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Emma’s Travel Diary

Monday, 04 Aug 2008

Location: Kiyunga, Uganda

MapMy time in Uganda is over. Iíve said goodbye to the kids, teachers, friends and school. Iíll miss the kids a lot, theyíre definitely the best thing about Uganda. Theyíre 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, itís very fast. Both computers will be greatly appreciated and will make a big difference to the school. Some teachers and other people donít 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 surpriseÖ 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 Kisakyeís sister. Sheís 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 Iíll 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 wonít miss the bats in my room, pooing on me and my things, coming in at 5am making noise and feeding their babies..
I wonít 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 thatís itís a smelly drop toilet and it requires all your quad muscles to stand over.
I wonít miss matooke everyday for lunch and dinner, or cabbage with too much salt, dried fish, and oily potatoes.
I wonít 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 Ďthank you teacher for teaching us, your work is highly appreciatedí Iíll miss all the kids actually.

Iíll 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. Thereíre some really talented artists!

Iíll 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 Iíll 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.

Iíll 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 itís 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. Iíll miss talking with them, playing soccer and spending time with them.

Everyone asked Ďwhen will you come back?í ĎHow many years until you come back?í. I told the kids I donít know but they will probably be in secondary school by the time Iíll be able to come back. They ask how long it takes to fly to Australia and they canít 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..