some of the girls are also doing a bungee jump but i will just be taking pictures, definitely not jumping!

this afternoon i've been invited to go to steven's (the last child i took to hospital before today) house, his family are so so grateful for what i did, its almost embarassing. when they picked him up they gave me some bread to say thankyou, and now they are inviting me into their home. i'm excited to see though.

we have a new roommate to replace suzi, who left last week. her name is lauren and she is a dental student she's 28 and really lovely. she came to the hospital with me today as she wanted to meet the dentist, but he wasnt there.

i have to go, the niterna=et cafe has a huge queue!!

love, lucy xx

Saturday, 30 July 2011

bunyoni and boozing....

hey all!

its been a good few days since my last post, but this is actually my third day in a row of visits to the internet cafe! yesterday there was a powercut and the day before the connection was down. a few things have happened since wednesday, but in all honesty i cant remember what happened on what day, so i'll just tell you as i remember it. (ie, prepare for a rambly post!)

on thurday (i think) we moved rooms whish was brilliant, because our new room has so much more space, and the beds are higher so we can put our cases underneath them. suzi left on friday so the bed underneath me is now empty, and priya and rachel have gone to lake bunyoni for the weekend, so our room is suddenly very big and very empty! just me, molly and sarah are left, but molly and sarah are going on safari tomorrow, but hopefully i wont be alone because priya and rachel should be back and there are 8 new people arriving on sunday so at least one of them will be in our room. the projects is stuffed full of people, it has a max capacity of 20, but by the middle of next week it will be in the high 40's. original volunteers just keep sending people even though theres no space. in this week alone we have had 18 new people and only 5 have left.

we are all going on a big trip to lake bunyoni next weekend, which should be great fun. it's supposed to be very beautiful and is genuinely bilharzia free so we can swim without worrying!

last night we went out to sal geust house, and (because there were so many of us and i was at the back of the queue) there was no dinner left, so i went on an empty stomach, whihc is never a good plan, but at least it was a cheap night out! it cost me 9000 shillings in total for transport and 3 drinks (which was all i needed!) whihc is about 2.25.

i decided today that i want to go gorilla tracking. i will probably never have the chance again and the permit prices are set to triple in the next year. i'm really very excited about it!

hope you are all well and i will speak to you soon!

ps. if you're having trouble posting comments, make sure the 'keep me signed in' box is NOT ticked when you sign in, and then it should work. its very wierd, but thats how it works.

love, lucy xx

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

just dropping in....

hey all.

i dont have very much to say today, just dropping by to let you all know i'm still alive.

i went to an orphanage yesterday, but i didnt like the trip very much. they wanted us to sponsor a child, but they expect you to pick one, basically to choose the cutest child or whatever. it was like a slave auction, it was in really bad taste.

yesterday evening there was a massive powercut so we were in draknbess which was annoying, and there is still no power so i cant wash my hair or my clothes.

we are moving rooms today, which is great, as our room is tiny and it has the most people in it, but the room we are moving to is much bigger but only has 4 people in it, so we are doing a swap.

speak soon! lucy xx

Monday, 25 July 2011

Haven't I met you before?

hey all! its been a bit of an emotional couple of days, but i'm hoping things will start to turn around.

yesterday it was emilys birthday so we went for an evening out in ntungamo, at a pub called the Kama inn. it was fun but drinking there was somewhat difficult, as here you can't just buy a spirit and mixer, you ahve to buy the bottle of spirits!! this was fine until they started to run out of the things we wanted to drink!

thismorning i was invidulating exams in baby 1, (which is bloody hard, you have to stop the teacher from helping them, and stop the kids from copying eachother)and at break time i noticed this poor child with these horribkle black crusted sores all around his mouth and chin, which were ooznig fluid and just looking totally horrible for him. i wasn't sure what it was, (at first i thought he had black paint or something on his face!) so i took him to jameel, who said it was 'a disease' that his parents had attempted to treat using tradition healing methods and herbs. it was pretty clear to me that the herbs were doing more harm than good. jameel suggested i take him to hospital, so off i went again.

at the hospital i saw the same doctor as last time, but he was much nicer to me this time, and i made sure i didnt go alone. the experience of taking steven to hospital though, was thouroghly distressing. i was told that it had to come off, which i was prepared for, but i wasnt prepared for how they were going to take it off. this huge nurse wrapped a rubber apron around him, soaked some gauze in alcohol, and just started ripping the scabs and crusted herb paste off his face. it was horrendous. he screamed the place down. he was so scared he wet his pants all over nouf's (the volunteer who came with me) lap. he was completely inconsolable, i was crying, he was crying, all the africans were crying laughing at me.

eventually when it was all cleaned up, it did look a lot better, but we had one miserable kid on our hands, who we then had to take for a blood test to check for HIV and malaria. he wasn't a fan of that one either. when we eventually got him back top the lodge though, he seemed much brighter and was eager to play. his mother came to pick him up so i was able to explain to her about his medicines and tell her how important it was not to put herbs on it. she was very grateful and gave me a loaf of bread to say thankyou :)

this afternoon i'm not really doing anything,. just trying to recover and be positive. its so hard to stay positive when there are terrible things happening all around me, and sometimes there's nothing i can do to help.

sorry to leave it on a miserable note, but there have been good things going on as well, like an epic boda boda race the other day, that have really been making me happy.

love, lucy xx

Saturday, 23 July 2011

crafting and cuts....

hey guys!

the last couple of days have been fairly eventful, so i'll give you a little bit of a run down.

on thursday we made bunting with middle and top class, getting them to tie dye thier own triangle, and then decorate it with sequins, paint and glitter. they absolutely loved it, but thought it was very strange that we would 'waste' glitter by sticking it onto an inanimate object. they thought it could be put to far better use by sprinkling it all over themselves!

dan also took two kids to hospital on thursday, with suspected malaria. they both had it and both were supremely miserable.

on friday i was planning to help with the other class making bunting but i noticed that one of the children, named claudius, had a cut on his lip that looked really infected and oozy and just generally gross. we covered it up but it really didnt look good and it's been there for ages and seems to be getting worse, so i took him to hospital. i went to the hospital by myself because i've done it before and everyone thought it wouold be fine, but i think because i was alone, because i was a woman and because i was white, the doctor was determined to make a fool of me. it was quite an upsetting experience (though going to the hospital full stop is upsetting, even if people are really nice to you) and i was hurt that my efforts to help this poor child were being mocked. he did give him some antibiotics though, and some painkillers, so he should be on the mend soon.

after i got back from hospital i got stuck back into the craft lessons, which cheered me up considerably! one of the teachers has a baby that she brings to school (i say one, i actually mean they all do), so i was playing with him and he isvery cute, but you have to be very careful that the babies dont wee on you!

today most people have gone to the lake but i didnt really feel like it, and when i get back to the lodge restay is going to give me a chapatti making lesson :)

thats all i really have to tell you, i hope to post again in the naxt couple of days!!

love, Lucy xx

Thursday, 21 July 2011

markets and munchies...

so today has been fun, i'm feeling a lot better, so that has raised my spirits a lot!

last night marass came to make rolexes (chapatti, scrambled egg, cabbage, rolled up like a swiss roll) which i ate a bit of but i still wasnt really feeling up to much so i didnt buy a whole one. yesterday evening was really good socially actually, there was a nice atmosphere around the campfire (hieghtened by the presence of marshmallows for toasting!) and everyone was chatting away.

this morning we went into top class (the classes go baby, middle, top, primary 1, primary 2) to make bunting with them, which was great. they all tie dyed triangles of fabric and while we waited for the dye to take they wrote letters to be given to an english school when we get back. we tried to do it again in the afternoon with middle class but we ran out of time, so we'll do it with them tomorrow morning.

before that, there was a special assembly where the kids danced and sang for us whihc was really good, and i got some great video of it.

after school today it was market day so we came to town to go to the market, where i bought some fabric, which the sewing ladies at the lodge will make into trousers for me.

we also chowed down on a massive stick of sugar cane today, which is becoming more enjoyable the more i try it.

thats really all i have to tell you today!! excise my awful speeling, but this internet cafe keyboard keeps sticking!!

love, lucy xx

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

all that glitters....

the last couple of days have been eventful, to say the least. i have been feeling absolutely awful, but thats not really relevant. yesterday and the day before there has been a large intake of new people, and all of the volunteers who went to rwanda returned yesterday, so the lodge is fit to burst. It is technically supposed to accommodate 20 guests, but there are currently 34 volunteers staying there. Its quite nice having lots of people around though, and they all fit without too much trouble.

Yesterday four of the new people (two mothers and a daughter each) and I took 5 children from each of  the baby classes, and made glitter pictures with them. They thought it was great fun, and just like Tanzania, they couldn’t quite understand why we would waste glitter by putting it on paper, and they were really just interested in putting it all over themselves. We are planning to repeat that activity every day for a few days  until all of the children in the baby classes have done it.

Yesterday some very sad rumours were confirmed for us by the parents of affected children. On Thursday through the village gossip line, Anne heard that some of the children who had done badly in their exams had been beaten by their teachers, and some had been hospitalized. This was really horrible to hear about but we just hoped it wasn’t true. Jameel, the head, who works closely with the volunteers seemed appalled and promised to investigate. It turns out that it was actually jameel who did it, so it’s difficult to know who to trust. Beating children in school is illegal in Uganda and if he was reported (particularly by a mzungu) he would be in serious trouble. I also witnessed one of the baby class teachers smacking another teachers child. The child isn’t actually a student, but all of the teachers babies are brought to school and allowed to roam around. We have been told to reprimand teachers of we see anything, but when I asked her not to do tha, she just laughed in my face. This is one part of volunteering here that I’m not loving.

I haven’t been into school today because I was feeling ill, but I needed to come into town to top up on painkillers, so I thought I’d post while I was here. I’m sure I was charged the white price for the ibuprofen I bought, but it still only cost 75p for 30 tablets.

I should be able to post again tomorrow because we are coming to see the market. (I might see about buying a pig!)

Love, lucy xx

Monday, 18 July 2011

screaming and swimming...

hey everyone! just a short one today, as everyone is waiting to go to sky blue (a local hotel) for some 'french flies'

we went to the beach yesterday which was really fun, i swam a bit and then we all just lay out in the sun reading books and the boys played volleyball. on the way home we bought meat (goat) on a stick from a street seller wich was absolutely gross, but apparently i got a bad one, it was all fat and no meat whatsoever. i tried a bit of someone elses and it was nice.

today i got my own class, and i'm working with the special needs kids. we have one who is physically disabled from polio, one who is deaf, and two with speech problems. we split the group and i was working on the kids with speech problems.

one of them is really very bright but just nervous with a crippling stammer. the other one has a serious learning problem as well and can't speak at all, though she understand well when people talk to her in runyankole. today in the midddle of a session she started screaming and crying at the top of her lungs, whihc was pretty exhausting ot deal with. up until then she had been very physical and cuddly, but after her screaming episodes she just went on strike and seemed very depressed. she wouldnt speak, she wouldnt play, she wouldnt do anything, so eventually we took her back to class where she seemed happier.

if anyone has any ideas about speech therapy that could help them, it'd be greatly appreciated! i want to do some relaxation techniques with geoffrey, the child with the stammer, as he gets very nervous around people.

i have to go and get my french flies, but i'll try and post in a couple of days!! xxx

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Classes and Clubbing...

hey all, sorry about the extremely short post yesterday that i just re read and was a bit of a nonsense post really.

yesterday after i took little brian to hospital we came ino town and i bought a few things and used the internet at the internet cafe. i also bought some gin, whihc seems to be the drink of choice around here, and is ludicrously cheap. it comes in sachets, rather than bottles, and each one is 100ml. you can buy a pack of 12 sachets for 5500 shillings, which is less than 1.50 in england! we came back from town on a boda boda, which is basically a motorbike that you can hire as a taxi. i was bricking it but it was actually ok, i'd had to ride one earlier in the day anway to take brian home from hospital. we had races and we came second, and the people who were in the lead broke down and had to be collected by anther one of the drivers!

when we got back the goat was being barbequed african style on sticks which were shoved into a log on the was really yummy and nice to have some meat! after the goat we had a few drinks and the headed out to the sal geusthouse, which is a local club.  it was a good laugh though some of the african mens dance moves were questionable! the africn women were very keen to dance with us because they arent alowed to refuse a man if he wantes to dance with her or even if he wants to tae her off for a quickie, so they like to dance with us because we can get rid of the men, or turn it into a group dancing experience rather than a sexual couples dancing thing. one girl i was talking to was only 14 and she was absolutely terrified that a man would drag her off at any moment. i spent the night pointing at my ring (which i wear on my wedding finger but on the wrong hand) and telling people i was married!! it worked well...

a big group of volunteers went off to rwanda fr a couple of days thismorning, so the lodge is a lot quieter, but we did have 2 new people arrive, who have moved into my room, so i wont be alone as molly and sarah have gone on the rwanda trip.

as tomorrow is sunday and there is no school, i think some of us are going to church with the kids in the morning to see the singing, and then we are all going to 'the beach' which is actually the shore of nikaboko lake, so that should be interesting!!

Friday, 15 July 2011

Goats and hospitals...

just a quick post while i'm at the internet cafe in town, waaay easier than internet at the lodge.

i went to school for first lesson thismorning, where i noticed brian, one of the cutest kids ever, had a manky looking eye. i took him to see the head teacher, who sauid i should take him to hosiptal. it turns out he also has malaria and worms, as well as conjunctivitis. :( poor thing.

after i got back from hosiptal, i was back in time to see the goat that the boys bought be slaughtered, which was actua;lly quite interesting, and i look forwards to eating it later!

got to go, but i'll post agin in a day or two!xx

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Days 1 and 2 in Uganda!

i arrived two days ago but i had my first full day yesterday, and i went to school to see the children. in the morning i was in baby class 1, which was interesting for a while but kindof dull, because all we did really was sit and watch th teacher teaching the kids, and we sharpened a whol pot of pencils. in the afternoon they really needed someone to cover a lesson, so me and another girl named Harri taught the lesson to middle class.

it was really hard to keep thinking of things to do with them, but we got through it in the end. today i went to ruhanga boys which is just down the road and is actually a mixed school. they have a real lack of teachers and there didnt seem to be any around at all. i had nothing planned bcause i was expecting there to be a teachr, but when i got there there was just a group of kids sat ready on the mats. it was really hard to wing it and just think of something, especially as i was on my own. the teacher eventually arrived, and i was really relived, but sh just saw me and left again!

this morning there was a special assembly where the kids sang and danced for us and a preacher came and spoke. it was very cute and interesting to see thier way.

i also had my first pee incident today. a little girl called prossy who normally hates msungus took a shin to me and spent the morning on my hip or in my lap. that is, until she peed all over me. i had to run back to the lodge and get changed!!gross. but apparently its a fairly common occourence.

the food isn't great, but last night we had deep fried battered kassava, which doesnt really tast of anything but its ok with ketchup. i also ate the beans they had on offer with spaghetti today, whihc was a bit odd but actually tasted ok.

showering is NOT cool. they are FREEZING, colder than the cold tap at home, and you just can't stand under it, you have to put like one arm in, and then the other, and keep most of your body outside of the sprayer. i braved it today but i dont think i'll be doing it again soon, it'll be bucket washes using a kettle in future!!

oh, PS, i got into east london!!!!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Bazaar and barbers...

Last night we went to the bazaar for shopping and the men in the group went for a shave at a Turkish barber. My dad was very nervous and I think he was worried that we might laugh at him, so he wouldn't let any of us watch! We had to sneak up on him and take a picture in the mirror. Seb had a shave too and he liked it I think, but he wasn't sure what he thought when they started burning his ear hairs off!

Afterwards dad was actually really pleased that we got a picture and we had dinner and we shopped. I got a big box of Turkish delight, some 'genuine fake' sunglasses, (mine broke yesterday!) and this beautiful lamp for my room. My dad spend a ridiculous amount of money on an inlaid backgammon set, which is very beautiful, and I think I might be investing in a handbag. They are fake label but they are very good quality and I don't really care very much if it's fake as long as it's made of real leather and it looks nice.

Today we are going on the carpet trip and then to the hammam (tukish bath) for a body scrub and massage. Hopefully will post about that later, though probably the hammam will go on my beauty blog. I'm posting so much here because we have free wifi at this Marina, but tomorrow we won't so I'll be posting less!

Love, Lucy xx

Exam results

Hey lovelies!!

Yesterday I got my results of my IB diploma over the phone to the boat. I got 30 points and 13 at higher which is very irritating because for my uni place I needed only 24 points but 15 at higher. OI have rung em and emailed them and hopefully they will accept me anyway.

There were some tears when I found out as obviously I was gutted as east London is my top choice and there is no other uni offering that course, but I did still get into my insurance choice, so even if east London decide they don't want me at least I know I'm going to uni somewhere.

The boat is lovely and we have been doing some really cool things. We went on a trip and saw big turtles and some ruins, and we sailed along the dalyan river. Tomorrow we go on a cultured trip to see a gorge and a carpet factory and a mosque. Very interesting!

Tonight we are in fethieye which is quite big so there is a really nice Marina though I have to limp around as Paul, our captain told them that there was a disabled person inboard so that we didnt have to park miles out and walk for ages!

We are going shopping in the bazaar to get Turkish delight and other stuff, and I think my dad and Seb are going to a Turkish barber for a shave! I might see if there are any treatments I can have done and if I find some I will post about them on my beauty blog!

Mucho love, Lucy xx

Saturday, 2 July 2011

At the airport!

Just a warning that my blog will be high and dry for the next week because I'm at the airport waiting to board a plane to turkey with my family. See you in a week! Xx

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Packing and Organising Chaos!

hello, my little blogsters. while i write this post, i'm very aware that i have no followers, but i recon by next week at least my granny will be reading this, so hi granny!

while i haven't actually left yet, i am thinking about my trip every day, and as i'm going to be in Turkey with my family in the week before i depart for Uganda (stopping off in london for just over 24hours between countries!) i need to start thinking about packing.

as an immensly organised person who loves to make lists and plan in advance, this excites me greatly :)

but below is the scene that ecompasses the main floor space in my room. the space in the middle is where i sat to sort things!!

the pile of stuff at the top of the picture is my Uganda shrine, where i put all of the stuff i need to take with me, mainly donations that people have given for the children to use and play with.

the list making is going strong, and i've been digitalising everything on my iphone so i can carry it all with me.

oh god. i seem like monica from freinds. i'm quite normal really. honest.