Camping & Corruption on the Ssese Islands
Note to self – when in Africa, keep your eye on your phone. It was bound to happen at some point. For those of you who know me, I have lost my phone in every way you can imagine, plus more. I’ve also been lucky enough to get it back almost every time. This time I ‘lost’ my phone on the Ssese Islands. I was informed by a call from a friend in the UK who had received a call from a friend in Tanzania, who had received a call from Uganda. Halfway through Naomi’s birthday weekend on the islands, we found ourselves in the local police station, trying to fight ourselves out of paying $50 to get my phone back. This was the same weekend that we chose to camp and the rainy season decided to kick in, Naomi thought she had bilharzia after swimming in Lake Victoria and finding an unusual looking mark on the bottom of her foot, and we almost found ourselves literally stranded on a desert island after failing to budget correctly and finding that the one bank on the island was closed for renovation. To cut a long story short, everything worked out ok. We got my phone back thanks to a friendly local who was freed of the bribe, we got off the island and Naomi does not have bilharzia (turns out it was a blood blister).
Since I last wrote, apart from getting myself into interesting situations on islands, I have been busy doing lots of field work. I have been assessing new families, checking on current ones and delivering donations of food, clothes, school supplies etc. I have also been checking on families that are involved in pig, goat and crop projects.
This will be my last time I write from Uganda. I fly out of Entebbe disgustingly early on Monday morning (5 a.m. flight). My ‘mum’ a.k.a. ‘the queen’ happens to be flying out at the same time. “Are you ready for CHOGM?” is all that I hear these days. Wish me luck with getting to the airport! Hopefully I’ll be in touch soon from Malawi!