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Tuesday, 05 August 2008

Location: Kiyunga, Uganda

And just an update on the boys, (one of the main reasons I went back to Uganda)....

They moved from their old village where they'd been living in a house but paying no rent. The landlord told them to move by the end of July. So their mother, Nagawa, found a room in the village where their land is. The village is called Kalagi. They have a very small room, it's about 2.5m x 4m and there are 3 boys and Nagawa living in it with all their belongings. There is no electricity and Nagawa said when you light a candle you have to be careful that the mosquito nets don't catch on fire because the room is so small! The rent for the room is 10,000shillings/ month. Their old landlord gave them the rent for 1 month then they'll have to find the money for rent after that.

The boys cleared their land and during school holidays the boys will have to dig foundations so that they can start building their 1 room house. This will also be a very small room, but at least it's a beginning and it's on their own land. They can add onto it later. I gave Josephus the money for safe-keeping and he will pay the builders as the work is done. He'll help organise the construction.

From Kalagi it takes 1 1/2 hours to walk to school one way. And school starts early in Uganda and finishes late (8am - 5pm), then when they get home the kids are supposed to do homework plus chores. I gave them a small amount of money to buy a bike so that they can ride to school. The 3 of them will all go on the one bike.

Nagawa said they don't know anyone in Kalagi yet and they have no friends there, but they will need to make friends because that's how they will get food to eat until they have a place to grow their own food.

I text them now and then but they rarely have money to buy phone credit to reply to me, but they enjoy receiving my messages. Kisakye will go to the internet when he can but now it's even further away from where they live so the transport will cost a lot for them. When he gets to the internet Dan always lets him use it for free and often buys him lunch as well. So he just needs to be able to get there.

That's about all I think. At night I sometimes remember more things about Uganda that I should have written, but then once I'm here at the internet I forget!

Here in Zanzibar I don't get called mzungu so much, I get called Italiano! All the time 'tuto bene' 'ciao' 'como esta' or on the mini bus 'hey italiano, where you want to go?'.. makes a nice change from mzungu anyway. Many of the locals here have learnt Italian and Spanish to communicate with the tourists.

My friend Kinsey, who is working with the Peace Corp in Uganda for 2 years, is coming to Zanzibar in a week so I'll see her here which will be nice.

Bye again

Tena baadae mzungus

Monday, 04 August 2008

Location: Kiyunga, Uganda

My time in Uganda is over. I’ve said goodbye to the kids, teachers, friends and school. I’ll miss the kids a lot, they’re definitely the best thing about Uganda. They’re polite, friendly, funny, full of stories and very entertaining.

We managed to get a second computer for the school just 3 days before leaving! Amazing after it took us so long just to find the first one. This second one is excellent, it’s very fast. Both computers will be greatly appreciated and will make a big difference to the school. Some teachers and other people don’t even know what a computer looks like, so it will benefit everyone, not only the kids. Mum donated most of the money for this last one (thanks from the school!) and Josephus even put in a bit extra because he could see the benefit of getting one with a DVD burner. Thanks so much Hella and Mum.

I was given some gifts by different people during the last week in Kiyunga. It was a really nice surprise… there was an African painting, a well made straw broom with decorated handle, a jack fruit, some sugar cane and mangoes, drawings from the kids, some vanilla pods from Jaja and a beautiful big woven straw matt which Naiga made herself during the time we were in Uganda. Naiga is Kisakye’s sister. She’s in P7 and she used to weave the matt whenever she had time at home between doing homework and chores like cooking, cleaning, washing or digging. On the last day when I gave them the matt I had been using in my room during my stay they were very very happy. I guess they were making their own matt because they needed one and they wrote a note saying they wish they could give me more but as they had nothing all they could give me was this straw matt that Naiga had made. So it was a good deal, I got a gift made by Naiga that I’ll always keep and remember her by, and they still get a straw matt to use!

I will miss many things about Uganda and some things I will never forget but I will not miss either!

I won’t miss the bats in my room, pooing on me and my things, coming in at 5am making noise and feeding their babies..
I won’t miss having to go outside to the toilet in the middle of the night, which is situated out the back in a very dark place with strange noises scaring me, let alone that’s it’s a smelly drop toilet and it requires all your quad muscles to stand over.
I won’t miss matooke everyday for lunch and dinner, or cabbage with too much salt, dried fish, and oily potatoes.
I won’t miss the scary trips going in the local mini buses (scary because they drive like formula one drivers), and sometimes being called mzungu several times every single day can get a bit too much.

I will miss the kids, especially Sumia, my little friend, my classes P3 and P4 and at how at the end of every lesson they say ‘thank you teacher for teaching us, your work is highly appreciated’ I’ll miss all the kids actually.

I’ll miss teaching the kids Swahili and seeing how much they enjoy it, and how they enjoy doing art for a change from their normal classes. There’re some really talented artists!

I’ll miss seeing all the crazy things people carry on bikes and the colourful clothes they wear and how friendly they are (even if they do call you mzungu). And I’ll miss going for a run in the village and all the kids coming with me and people yelling out 'Hello Madam Emma' from their house as I run by.

I’ll also miss learning luganda which is a very unusual language and to see how happy the locals are when you speak it with them.

I will miss seeing Kisakye, Menya, Kalume and Naiga. We will be in contact but it’s been so great to see them everyday and actually spend time at their home and see how life is for them. Their English has improved so much even in the one year since I saw them last. I’ll miss talking with them, playing soccer and spending time with them.

Everyone asked ‘when will you come back?’ ‘How many years until you come back?’. I told the kids I don’t know but they will probably be in secondary school by the time I’ll be able to come back. They ask how long it takes to fly to Australia and they can’t believe that from Africa it takes 14 hours. The kids know all about my friends and family and they said to make sure I greet everyone from them and tell everyone that they, in Uganda say god bless you all. They are amazed by photos of the ocean, and especially big waves, sand and surfing. They said my Dad must be so fit and strong to be able to surf and stand on the board in those waves.

So there are many more things I'll miss but too much to write here. I'm heading back to Australia in the beginning of September.. I'm now in Tanzania enjoying the last of Africa and trying not to think about my flight home with Qantas!! I'm planning on filling up on wine during the flight so I'll be very happy and carefree (or passed out). Thanks for reading, webale nnyo, ahsante sana, katonda akuwe omukisa, mungu akubariki..


Monday, 28 July 2008

Location: Kiyunga, Uganda

Oli otya mzungus?

I just had a call from Air Tanzania, the flight is cancelled for tomorrow, so I guess I'm here in Uganda a bit longer. I'm about to go to the Air TZ office and see when the next flight is and what reason it was cancelled.

I have some more great photos to put and more things to write about. I'll do it tomorrow I think so stay tuned...

Also, thanks Mum for donating a computer to JIM school! Now they have 2 thanks to 2 Aussies.. they are very very happy and the students will benefit so much. I'll write more tomorrow with the pics.

Siba bulungi..

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Recent Messages

From hola!
no more news???whats happening with you? summer is nearly over and so are the is tough ;)
take care emma i will write soon with updates
Response: Hi lovely guapa, como estas? I will email you with news. I thought no one was reading my page anymore so I stopped! I have gift for you, Mum is bringing it, so you must see her in Barcelona! Look forward to hearing your news.. ciao
From Alicia
Hey Emma!
I've been looking for your new website for ages...and finally got it off Jane. I've read all your entries and sounds like you've done wonders for the kids there. Your photos of Zanzibar look great! I'm off on Sunday to South America and Africa (we decided on South Africa and then East Africa - Tanzania and Zanzibar). Send me an email and I'll send you my blog details so you can see what we're up to. We are doing a volunteer project in Brazil, so should be interesting! Take Care xx
Response: Hi Alicia, wow! Brazil!! How cool. Are you volunteering with animals or people? Sounds awesome, have fun. Look forward to reading your page, and I"m sure you'll get to play some good football in Brazil! Take care too, na wewe pia x
From mang
Hey Emma, Jambo!
As always it is great to read your planetranger website. Time has flown, it is incredible to think that you will be heading back soon. Have a wonderful time during the rest of your stay and a safe journey back to OZ. With lots of love Amanda x
Response: Hi Amanda, great to hear from you. I've been thinking of you, but had very terrible internet so have not managed to email you sorry! Hope you get this message :) See you soon.. Em x.. Hi to Eric
From Hella
Hi Emma. Finally made time to check your webpage, although your Mum has been keeping me up to date. Really pleased to hear the kids now have 2 computers. Their lot in life certainly isn't an easy one. You sound as though you are keeping well. Look after yourself. Hella
Response: Hi there, thanks for the message and thanks so much for the help getting the school a computer. The teachers, kids and headmaster really really appreciate it, they're so excited. Not many private schools in villages are lucky enough to have computers. Take care, Emma
From mzungu ainhoa
hola! more photos! love you have normal hair again! i preferred the braided hair...but you look shiny anyway!
beesitos guapa
Response: Hello rafiki mzungu Ainhoa! I'm happy to hear from you. I thought you were lost. Yes I had to let my hair rest a while, and have some time to get clean again, but now I'm planning to braid again! I love braids because it's so easy. How's things in Spain? Take care, hi Nandy and puppy.. nkwagaliza birungi x
From Nina
Hi Emma, thanks for giving me the website again - the photos and captions are great. So good to see the senior team wearing the soccer jerseys. Keep smiling, Nina
Response: Thanks Nina, and thanks for the jerseys! Talk soon.. enjoy your new life of retirement
Emma - I am so enjoying your stories and photos - hope to meet you when you come back to Sydney - best wishes - Shirley (Jane's Nanna)
Response: Hello, it's nice to hear from you! Thanks for the message and I'm glad you're enjoying it. I'll put more photos later this week. Take care, regards
From mark rogers
Hi great to see the new photos. That rafting thing looks a bit dangerous and tiring. I can't believe the area where you wash. so bare. The photos of the kids are lovely, such beautiful smiles. You should get Ssali to help you with the school computer, he sounds qualified enough to me. Is ther some way that I can get another donation to you from here to help out with the boys? Hope you are well and look forward to catching up in person. Mark
Response: Hi Mark, great to hear from you and that you're reading my page. Thank you for your message and glad you enjoy the photos. I'm just about to email you and will answer your questions..! Hope you are well and happy. HI to everyone at Pastiche..
spain is the winner of the european competition!!
Response: I know! Congratulations Espana! We watched the game on a dodgy television in the school library..
From ainhoa
i see football is big in uganda! spain won italy after 88 years of italian victary...spanish football fans are happy now...i dont really mind... i got your mail! but still no sign of sms...
muchos besos y abrazos muak
Response: Congratulations Espana! I knew Spain won but I didn't know it had taken 88 years for victory! Gracias amigo, siba bulungi :)
From Kimbo
Hey Em! Good to see you're having a great time over in Africa. Loved all your pics, but what's the kid in the top right photo of Zanzibar May I folder holding? Looks like a huge handgun! You be careful there... and it's meant to be good luck if a seagull craps on you, so wonder what sort of luck you'll get if one of the bats in your ceiling poos on you? :) Take care & speak to you soon, Kimbo x
Response: Hey Kim.. yeah Muniri is holding a 'pretend plastic gun'! No worries, hakuna matata.. Actually I'd rather skip the good luck and not have a bat poo on me thanks all the same! Take care, how's arm reserves going? Enjoy winter :) mmmm what does winter feel like again??
From mzungu ainhoa
mamo vipi rafiki emma? i tohught of you today as im waring the anklet you sent me...summer is approaching and im also wearing some of your clothes too! big hug from us in spain xxx
Response: Hello mzungu Ainhoa! Nice to hear from you. Glad you have summer coming, winter is no fun! I'm happy you're still wearing and enjoying my clothes. I still have your shell anklet on from Thailand, I've never taken it off! I promise I will email you soon ok.. are you apples?? Siba bulungi (good day) x from mzungu Emma
From Jane
Hi Emma, I am here with my Nanna showing her your webpage. She is so interested because she loves Africa too but in a different way (more animals)! She has the link now so will also kept up to date with your adventures. I am off to player soccer (in the rain)! Hope you are well & I will email you soon. Love Jane :)
Response: Hi Jane and Nanna! Thanks for the message.. sorry the only animals I'm encountering at the moment are bats, geckos, termites, cows, chickens and goats! I hope to see some more 'african' animals sometime.. but the kids here are very cute! Good luck at soccer, how's the team doing?? Bye !
From mark
It's great to be able to follow your adventure from over here. The pictures are fab. Watch those night dancers. Please take care. Mark
Response: Hi Mark, great to hear from you. I will email you soon about the boys because costs in Uganda are higher than even the locals expected! I may have to change the plans of a house and stick to smaller things.. Talk soon about it! Hope you're happy and well, hi to all at Pastiche.
From James
Hey Emma,
Great to be reading about your adventures again...I hope they've fixed their bottle on Zanzibar?! Good to hear that Kisakye, Menya and Kalume are all doing well. Take care, James, Michelle and Dylan
Response: Hello guys! Nice to hear from you, thanks for the message. Hope you're all doing well. No they haven't fixed their bottle on Zan yet! Take care!
From rafiki ainhoa
no, i didnt get it´!
Response: Hi there, figured you didn't. sorry for no updates, internet has either been extremely slow or not working at all. I'll try tomorrow (8th June)! x take care, ciao
From rafiki ainhoa
hello rafiki mzungu emma!! no light in spain would be ,oh-my-god, a disaster...this first world is soo fussy!!!
i sent you an sms...i guess u never got it?
love muak muak
Response: Mambo vipi rafiki? Great to hear from you. Still no electricity on Zanzibar, day 7 now! But we're here in Uganda with power. No, shame I never got your sms, did you get mine, I sent you one. I will email you soon personally. Take care na wewe mzungu Ainhoa kutoka Espana.
From Hella Ochocki
Great to hear from you Emma. The photos are fabulous. The mind is wandering and the imagination is working overtime. You really fit into the surroundings well. Looking forward to hearing from you again. Hella
Response: Hello Hella, nice to get your message thanks. I'll be at the school in Uganda next week so there'll be some more photos soon!
From nina
Hi Emma, What great photos. No wonder you couldn't wait to take off - it looks stunning. Enjoy and take care
love Nina
Response: Hi Nina, great to hear from you! Thanks for looking at my page, it will be more interesting once I get to Uganda :) bye for now. Glad you enjoyed the Hunter, and I hope you get to leave Pastiche properly this month!