Every monday evening I run through the slums and wetlands of Kampala, through the traffic or across the golf course, in and through the lives of thousands of Ugandans along with 150 fellow Hashers. Dr Ian Clarke, founder of Kampala’s International Hospital (IHK), is one of us.
Like him or loathe him, he’s an impressive character. This month he is standing for the seat of L.C..III (Local Councillor) and, if elected, will govern a quarter of Kampala, Uganda’s capital. He’s popular with many Ugandans as they think if he has his own money – IHK is the biggest private healthcare provider in the country – he’ll be above corruption.
International Hospital overlooks Namuwongo which has a slum of some 100,000 people. With inadequate public health infrastructure, many Kampalans look to the free service offered by the Hope Ward or the Touch Namuwongo outreach project. For many in Ian’s constituency, he’s already proved he can deliver. His public promise to improve the roads is already having an impact: I hear that hundreds of potholes across the capital have been patched up in recent weeks, as if to prove the point.
Hashers are crazy for free T shirts! So this Monday we waited in line to collect our free Ian Clarke T shirts and off we ran, shouting “Busuulwa!” Ian’s Ugandan name. It was hilarious.
We stopped at a few trading centres along the way to pose for photographers.
PHOTO: “ON IN” we cry as we take the last leg of the hour long run, back into the venue (a bar!)
It’s very hot at the moment and we were all glad to get back.
The dust was immense.
Much as I love the kids running alongside us, their little flip flops kicked up clouds and clouds of dust, making breathing even harder!
PHOTO: gathering at a trading centre.
A chance to catch your breath – and for Ian to meet another journalist.
*A word about this week’s blog title: these T-shirts must have been printed by a Westerner. The letter L doesn’t exist in the local languages.
“So what’s your plobrem?” they ask. It gets confusing.