Thanks for all the emails and sorry if I haven’t replied yet. I will! I write this blog offline but it’s still taking time to download and reply to individual emails and I’m a bit behind this week after submitting my first proposal. Worked on it most of last w/end and two very late nights / early mornings. It’s for a wee $40k! but couldn’t help but make the same amount of effort as I did with the big Laing PFI bids. UCF directors and Trustees over the moon with what we submitted so fingers crossed we get the grant …
The railway line is 50 metres from the house. A train thundered past on my first night here, so you can imagine what I was thinking!! “No wonder they’ve moved me here, the rent must be cheap if that thing’s going past every night, how am I ever going to sleep etc etc…” But luckily trains only pass once a week or so, carrying freight from ships docked in Lake Victoria. It’s actually quite exciting now I know it’s only once a week! And I wonder where it’s come in from – possibly Tanzania or Kenya – and suddenly it seems exotic.
It was raining really hard this morning so I went back to sleep to the sound of it, snug under my blanket (what a treat! There’s the very slightest chill in the air!) Time to make tea for me and Simpson and not only have I missed the spout of the kettle but filled it with water straight from the tap. A no no but luckily I realised what I’d done. Haven’t had any stomach upsets yet but you never know. Occasionally they add chlorine to the water supply and it comes out of the tap cloudy and you get a grey scum appear when you boil the water. We try and avoid drinking it then.
Last week someone offered me his daughter as I walked down the road. I laughed in reply but actually it made me quite angry. How did that little girl feel? And why have so many children if you can’t afford to look after them? It’s funny, I’ve made excuses for people doing this back home but here it gets to me. I suppose it’s on a much grander scale here and many of the kids are absolutely filthy (i.e. uncared for).Patrick says there’s never been a lack of food here. Portions in restaurants everywhere are certainly enormous. But malnourishment is still common, as we saw yesterday on our visit to the famous Mulago Hospital (subject of a BBC documentary a few months ago). It’s a massive, creaking place. My friend Isla is a Speech Therapist there and has seen some shocking sights. But our visit was to the Healthy Baby clinic to hand out toys to the kids, hear more about the clinic and suggest improvements such as cheering up the place, installing a playground for example. Not sure whether I’m going to get involved or not, haven’t been here long enough to decide which personal projects I’d like to support, but will happily collect any unwanted toys or kids’ clothes on my trip home (next year?) if anyone has any they no longer need.