Wednesday, 1 August 2012

The Dreaded Head Fungus...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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