Thursday, 29 April 2010

I wish it were that easy!!

...front page headline of a national newspaper yesterday!! Then another bit of classic primary prevention advice follows below - another common belief as to how to avoid contracting HIV. It's no wonder the HIV prevalence is 6.4% and climbing in Uganda!! It is with this in mind that I am appealing for funds to continue the comprehensive STI service that we have developed for the local community. STI control is proven to lead to a 40% reduction in transmission of HIV, so in Kampala, where STI prevalence is estimated to be about 9%, a comprehensive STI service can make a huge difference. Sadly, the funds through IMF (the charitable arm of the organisation) are limited and so if anyone feels the urge, donations would be most welcome via the following website:, earmarked for the STI clinic. £10 provides screening and treatment for 1 person with obvious knock-on benefits for that person's sexual contacts too... so more for your money!!! If you are able to donate, drop me a line and I can keep you posted of how your money is used (whilst not being too graphic of course!)
Thanks to those who have already donated to this cause.

Rain Stopped Play...

...but only briefly. This just shows how much Royal Pride School will benefit from the new flooring. Previously the school would have had to abandon lessons in a downpour like this.
The foundations are now down and next we have to lift up the wooden walls and tin roof to lay the fooring underneath. The school is keen to build brick walls on the foundations over time and is looking at some further fund-raising initiatives of its own.

Sunday, 25 April 2010


Work started on the classrooms at the Royal Pride Academy (with the funds you donated). 8 trips to the local quarry to collect some pretty large rocks, which will be the hardcore for the floor, followed by some sand, cement and more stones. Elected not to carry the large rocks as didn't want to show up the locals! Child labour doesn't seem to be an issue here, so may get the girls to work...

Easter Island!

We spent Easter chilling on an island called Bushara on Lake Bunyonyi in the lush and montainous South West of Uganda. We had to get there via dug-out canoe and we stayed in a tree house with an outdoor shower. There was not much to do besides swim in the lake, spot birds and play monopoly- it was great and we returned relaxed.

We also stayed a night in Bush Lodge on the edge of Queen Elizabeth NP, where the hippos and elephants got up close and personal (see the big fellas in the background of the picture below) Seems like a long time ago as things have been rather manic since.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

It's not all work

Since discovering our wonderful babysitter, Rose, we have been able to indulge in some evening social activities together without the girls. The highlights so far have been a St Patrick's Day Ball, where Alan was resplendent in an emerald-green shirt, and a reggae/karaoke night, where Red, Red Wine was duly murdered.

Cowan Girls on Stage!

Amy and Bella recently starred in their respective class performances- Amy at Kampala's National Theatre in 'Year 3's Got Talent' where she compered, and Bella at her nursery where she bedazzled us with her African/Wind the Bobbin Up fusion dance.

Try avoiding this one...

Pot holes take on a whole new dimension here and never again will we complain about the state of roads in St Albans...

We fell victim to another of Kampala's roads recently, when Alan was dropping our babysitter, Rose, back to her home by the swamp. He didn't see a huge mud bath in the road and and went headfirst into it. Finally, after 4 hours of digging in the dark with a hoe assisted by some of Rose's neighbours, we managed to find a tow-truck and Jasper emerged to drive another day...

Big Thanks... everyone who very generously donated money to the aforementioned causes with which we are working. You are very kind and it will make a big difference to those involved.
Pictured is Alison delivering some health training to the parents of one of the schools in which Alan has been involved. Also, a few of the children at Royal Pride with some new footie tops donated through an American friend and Bella with her new buddies at the school.