Wednesday, 25 November 2009

The Gruffalo Gets Big in Kampala

Following a very generous donation from the publisher Macmillan via the fantastic efforts of Ed in St Albans, Alan was able to visit the Railway School today with a number of oversize picture books. These books are perfect for the huge classes here as everyone can easily see the pictures and follow the story. The books consisted of the Gruffalo and several others in the same series and they were greeted with great enthusiasm and wonder by all the children - it was like an early Christmas present!Alan then treated' them to a reading of each book before they break up for 2 months holiday this week. The school holidays are not necessarily greeted with the same enthusiasm as they are in the UK, as not all of the children can guarantee a meal at home whereas they are assured of this each day at school. That said, several of them have even had to drop out of school before the end of year exams this term, as they don't have the £10/term to pay for meals and equipment.

Monday, 23 November 2009

they taste just like prawns...

For one month only it's grasshopper season and you can buy them nicely sauteed on nearly every street corner in Uganda. Our Ugandan friend Innocent was kind enough to fry up a tub of the critters and bring them around as an (un)appetiser before dinner. Alan got quite a taste for them, the girls weren't have any of it and Alison and Natalie tried them after some gentle persuasion...

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

'Fun' Run in the Sun

Putting memories of his Great North Run collapse behind him, Alan joined Alison in Sunday's 10km run through Kampala. Both survived the heat and hills, along with the rest of the VSO team, albeit behind some of the half marathon runners, who set off at the same time! Note Alan's colour change in the before and after shots...
Swanny also managed to join the team. He is based here in Uganda for 3 months doing plastic surgery.


It was 'International Rainbow Day' at Zoe and Amy's school last week and pupils were asked to come in their national dress. Not sure what this was for England, we managed to track down some England football shirts and the girls went as traditional football hooligans...

Nat and Jack arrive...

Our friend Natalie recently arrived in Kampala laden with fruit, which was dissected in an alien-style autopsy. She is staying in our maid's room when she's in town, but we've let her off the cleaning duties- for now! She's working for the Malaria Consortium and will be based between Malago hospital in Kampala and hospitals around the country.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Move over Williams Sisters... come the Cowan girls!
Coach Godfrey at the ARA is teeing them up for Wimbledon 2018- we may have to work a bit harder on Bella's ballgirl skills though.

a taste of Uganda...

We bid farewell to Uncle Jonathan and Cousin Lucy at the weekend after they spent 10 days experiencing the delights of Uganda. Hopefully they would say these included more than rain and transport issues, but those did figure quite prominently during their stay! We went on the road to visit Lake Mburo National Park again and were diverted off into some fields after a lorry overturned on the road. Then on the way to Jinja, we were navigating a roundabout in Jasper when a wheel fell off- luckily we weren’t going too fast! These incidents aside we packed in a lot of fun, including a rafting trip down the Nile, a visit to the ancient kings’ tombs and some game drives. We also camped in Mabira Forest- our first ‘proper’ camping experience, which was made all the more real by some very raucous monkeys and hyraxes near our tent and a 3 hour downpour at dawn! That was when we realised our tent was not quite as watertight as advertised! Likewise our house, as when we returned home to Kampala, the rain had lashed in horizontally leaving all Jonathan and Lucy's belongings floating in their bedroom.
Lucy kindly brought out a case full of her own story books so we took them to the Railway School, where they were very gratefully received and Lucy read them a couple of her favourite stories. When we walked into the classroom, we were greeted by 100+ excited, cheering kids- it felt a bit like we’d won We Are The Champions. I guess it was quite an eye-opener for Lucy, but it was especially poignant as her school has just been twinned with a school in Northern Uganda so she’ll be able to give the London schoolchildren an idea of what the schools here are like.