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