Friday, 4 April 2008

Over and Out

The beautiful children of Kiyumbakimu - farewell...

Char is thoroughly impressed at being made to dance in front of everyone!

Jay 'shakes his bones' at our Leaving Party

Julius shows us how its done

Char says: After a week back at the orphanage it was time to say goodbye to the kids, the people and the amazing country that is Uganda. Needless to say the farewells were emotional. And in true Ugandan style our taxi taking us to the airport arrived well over an hour late. It shouldn’t be any other way! We left Uganda on Saturday 29th March after nearly eight months in East Africa. Since we were flying Emirates, we decided to have a short stop-over in Dubai on the way home. This proved to be something of a culture shock for us but was still good fun – if we didn’t think about it all too much. Coming from deepest darkest Africa to a land of over-the-top, indulgent, excess was perhaps a little in bad taste, but none the less, we wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

Dubai is a crazy place and a sprawling suburban centre featuring hundreds of shopping centres and a new sky-scrapper under construction on every street. We visited one of the big shopping malls and the scene outside was like a high class car show. Bentley followed Porsche followed Macerate and so on. Inside there was none other than a real snow ski slope (with three runs and a child’s toboggan run). Bearing in mind that Dubai is the middle of the desert and gets 50 degrees hot in the summer months, the indoor snow really summed up the indulgence of the place.

Arriving back to the UK mid-afternoon on Monday (31st) I tried (and failed) not to cause a scene when reunited with my mum in the middle of Heathrow. Needless to say, we were both thrilled to be reunited with our family after such a long time apart. We are now both slowly starting to get back into the swing of things and rebuilding our life in the UK. But Uganda can never be too far from our thoughts and just as soon as we have enough money, we will be back to visit our ten beautiful children, Sseguya, Stuart and all of our Ugandan friends. They always will remain very close to our hearts and minds.

Char and Jay say: Before we end the blog forever (!), we would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to follow our story, especially those who have stayed in touch and helped to keep our spirits up.

Special thanks go to:

Marion Millerick and all at MicroDrainage for their generous donation – without which KCV may not yet exist

Hants &IoW Sustainable Business Partnership, HCC Economic Development Office and the Olive Consultancy for much appreciated Christmas donations

Everyone who sent letters and parcels but Ella deserves a particular mention for fortnightly letters and newspaper articles – you made us feel loved!

Both sets of parents for your incredible support (and cash!!!)

Please don’t forget about Kiyumbakimu Children’s Village and keep an eye on the forthcoming website for news stories and ways to help. Donate online now at

Big love,
Over & Out
Char and Jay x x x

Friday, 21 March 2008

Back to Uganda

Our beloved Kampala. The city is basically 24/7 gridlock. But it still rocks!
Us both at Sipi Falls number two

We had a beautiful view over sipi falls 1 from our campsite - but it was bloody windy on that cliff!
The thunder clouds encrouch into a sunset over the nile up at Bujagali Falls

Grace & Steve up at Bujagali (hope the photos not too dark to see)

Too many beers? or too much poker?!

Bujagali falls - dangerous..apparently. We've been down that big 5m drop at the far side in a kayak! Bloody brilliant (jay capsized and swam through most of it!)

The pros make it look easy... but give us a few years and we'll be taking them all on on our own

Char says: Sorry we haven’t written for a while, we’re still alive, and back in Uganda. Our first few days back in the ‘Pearl of Africa’ didn’t really merit enough news for blogging but since then we’ve upped the action!

We spent two windy nights overlooking Sipi Falls in eastern Uganda. It was a very beautiful, quiet spot – but it was so quiet that we were the only tourists in the whole place! A guided trek took us to beautiful views of all three water falls in the Sipi family as well as giving great views over the valley. We had originally intended to stay around Sipi for a little longer but it was so quiet that we found ourselves in bed very early and so decided to leave after two nights!

After the peace of Sipi we went looking for somewhere with a little more action and so returned to Bujagali Falls near Jinja – a spot that blog readers may remember from our New Year’s Eve adventure (its also near where we did the rafting)! There is an excellent charity called SoftPower Education (check out working in the area and so we decided to spend a couple of days painting a school with them – we just can’t get enough of volunteering! After two days of do-gooding we blew the biggest amount of money the whole time we’ve been in Uganda and became ‘paddlers’.

Two days of kayaking on the Nile began with a lesson on the flat water led by Ibrahim – one of the best kayakers in Uganda, and perhaps, the world! – where we learnt the basics and how to capsize. I was pretty scared at first but the whole capsizing thing is remarkably easier and less terrifying than I had imagined. After lunch we headed up the river and then paddled back to the camp – challenged by tackling Grade 1 and 2 rapids for the first time. The first Grade 2 knocked me right over and soon I was swimming! Jay on the other hand managed to stay afloat through all the grade 1 rapids and both grade 2s – but somehow managed to capsize in some slower moving water near the end of our journey – twice!!!!(Jays Says: they were big ass eddies and very hard to navigate according to some other paddlers!!)

Our second day of kayaking involved less learning and more screaming! Tandem kayaking involves following the Nile for 30km over numerous rapids including huge Grade 4 and 5 waves – some of the biggest in the world – it’s the same route as we did when we went rafting! You get to sit in the front seat of the tandem with a professional paddler sat in the back who looks after you. If you flip, all you have to do is sit tight, hold your breath and let your guide roll you back to the surface. In theory anyway!

Tandem kayaking was one of the most intense, terrifying and fantastic experiences I have ever had! It is more terrifying than white water rafting, which we did back in October, (and, after to talking to plenty of other people who were too scared, it takes more guts to do – we’re so hardcore!). This is because you are so much closer to the waves – they all appear to be huge (well they are – 5metre plus)! The biggest rapid is called ‘Silverback’ and is really, really huge (four waves)! Needless to say, both Jay and I took a swim on this monster wave. Somehow though, once I’d capsized, I managed to get back in the boat, and before I knew what was going on, we were heading back into the rapid for more! Within seconds we were back under the water but this time I managed to hold on to the boat and Ibrahim (my guide) was able to roll us back up without the need for capsizing – what an adrenaline rush!

After two days of madness on the river, we felt we needed a well deserved break and so headed up to the island paradise of Hairy Lemon (see previous blog for photos!) After two nights Grace (another ICYE volunteer from the UK) and her bloke Steve (who is out on holiday) joined us at the Lemon. We spent a couple of crazy (!) nights sitting up late, drinking beer and playing poker before moving back to Bujagali for one last night.

We are now back in Kampala for a few days to do a little souvenir shopping and say farewell to friends at our second home – Backpackers! On Monday we are heading back to the orphanage for our final farewells. Which will no doubt be a very sad affair! Saturday afternoon and we begin the journey home – two nights in Dubai and then we’re homeward bound!

This will probably be our final blog in Uganda but we may we add something in Dubai and will certainly be writing a round up when we get back home. Thanks to everyone who’s been reading – and letting us know they’ve enjoyed the blog. Uganda is a great place which I hope everyone will now feel inspired to visit and enjoy!

Big love, C & J xxx

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Ahhh... Zanzibar

Not a bad beach really...
A nice place for a nap..

Our terrace at our guest house. Not the WORST view we've ever had.

JB's blue bucket! So infamous there's a facebook group coming soon!

Classic Zanizbar. Dhow. Sunset. Beach. Nice.

Char gets ready for Nemo spotting! Check out the colour of that water!

One of Stone Towns thousands of amazingly carved doors!
Jay Says: After our thought provoking but draining experience in Rwanda and our beautiful but tiring hikes through the Usumbaras (as well as six months of very hard work at the orphanage) we deserved some good R&R time!

So after arriving in Dar we caught the ferry across the choppy waters for 9 days in Zanzibar. Arriving in Stone Town is like stepping into another world. Stone Town is an exotic, rambling and beautiful town full of narrow winding streets, grand architecture, amazingly carved wooden doors and a mix of African, Arabian and Indian culture - all set on the shores of a turquoise Indian Ocean.

Getting lost amongst the maize of winding streets of prayer rooms, carts of coconuts and mangos and smells of spices in obligatory and whilst tourism has hit many parts in quite a big way it still keeps in charm
Tourism has also skyrocketd prices - but we still found a nice little guest house tucked away near a local restaurant selling freshly caught muscles and claims in coconut sauce, or spicy beef curry for 1500 TSH (or 60p) - whilst the posh restaurants nearby were selling the same dishes for 10,000TSH.

After a couple of days in Stone Town we headed up to the North coast for some beach action. We stayed for six days at Kendwa's long idyllic beach of pure white sand and even purer warm turquoise sea. Ahh..pure bliss.

After a couple of nights at 'Kendwa Rocks (named after the coral rocks not its bar!) we walked along the beach to a local guesthouse we had spotted and got ourselves a room with a sea view right on the sand! We shared our guesthouse with some really nice folks - a few brits, three Israelis and a Canadian. That night saw Kendwa Rocks host its renound full moon party. Whilst the party itself turned out to be not that great (consisting only of a crappy DJ and not much else) our guest house out on the best pre full moon party-party. Home made cocktails from local gin and sugar cane spirit - all served in our fellow Canadian's somewhat infamous blue bucket!

The beach was beautiful and the sun was scorching - we had a great time relaxing by the water, enjoying our budget breaking suppers at candle lit beach restaurants or reading books lying in palm shaded hammocks!

We finished the week with a superb snorkeling trip out to a nearby reef. And after Charlotte had recovered from her sea sickness we were treated to some amazing under water scenery and marine life - including, excitably, many a character from Finding Nemo (although Crush was no where to be seen)!

All in all a beautiful place and a well deserved rest! And now we head back to our second home of Uganda for the final month of travel!

Until next time..

J & C xx

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Treking the Usumbara Mountains

Char at the top of the view point - you cant really see from the photo but the view went for miles!
As we neared the top the fog decended! But thanfully lifted soon after

We walked through beautiful lush fertile valleys - not what you expect from Africa

The villagers here made a good living selling there fresh produce all over TZ

Char Says: We left Rwanda on Feb 11th on a Rwandair Express plane bound for Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania. We spent the night at budget digs in nearby Moshi but our room still provided views of the grand mountain – not that we realized until we woke the next morning and the clouds had lifted.
A rickety old bus bumped us all the way from Moshi along a very steep mountain road to Lushoto in the Usumbara mountain range. Straight away we booked a three day guided trek, departing the following morning. Shortly into our first day we both felt how unfit we have become after six months of relatively no exercise - other than the odd trip to the well to carry water! But with encouragement from our nice and intelligent young guide, kiki, we fought the pain in our legs and were rewarded with some fantastic views.

The area has a climate unlike the rest of TZ, and as you can see from the photos, this gives the area a beautiful green scenery and provides fertile farming land. The variety of fruit and veg we enjoyed in the mountains was fantastic (making a welcome change) and included crops that we didn’t expect to find in Africa - apples, pears, plums and peaches to name a few!

After a furious morning of trekking - KiKi told us that the Usumbaras are used as training grounds for those wanting to climb Kilimanjaro, on this form we're still a few years off! - We arrived at our second night’s accommodation in time for a late lunch. That night we would stay at a convent. Being the 14th of Feb, it made for a most unconventional Valentine's Day, but the Sisters cooked up a feast for us and it was a lovely peaceful place to stay!

By the third day we were (finally) feeling a little stronger and conversations about Tanzanian politics and other tops of interest with Kiki helped to pass the time as we climbed the slopes. When we reached the peak we were disappointed to find low clouds blocking the view! We were told that on a clear day we could have seen as far as Kenya! By mid afternoon however the clouds had almost lifted and the view was indeed spectacular. Altogther we walked around 35miles over the three days in the mountains, fuelled by a diet of fresh eggs, chapattis and delicious fruit.

We decided to stay in Lushoto for another two nights to rest and relax, although we ended up doing another couple of shorter walks. One of which took us to another convent where the Nuns make and sell homemade Banana wine (yum!), jams and cheese! So you could say we've been eating our way around the Usumbara Mountains!

P.S. KCV update. The kids are still doing very well we hear. The New volunteers are settling in well and we are opening a nursery to the local children of the area within the next weeks. The kids are also getting healthy and healthy. One of our children went to the hospital for her regular monthly check up (as she is HIV poisitiv) top find that she has put on half a stone in just 2 months! Very good news!

PPS Sorry no photos - the computers being rubbish! We'll get them up ASAP!

Monday, 11 February 2008

Oh Rwanda Oh Rwanda!

Some of the mass graves at the Kigali Genocie Memorial Centre. They contain 256,000 bodies in total
A few of the names of the dead they actually know

Green, Clean and Organised! Kigali not like any other African Capital!

Char Says: And so our holiday begins and we board a coach to Kigali – the capital of Rwanda. In spite of the poor weather the city is an impressive place with (amazingly) pot-hole free roads, an efficient and safe transport system and is spotlessly clean! Crazy. Something of a contrast to out beloved but crazy Kampala. Having made a last minute (6am on day leaving) decision to leave our tent in Uganda (we'll camp on the Ugandan leg of our travels) we arrived at the 'One Love Project' to find that they no longer offer camping anyway! The little bungalow we were staying in however cost us about 3.15 each per night, including breakfast and a free laundry service - bargain!

'One Love' is an NGO partnership between Japan and Rwanda which provides orthopedic assistance (prosthetic legs, wheelchairs etc) to those made disabled during the genocide. It’s a really cool place and a seriously worthwhile cause (the number of disabled people in Rwanda is shocking). Check out

Jay and I have been really interested in the history of Rwanda and the genocide for many years now and so naturally we took this opportunity to learn more. Having taken place within our lifetime (1994) and affecting our peers, the genocide seems somehow more relevant to us than other historical tragedies. It came as no surprise then to find that we spent three hours at the memorial centre after being told an average visit takes about one and half hours. The purpose built centre us excellently done and includes sections detailing other genocides the world has witnessed. Outside, the well kept gardens have a number of mass graves which can be visited. The graves contain the bodies of over 256,000 victims of the genocide!

On Thursday we visited the Hotel des Mille Collines which will be familiar name to those who have seen 'Hotel Rwanda'. The film was actually shot in South Africa but the real life events unfolded here. These days however, the place is one of Kigali's top hotels, playing host to East African business people and serving overpriced Cokes to mzungu tourist.

Saturday was a very hard day indeed. We visited two of the churches involved in the mass massacres of the genocide, which are now preserved as they were as memorials. It is very hard for me to describe here what a poignant and chilling sight it is to enter a church where 10,000 innocent people sought refuge but were murdered. Light shines through the bullet holes in the iron roof, blood stains the alter cloth and the bones on display reveal skulls that are shattered and missing chunks through machete blows. Most chilling of all, but not possible to describe, is going down inside a mass grave to see shelves from floor to ceiling 30m long full of skulls and bones. Blogs can’t do it justice, but its something neither of us will quickly forger! It is hard to believe such a massacre could happen here just 15 years ago and that the West just sat back and watched the tragedy unfold!

As if we had not had enough, that evening we returned to the Memorial in Kigali for a talk from a 'survivor'. A fresh faced twenty something told us of the killings of his father and brother and how he spent over a month living in a church - believing everyday would be his last. The speech was followed by the film ' Sometimes in April', a gruesome, by realistic, story of one Rwandan family.

After all we have learned of the genocide, it seems quite unbelievable to see how the country has rebuilt itself. It now is a welcoming, attractive country that is trying to reach its full potential. The politicians talk of harmony and truly seem to fight corruption and plan for a prosperous future for all. Rwanda looks and feels like a great place to live. The people pf Rwanda are unbelievably resourceful and there is very little evidence of its troubled past! And so we really do applaud them!

We now find start a less emotionally draining leg of of trip. We are today in Moshi in northern Tanzania, heading tomorrow to climb the Usumbara mountains... more soon!

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Goodbye Kiyumbakimu (of sorts)

Evaluation Camp in Kampala with the other VolunteersThe Holy Stone! OOooo Check out the balancing rock!
'African Technology' Digging a Bore Hole by Hand! Crazy Fools! This is only 20m of what will be a 100m hole!
Playing around with the kids on the last few days! They have all got this obession with trying to pick us up!
Sseguya & Jay planted our first Matooke (banana) Plantation!
Last Lunch. Goodbye lunch with Sseguya and Mona at the local Pork Joint.. Mind the food posioning!

Jay & Char Say: So it’s over! We have now left Kiyumbakimu Children’s Village after six months and are about to start off on our travels.

Since New Year we haven’t seen too much excitement - just getting on with the usual business of running the orphanage and playing with the children. There has, of course, been lots of loose ends to tie up, projects to finish and things to get rolling. We have been handing over lots of things to the other volunteers Mona and Anna, who will continue to look after the project for the next six months. They will also be joined by a new volunteer, also from the UK, within the next three weeks. She’ll be staying for a year, ensuring continuity for the place. Our good friend Grace has been volunteering in Kampala for the last six months at a mentoring and human development organisation but wants to experience the ‘village life’ (!) so is also coming to help out for a month or so, and she’s a trained social worker – very useful!!

Work on the website is still continuing slowly as we keep getting messed around by the hosting company; a child sponsorship scheme with ten families is nearly finialised and an interview for a project manager fell through after the candidate wanted three times the salary we were offering! One of the few major new developments is that the contact in Italy who is helping us with the child sponsorship has also raised some money to pay for us to have our own bore hole at the orphanage. This is great news as we currently spend a lot of money paying for water collection from the well. The well for our community is very hard to access and causes many problems. Therefore a new bore will solve our problems, but we will also have the well open to the community at certain times, helping them also. The 100m hole is being dug completely by hand! Crazy – ‘that’s African technology’ as our boss said – but its very impressive – they’ve dug 35m down in two weeks already!

As our leaving date fast approached we realised that we had not visited the one ‘tourist attraction’ near our village – so an hour and half walk later Mona, Ssekulima and us got to ‘the holy stone’ – a big stone balancing on another big stone! Holy because it’s a traditional ancestral religion site. Doesn’t sound that great, but its pretty impressive and has some beautiful views. Also Ssekulima climbed a tree on the way and got us a bag load of free mangos on the way! Sorted.

Our last few days were spent saying goodbye to various people and as a result eating good food (and some not so good..! see below!). It was strange as it was goodbye but not really as after our travels we are coming back for a final week of real goodbyes. We had two mini parties – one with the children and all at the orphanage, where we bought a chicken and some pork (from a supposedly Muslim butcher!). That was really nice, but got a bit emotional, and it finally hit home to the kids that we would actually soon be going and not coming back! That was hard for them and us - as we’ve been through a lot together – from living in terrible conditions to coming to us for school and now living with us for the last few months. We also had a small party at the house of our boss’ family, where we stayed for the first three months. It was also Mona’s birthday so double celebrations. All was good fun, but that was a real goodbye to a couple of the kids as when we come back they will be away at boarding school. They’ve been great fun and good friends since we’ve been here, so was sad to say goodbye. And finally we had our last lunch at the brand new ‘restaurant’ in our village. The new Pork Joint (basically a room in someone’s house) was where we said farewell to Sseguya, our legend of a best friend.

So then after our sad semi-goodbyes we headed to Kampala for evaluation camp with all the other volunteers from around UG – our time has been a real mix of highs and lows and we obviously had some critical words to say (mostly about lack of management) but also many positives.

Unfortunately on Saturday night Charlotte became really sick and was up all night. We headed to the mzungu doctors on Sunday and after being charged an exorbitant price he thankfully told us that it wasn’t malaria – but very bad food poisoning! She has been pretty sick the last few days and laid up in bed. We have therefore had to delay our start to the holiday, but only by one day. Not the best timing – and that good food clearly wasn’t all that good.

So now we’re off. Leaving all our worries behind! As we said, it was sad saying goodbye, but we are coming back and really we’ll never be able to leave the place properly behind. Its made too much of an impression on us. We’ll always be staying very much in touch, especially considering how attached we’ve become to the kids and we know we’ll be back here as soon as we can afford! The last six months has been an incredible experience and something we will never EVER forget. Whilst it has definitely been the hardest thing either of us have ever done we have not regretted it for one second and, being cheesy, made us learn so much about so many things! Its been one hell of a six months! Thanks to everyone who has stayed in contact and kept us involved with life in the UK – its meant a lot!

So now here’s to beaches and mountains and hours squashed in small sweaty minibuses! Bring it on!
Take care, and see you all fairly soon,
C & J xx

p.s. we’ll try and blog as much as we can when traveling but we don’t know how much we’ll be able / how much we’ll be arsed! J love you all x

p.p.s. we both have new mobile numbers, drop us an email if you haven’t got them yet.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Christmas and New Year

Yummy! Good old santa even found us in Uganda!

Ddamba lovin' his new bag and hat on Christmas Morning!Jackie looking smart in her new clothes!
Dancing around with the kids and their new presents

Sarah & Scovia opening presents!
Us with the kids on Christmas Day
The view from our tent over the Nile - where we stayed for New Years Eve
Sunset over the Nile, at the bar
Hendrick, Mona, Char & Jay in the bar on New Years Eve..still relatively sobar..!
Things got a bit lively in the bar...
Jay (and backpackers freind Owen) managed to end up in the swimming pool of the posh hotel next door by midnight..Charlottes photography skills weren't quite so sharp at this point.
The View over the Nile during the day

Jay Says: Firstly Happy 2008. We hope you had a good Christmas and New Year. Ours was certainly different from the norm but fun all the same.

In the build up to Christmas we knew a fair few packages and Christmas cards were on their way, however by 20th we still hadn’t received any, so we were getting a bit worried. Thankfully a BIG batch of letters and packages arrived on the 21st, just in time! We were very restrained and held back on opening the packages, although we did open one, containing Christmas Decorations (thanks Nige). Having those up and a pile of presents under the bed finally made it feel Christmasy! And so, true to herself, Charlotte woke up at 7am on Christmas day, very excited to open her presents. We must say a big thanks to everyone who sent things. I know we’ve only had about half of the packages yet, so if we haven’t sent thanks it might be coz its yet to arrive but thanks to one and all. Our chocoholic nature clearly got through to you all, as you can see from the photos. I don’t think we’ve ever had so much chocolate in our lives! Brilliant!

Anyway the rest of Christmas day was really all about the kids. This was obviously the first Christmas any of them had been treated or received gifts. Thanks to Mona’s mum, who had visited a few weeks earlier, all the kids had presents, which when received caused huge amounts of excited – we couldn’t stop some of them dancing around all morning. It was really great! We’d also gone out and got everyone soda (coke, fanta etc) and Sseguya and I had spent a good 3 hours walking around a few days earlier trying to find the last remaining chickens in the area that we could buy and kill for Christmas! Thankfully we got 3 so we all had a great feast before heading off to watch the football team associated to the project whoop the ass of a big team that had come all the way from Kampala. We had also been sent a few DVDs in the post so the kids watched Back to the Future in amazement(!!) whilst in the evening Charlotte and I treated ourselves to our first bottle of wine in 5 months whilst watching ‘Shaun of the Dead’ – pure bliss!

As we ‘worked’ over Christmas we got New Year off. Charlotte and I and Mona met up with another volunteer, Hendrick, and headed off to Jinja. On route we of course stopped at our usual haunt of Backpackers in Kampala, where the staff and other regulars now know us all a little too well! We also discovered the delights of schardenfreude, visiting the Casino to take advantage of the free drinks and food they ply you with in an attempt to get you to gamble. I managed to spend a whole £5 whilst receiving large amounts of Baileys, White Russians, Beers and a chicken sandwich in return!

Anyway we then headed up to a camp site overlooking the beautiful Bugajali Falls – the start of the rapids on the Nile. The camp site is the centre of all adrenaline activities in Uganda, where all the rafters and Kayakers come from around the world, as well as lots of young cool things like us(!). We had been informed New Years there was the “Biggest Party in East Africa”. This was clearly a lie, but it definitely kicked off and was very raucous and very fun. Some people had a little too much fun, but that’s all I’ll say to save embarrassment for certain people (*cough* charlotte *cough*)!

We stayed there for a few days to chill out (or perhaps recover is a better word) and swim in the Nile. That’s when the whole Kenyan crisis really got big. There were a couple of big tourist trucks there, whose next stop was meant to be Nairobi. Needless to say there were lots of worried people but they managed to find alternative routes. We heard some bad stories though from a guy who showed up, having fled from Elderat, the centre of the troubles.

The crisis thankfully hasn’t affected us too much as yet. Our biggest problem however is that all of Uganda’s fuel and many of its other imports come through Kenya. Therefore there is a fuel crisis here at the moment, with transport prices doubling. Hopefully this is easing as more and more tankers start getting through but we’ll have to keep close tabs on it as we were planning on getting a bus through Nairobi to get to Dar Es Salam in two months time.

Anyway after that, we headed back to Kampala to spend a couple of days with Angie (she’ll love the personal mention I’m sure) – a Ugandan colleague and good friend of Char from Hampshire County Council. Angela is back in Uganda for Christmas so we met up and visited some nice places on the petrol she had finally managed to locate and buy at over £2.30/litre! We visited the main CHOGM hotel to see what the presidents were treated to back in November. It’s a pretty special place with a huge horse stables, Olympic swimming pool and a very plush grounds and interior. One of the only advantages of being white in Uganda is that you can walk around anywhere without getting questioned- needless to say, we had a good old snoop around!

Anyway from that completely different world we’re now back in the ‘reality’ of the village. Shockingly we now only have 3 weeks left at the orphanage before our project ends and our two months of travels begin! The time has gone so quickly, but yet so slowly all the same! We are, however, very much looking forward to our travels. First stop an uplifting, pure fun filled frolic in the genocide memorials of Rwanda J.

But we are actually coming home, as when we were in Kampala we booked our flights home! We managed to change the flights for free as, according to our charity flight tickets, we are ‘missionaries’!! Anyway we leave Uganda on 29th March, staying over in Dubai for a couple of nights en route and landing back down in blightey on 31st March.

So, see you all in April folks!

Hope you had a great Christmas and New Year. Bye for now.