Kisiizi

Hey all
Im just back from Kisiizi, what a place! I was looking forward to the trip for a while because of the two uk boys Roddy and Callum who were down there and I had heard from the so much about the area and I was excited to see what they were getting up to and doing in the back end of beyond. We headed off on Saturday which meant I had to get a mutatu into town for 700shs, the day started bad I put my hand out when falling towards the backseat of the taxi and of course inside the seat was a nice large piece of sharp metal which sliced my hand open yes aids was my first thought but it wasn’t to bad. I arrived in Kampala centre and I had no money what so ever, I had even had to borrow 200shs off Matt just to get into town, I made my way to the nearest Stanbic and withdrew some of these mighty shillings and off to shopright! I dropped my bag off at the bag security drop and I got a smile out of the security guard he obviously remembered me from the last time I was there and that added to the fact I was white clearly was over bering for him as he had a little chuckle to himself. I headed straight for the bakery it was about 8:30 and I was starving, as with all times that the shopright is busy nobody works the counter to allow for the Ugandan favorite pastime of queing. I Finnaly got some service and got two strange apple pastry things, I grabbed a mango juice drink and headed for the counter. I had my money checked as per usual and headed out to get my bag. I got my bag and another smile from that security guard, indeed. I headed out and found the nearest bodaboda, to the kisoro air strip gewd sir and away we headed.
I arrived at MicroCare hq at about 9ish, Anwer was already busy working on something.
I then proceeded to wait as with all african anything I had to wait and wait and eventually at about 11:30 we left. Me and Anwer were in the backseat with about 40,000shs worth of snacks and drinks that we picked up at payless, yes the shop names are that imaginative here. We were off and next stop was Masaka for lunch, I had plenty to look as we drove along but I couldn’t help but over hear anwer’s music was that who I think it was? The backstreet boys? After being offered a earphone I soon realised that indeed my small indian buddy was lisening to the backstreet boys and Celien dions greatest hits remixed, what a surrel journey I thought to myself as we took photos of riduclous things and each other lisening to various classic hits with a 5ft indian 28yr old IT technician in Uganda….well that’s a head full.
We arrived in Masaka for some lunch its about 3ish and this place is rough, there is a buffet which me and anwer skip due to matoke and what seems to be goat and instead ordered ourselves some chips and chicken with passion juice to wash it down. We head off hopefully we shall be in kisiize at about 8-9 I think oh how little I know.
We arrive in mabararara(well I know it has a lot of a’s and r’s)at about 7-8ish and I am told that we are staying here for the night due to a number of issues 1) Our driver cannot see at night 2) The road is very dangerous at night with gangs 3) It is against MicroCare rules to drive at night. We stop at the Dena guest house oh so very classy, the towels are solid and water is a luxury out of the taps. Anwer and I leave to check out the sights and sounds. Anwer seems to know where he is going as we soon get lost and I feel a little out of place, usually in Kampala you will see the odd white person but oh no not in mabararara I feel It maybe the least white friendly place I have been to yet. We find a nice place called City Top resturaunt(indian of course) and head in as with everything in Uganda we soon have a surreal experience well I know I did, out of the kitchen comes an indian man who comes to talk to Anwer oh yea you know it just turns out to be a cousin of his! That’s they way Uganda is just like wha? Things happen here that you’d only expect to happen in Lack or somehere in deepest darkest Fermanagh.
We has a nice meal here, I had Chicken Punjabi and Anwer had chicken curry, I got some weird things ordered for me by anwer which were rather nice and the garlic nan bread came out in a strange shape(hopefully I will upload a photo of it) We then headed to the local hub of excitement, Anwer then asked me if I wanted a massage and a steam bath I did hope he meant not from him but neither the less I was confused, this soon subsided when I arrived and noticed the large sign “massages and steam baths” I accept the small indians joke. We headed into the bar and then out again via the back door and down some stairs and indeed there it was a steam bath and massage parlour open at about 10pm, I soon realised then that it wasn’t a joke but I thought you know what lets go for it, unfortunetly anwer wasn’t to keane on joining me and I was even less keane on heading into a steam bath with about 100 black people in the most un white friendly place I had been in so we skipped the idea and headed to the pool table in the bar to play some pool and watch the R.O.I V’s Germany football match while we drank what was suposedly disguised as beer. We were soon joined by our 40yr old driver Wilbrod, he is from kenya but came to Uganda soon after old idi left. He is some character and soon embarised us with some Ugandan dancing matched with some terible music. We continued with our pool and even had a few competitions with some Ugandans I eventually lost to an old fella. We headed back to Bena Guest house for some hopefull sleep for our big day tomorrow. We didn’t get much sleep as the cleaners and gaurds talked and cleaned all night for no gewd reason. We headed off and now there was no stopping us from getting to Kisiizi. We arrived at the boys house in Kisiizi and it is quite nice with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.(they are more hills but kisiizi is so small everything is over exagerated). The boys werent there so we head to the Microcare office in the centre of Kisiizi, the great thing about kisiizi is that it is tiny, it takes about 10minutes to walk from one end to the other. The boys were at the Microcare office looking after the internetcafe, was gewd to see them and after exchanging plesantreys we all got onto the MicroCare pickup, I say onto as there wasn’t enough room in the cab so Anwer,Callum and I sat on the roof and back as we drove along rough jungle roads to get to a local medical centre where Donata the nurse who was with us was having a meeting with the local medical workers. The four of us Callum, Roddy, Anwer and I headed up the hill to get a better view of the surrounding beautiful valleys. We got to the top and realised there was a church soon there was about 30 kids around us staring and edging closer and then running away as soon as any of us moved, these kids had never seen a “white ape” before and so were scared of us but in a playfull sort of way. We had a lot of fun playing with the kids them running after us and then us chasing after them. We soon were away back down the hills to Kisiizi but this time Roddy joined us on the back of the pickup.
We got back to Kisiizi and we headed round to the round house which as you can imagine is very descriptive regarding the shape of this small 2bedroom house. We then decided to walk to the waterfall after watching it from the round house we wanted to get a closer look. It was about 200metres away from the roundhouse and a nice walk across a field was all it took. On our way back we were surrounded by kids who soon started to play a sort of tip the can sort of game, we headed back up to the round house to watch the games unfold. Soon though we got a little bit to much into the game and eventually decided to go down and show these amateurs how its done!
Callum, roddy and I had an awesomely messy time crawling through grass,climbing trees,running,jumping,rolling and generally being kids as we managed to actually beat some of the kids and made ourselves very proud about being 10yr olds. After that extensive exercise we said out goodbyes and headed for showers! Dinner was great and at the rose guest house which is part of the round house. We then had a great night of cheat which ran late into the night, I then went to stay with the boys in the west wing. I had been given a range of reports of lack of sleep in the boys house due to a number of factors and I soon found them to be true. First off no electricty not gewd. I then got into bed and luckily Roddy had told me there was mice in the room so I didn’t feel as freaked out when I heard loud chewing. The monologue chewing soon put me to sleep, I was then awoken by christine’s baby savana who even tho being ridiculosuly cute is able to wake the whole house up. Then the myth that is goat lady singing began and to no surprise is kept me awake too not it being about 5 the water pump is started and it just so happens to be right outside my room! What a night! No wonder the boys are glad of my sofa in Kampala. I head down to the Rose Guest house for breakfast which was cereal sausages and boiled egg. After filling up it was off to the microcare officeto fill the Microcare pick with gerry cans. Me and roddy headed into the office and saw a small child standing outside he starts to scream and his eyes get wider and wider as he sees us coming closer. Whats is wrong I think and before I know it he has jumped head first down the walkway to microcare towards the bank with a drop of about a meter the child then proceeds to scream and attempts to crawl away as the parents watch and do nothing, there is nothing we can do and we conside the posibility that the child may fear us some how. We are later told that the parents tell their children if they don’t behave that the white ape will come and eat them, poor child, he was the scared two more times once by Roddy and his lack of common sense and once by Callum who had missed the whole kurfuffle as he was teaching a class at the time.
Callum and I head off with Willbrod and another man who I don’t know and with 100gerry cans roped onto the pickup roof and back we head off into the back of beyond. We arrive at various holes in the hedges where we are meet with random drunk men who clearly have nothing better to do than to be drunk at 10am. I took various photos of the handing out of gerry cans and many a happy new gerry can owner. We arrive home to get a well deserved lunch at the Rose Guest House, a yumi combo of chicken rice and chips.
To night we go for the quiter option and stay at the roundhouse to play some more cheat and scraggy marry which is donkey but by using a queen instead, exactly english ey?
I stay at the Roundhouse tonight which means I actually get to sleep! I stay in a cosy room with Anwer,separate beds! We get up early to get breakfast showers and get ready to go.
I say my goodbyes and we discuss the plans for Friday as the boys are coming up to Kampala this weekend then its into the MicroCare pick up and away we head, next kinda general stop Kampala!
We arrive after a ridculous 9hour trip(it takes 6 in a bus)
All safe and well
Back to porridge
Love to all
Guy


This is me in a garage in Kampala just before we left.


This is in Mabara where we played pool, the disgusting beer here pushs me to Guinness.


This is of the Mountains on our drive to Kisiizi on the Sunday


This is the main centre of Kisiizi and Roddy


This is one of the Kisiizi waterfalls


Here’s me at the waterfall, yes same tshirt as yesterday due to the rule if its dirty and your gona get dirty wear it.


This is a terible photo by Anwer of Roddy, Callum and I playing tip the can with the kids but you cant really make out anything.

I shall try and upload more photos at a later date but at the moment it takes way to long to upload merely one

FortPortal medical camp

Hey all
Well its been a while since I last updated this and a lot has been happening.
I went away to Fort Portal on the 2nd October to work in a medical camp there with hema cement.
We set off at lunch time on Tuesday and got down there at about 4pm. It was a nice journey and got to see a lot. I was staying in a lovely house all to my self with a beautiful view of the mountains and rainforest. We traveled to the hima cement clinic where we unloaded a large amount of drug supplies and loaded some screens onto the landrover roof for the medical camp. I filmed some of the Doctors and nurses talking about what they do, how many people attend and what they treat at the Hima Clinic. We then headed off for the medical camp which was in the middle of nowhere. It took us about one and a half hours to get to the camp through rainforest and dirt road the whole way. We got to see a lot of baboons though so it was worth it. We arrived at the camp which was just a small school with about four classrooms and a few out houses with no windows. We realised it wasn’t going to be much fun with 15 long drop toilets and a predicted 1500 people coming for treatment. After we sorted out where the different treatment rooms would be places and where ques would be formed we headed back to FortPortal for dinner and some well needed rest as we were to be up at 5:30 the next morning to be at the camp for 7. An early awakening and it was freezing! The region of Fortportal is the coldest in Uganda and I understand why! We head off and on our way we see more babboons lots of familys scampering away into the dense forest. We arrive at the camp and there seems to be endless numbers of people. The hima cement people are trying to organise everybody into ques around the football pitch. We get to work straight away and start unloading the drugs into the pharmacy, we also start to set up the screens in the various rooms. I did a lot of fliming this first day of all the people and also of the rooms and people being treated, when I get home I shall show everyone the video but at the moment it is slightly hard to upload large files onto internet. Well I helped out as much as I could between filming and taking photos. I worked in the first medical room where people had their general medical details taken, I took over from lindsay for a while and I weighed people, I honed in on my sign lanuguage skills and managed to get people to understand the basics of standing on scales as I recorded their weight. It was actually a lot of fun and I got to look after a lot of babies while I weighed their mothers. A few babys were cute a few were very scared as I shall explain why later in kisiizi bit. We worked very hard and at the end of the day over 4000 people had been there to get treatment. It then began to rain at about 5 and because all Ugandans are afraid of the rain they all ran inside so we had to end the day there and come back tomorrow. We headed home after working for 12hours straight and it felt strangely rewarding and I was really excited about the next day. We headed back to FortPortal and then over to the mountains of the moon hotel, this is the very fancy and exspensive hotel which the Hima cement people were staying in, they invited us up for dinner on them of course so lindsay agreed willingly. We arrived and the place was designed like some sort of Austrian lodge, a lot of wood and large open fires. The hotel is an old colonial place which has been updated and is actually very tastyfully done if on the wrong continent. The influx of europeans into Fort Portal has had a big affect on the arcitecture of the hotels but the actual city still is african.
We arrived the next day and realised that not only had most of the people slept in the school that night but even more people turned up. The pharmacy the day before had been struggling to keep up with the demand so me and lindsay headed over to the pharmacy and started to make up small packs of different arrays of drugs that the different sections (windows) needed. I spent a lot of time doing this which seems boring but was actually quite enjoyable, I also spent a lot of time filming again. This day there was about 2000. Over the two days we also had VCT which stands for Voluntary Care and Treatment, it is to test for aids and we tested about 700 people for this which was really great as a lot of people are still ashamed to get tested due to the fear of stigma regarding the disease.
The journey home was not much fun as I felt quite sick the whole time but I managed to go to sleep and so stayed vomit free since goodness knows when.
I am very sorry about how late this blog is but also about a severe lack of information, I do realise that I have written twice asmuch for one day at didi’s world as I have for a week in FortPortal but I have become rather busy recently and so you may lose some stories and a few weeks here and there but that leaves me a lot more to tell you all when I get home.
Hope the wonderful Fermanagh is as wet as ever and for you who have gone further a field I hope all is well at your various Uni’s or polytecs for you extra special friends 😀
Love to all
Guy

DiDi’s World

Hello all
Well what a weekend I have had. Callum from kizizi came down to see me on Firday and that is when it began. We hit the old haunts of Garden City and ranchers for steak on Friday after work before heading home to set up camp for the weekend. We headed up to the american club(both on one bodaboda rather painfull but a lot of fun) we watched the English smugly beat the tongans to our severe disapointment. We met a lot of nice english people some how and ended up getting a lift home with them. Saturday I had already planned out as you know in my earlier blog, I decided to go to didi’s world kampala’s one and only theme+water park. We decided before heading off that we needed a proper Ugandan breakfast. We chose rolex as our breakfast of choice, a crepe style pancake is made first of all from dough and then fried and set to the side, then an egg is fried on the pan style oven in about the same size as the crepe about 10inches, the egg is then set on the sort of crepe and tomatoes are cut and put on top. The whole thing is rolled up and then stuck in a small plastic bag, this all costs about 15p and is quite dilicious and filling. We then got ourselves two bodaboda’s as we had learnt from last nights mistake, we arrived at didi’s world with unatural excitement at the prospects of enjoying a busy day at the many attractions.
As we walked along the disney style walkway to the entrance we noticed a surprisingly severe lack of anybody else and only one car, we thoughr maybe we are at the back entrance…as we walked in and paid the 5000ushs(£2.50) and made our way throught the turn styles down the slope to didi’s world…and it was empty…nobody not one soul there. We took a right near the end of the slope and went into the large arcade with pool tables,air hockey,table football,snooker,basketball games and dozens of arcade games all ghostly standing idle without anybody to play them. We quickly left hoping to find some people at the many rides dotted throughout the park. We quickly started to realise that we were the only people there. As we walked around looking at the various rides and attractions such as the pirate ship and mono rail we were struck with slight fear as to where anybody was and also excitement as we had a whole theme park to ourselves!
We found the go kart track with one go kart working and we decided it was about time we a go on some of the rides. We managed to find a manager or a cleaner or a somebody and asked them when the rides opened, they told us 10minutes so we headed to the arcade to play some games before making our way in a random fashion around the attractions. We stopped off at the discotheque before heading to the aracde where it seems that its been partying as thought its AD 75 for many a year. After trying nearly ever aracde machine and even the air hockey (yes Northern Ireland did beat the English again) we realised 30minutes had gone but yet no rides where open and no more people had arrived.
We decided to the classic mazungu(white man) thing and que up untill somebody came to help us, we decided to try the pirate ship first as it seemed some what safe. We quickly were on and sat by ourselves each of us at one end of a large ship as we swayed back and forward quickly realising it wasn’t so long ago we were eating those rolex and regreting them imensly. We managed to make our way off this ride and decided to give the go kart a try. The large health and safety issues were as usual in africa thrown away as I flew round a concrete track in a busted old go kart without any protection, this no doubt added to the excitement as without a limiter and what clearly were african style slicks( worn to balding)the go kart was sliding sideways very nicely making it all a lot of fun.
Then it happened we saw people, a large group of black people in suits and what seemed to be exspensive dresses all dolled up with their hair in a large array of strange styles. To the bumper cars! We soon realised we were in some trouble as the crys of mzungu were screamed across at us from some school kids who decided to join in on the bumper cars who were about 8-9 and excited about the fact that crashing was even more fun when not on the road. After about 30minutes on the bumper cars and a few bruises we decided to give the pirate ship another go but this time Callum managed to get himself a lady friend.
As the ships slowly and gracefully shook to a near stand still we made out way off and to where else could we go but the bumper cars for another session of pick on the myzungu, this time it had became popular with all 20people who were there taking part.
By now it was quite warm and we decided it was time for a soda and a go on the water slides. We made our way up to the top of the tower where all the slides started. We soon realised they didn’t intend on switching them all on and so we were stuck with using one. Callum was bravely forced to go first soon followed might I add(after I watched him clean out two small african kids who were in the plunge pool)the slide was teribly hard to slide down on and I ended up running down it for a large amount before finnaly flinging myself klingsman styley down the last section in a furry of scared and warning screems and as I slide down a break neck speeds litterly I felt the lack of gravity which surrounded the slide kick in as I was stopped at the very end of the slide. I then proceded to fall in rather gracefully I felt to the amusement of the crowd from the bumper cars who came to see myzungu in their natural water habitat. After a few more goes we decided that we could not deal with posible excitement of any more rides and also it was about 3 now and we had already spent 5hours in didi’s (end of) world and that we had a lot we still needed to do. The rest of our day was a large disapointment compared to our early morning shinanigans as we shopped till my small bag weighed about 50stone.
We decided to go to the cinema as Callum living in the literal bush dosent get to see moving images and we picked the best out of a bad bunch and went to see the reaping which is a ridulously terrible film which callum and I discussed in an intelligaintly we know about films way to the bemusement of an elderly south african couple who were sitting with us in the might I add it VIP section of the cinema. After indulging in a film fix we headed to Bubbles O’learys the classic universal irish pub to watch the Scotland V’s italy match. We cheered on the azuuri to the disgust of the many scots and as Troncon scored we felt we might actually get linched. Once the excitement had died down as the scots won we headed on home.
After a good nights rest we were up nice and early to try and attempt to get Callum a bus to Kizizi and also get some breakfast at Nando’s. We managed to get ridulously lost but eventually found the bus which was leaving at 10, it was now 9.58 and there was no time to get food. Well I was mistaken, Callum handed the guy a little don’t leave yet money and we were off to Nando’s for some chicken!
I now am currently sitting at the american club(you all know what that looks like) and im about to watch the France Vs Gorgia match…could be a close one…and Callum is currently on his 8hour bus journey home with what he tells me is the black Aretha Franklin sitting beside him.
I shall not be able to update untill next week some time so that is the reason for the unaturally long update which I am sure is quite unecesarry but I felt I should give you a taster of DiDi’s amazing world.
Enjoy the pictures below.
Guy


Callum and his lady friend


Hamilton who?


Alonso Style

The rolex took their affect on Callum about now

Here is the play park and ferris wheel in background

The water slides


If you cant beat em join em


Callum with his “friend”


Just before pick on the myzungu began

The grand walk way to the entrance

The mighty entrance


The empty aracde


The mono rail

The pose that sums up Uganda the best as we were sitting in an empty theme park in the middle of Kampala.

American Club – Kampala, Uganda


Hello all
Sorry for a rather slow update I have been having trouble posting photos.
I have put the above pictures up of the American club as i mention it quite a bit so i thought you all should see what i am talking about. You can see the pool and the clay tennis courts, the covered area is the restaurant. I also included a nice photo of the wonderful hail storm’s that are here.
I shall be at the American club this Sunday in my Ireland shirt to cheer them on!!
I am going to be away most of next week as i am away to Fort Portal on the west side of Uganda, i am going there to help with a medical camp they are setting up to look after local people and also staff at the Hima cement company which is the largest cement company in the whole of Uganda. I am also going to be filming a lot of the journey for microcare as they hope to produce a small documentary for Hima cement showing the medical care that microcare is doing.
Callum from Newcastle is coming up for this weekend and will be staying with me. I am thinking about going to the local water park, indeed you did hear me correctly, a business man decided that Kampala was a great place to build a water park for all the many many rich people in Kampala, its a large mix between a theme park and water park and sits empty most of the time as nobody can afford it so no queues 😀
I shall post a large update when i come back from Fort Portal.
Guy

‘Guy..what will he do next?’!!










Hello all
I have had quite a lot going on but that is not the reason for the slow update, it is due to lack of internet.
I had a lot of fun with the two boys Callum and Roddy before they left for kizizi. As shown in the above picture we decided to try out the local food at microcare I shall quote Roddy regarding what it was “there was yellow mush(matoke), white mush, yellow rice, white rice the green stuff, the other white stuff and the other yellow stuff. also these things that are like potato scones and a sort of stew over it.” That sums it up well.
We went shopping one day to get a range of coffee, soup and water, we also managed to find knifes, lots of knifes not locked(I thought it was amazing at the time). The picture of Callum is in Garden City when it started to rain heavily and without a roof water started gushing in and so they put out buckets which were filled and over flowing withing five seconds.
On their last night in Kampala they invited me along to Scottish dancing. We got a lift from Eric who they were staying with who brought us to a restaurant called faze2. After we had eaten we headed to where the dancing was taking place, this place just so happened to be the local Ugandan mason’s hall. The above picture of both of them sitting at the bar is when we realized we were sitting in a mason’s hall in Uganda about to learn some sottish dancing with a number of pensioners and we were chatting to Eric who just so happened to be friends with Adi Amin up until his death and the only way to sum it up was to shrug your shoulders and say welcome to Uganda.
I took some pictures of sunshine and some of my house and the surrounding garden and guard hut, I happened to also get a picture of a lizard who was on the guard hut.
I am starting to finally figure out how to use the shower so that’s a plus! It still feels a bit strange to be living on my own but peace and quiet Is quite enjoyable, wont be for much longer though as Matt is back on the 26th.
The weather here has greatly improved from the first week and the sun is shinning and im actually tanning up, i will fit in with everyone very soon.
Love to all
Guy