Days 21 /22 – Safari!

By Ethan, Rachael and Joe

Another beautiful morning in Uganda, but our first at Mweya Safari Lodge where the majority of us woke at 5:30am with anticipation for our sunrise safari. The morning started with tea, coffee and a range of biscuits along with our promised reward of a free milkshake for waking up early. After our morning tea, the group of 11 split into two safari buses, 3 on one and 8 on the other.
We then set off en route for the long and bumpy roads towards the animals that we anxiously awaited. On the way to the main safari area, we saw many fantastic animals like elephants, waterbucks, buffalos and one of many of the national animals of Uganda, a kob. The journey on the open bus was very windy but thankfully we had blankets that the guide kindly gave us. All along the roads our cameras were snapping as many pictures as we could get of the fascinating African wildlife.
After the check points where Adam showed security the receipt for the safari, most of the Lander4Uganda team began the expedition through the savannah where our tour guide stopped at every animal we could see to get the best possible photo opportunity. We were all extremely lucky to see a leopard and its cubs as they are very shy creatures; the other group was very jealous. Only one leopard has ever been seen on the Uganda trip before our sighting.
Upon our return, we ate a hearty breakfast and got prepared for our next safari, on the water. This time, the whole group were able to be together. We walked down to the jetty, boarded the boat, put on our life jackets and set off. The boat was on two levels, and each level had its own professional ranger.
We were shown various types of birds, water buffalos, and most importantly – hippos! The group witnessed something which warranted varying opinions; an alpha hippo was overthrown and killed by another hippo which we were notified about by the ranger. It was towed away by boat; some of the students were upset by this but our moods were soon lifted when we saw many crocodiles and flocks of beautiful birds. After our amazing 2 hour water safari, we headed back up to Mweya safari lodge where we were all given a menu with the choice of pizza, burgers, pasta and many desserts.
After lunch we got changed into our swimwear and headed into the pool and sun bathed on the loungers. The rest of the day was spent in the pool until 4:00 when the other 6 students went on their sun set safari, unfortunately few animals were seen as there was a thunderstorm. The group were stuck in an open safari car where it was very windy and rainy but still they braved it through and weren’t afraid of the lightning or thunder.
By the time they arrived back they were all very cold and wet but were soon warmed by the hot buffet which was prepared for us. Everyone was, as usual, very impressed with the extensive plethora and undisputed quality of the food on offer. Once we finished our evening meal the majority of us went to the bar and enjoyed the Wi-Fi until it was time to head back to our rooms by teacher escort in case a hippo was outside the lodge or our rooms. After a long day we settled into bed awaiting the adventurous day ahead.
On the previous day, Miss Wright set the record for the most plates of food eaten in one day by eating 10 plates of food. Amelia Ireland worked extremely hard throughout the day to smash this record and ended the evening on an amazing 15 plates of food. It was amazing.

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Day 20 – Abi’s Birthday

Hola mis amigos,
So this morning we were awoken at 6am ready to begin our journey to the safari in Mweya where we will be thankful to have hot showers and soft pillows to rest our tired heads. Today is not only a special day for moving to the luxurious 5 star hotel but it is also my birthday: 15 years young! At breakfast before we left the teachers and other students wished me a very happy birthday and kindly gave me a card and present to open which I was extremely thankful for and surprised by. Then we set off. After a long lagging journey of 6 hours in a minibus accompanied by an entertaining and rather competitive quiz, we arrived at the hotel in time for a delicious buffet lunch. Once we had been stuffed full to the brim we then went for swim in the cooling, relaxing pool where we met some lovely Humphry Davy students who were also on a school trip and afterwards some of us went to tan. In the evening we sat in the bar waiting to be called for dinner when suddenly the lights dimmed and everyone began to sing happy birthday while a cake was brought out by the chefs. After blowing out the candles and thanking the other students and staff we sat down to eat and once again filled ourselves up. We later left to go to our assigned rooms after using the long awaited wifi and began to get ready for a good night’s rest. Without a doubt a birthday to be remembered.
I think it’s safe to say we will definitely be sleeping well tonight, I know I will.
See you later alligators,

Day 19 – Smurf Day.


By Evan Peverley , with a little help from Nico
The day started early, being 6:30am, and got ready for a work filled day ahead. After setting off almost half an hour late, we were on our way to paint the two classrooms that we had been assigned, making a few stops to drop Bruno (the director of the Kafunjo project) to get more paint for the classrooms. Arriving at the school we set off to work, splitting the group up to work on both of the classrooms in the little time that we had. During that time we had run out of paint and were waiting on the boda-boda (motorbike taxi) to arrive with more. While we were waiting some of the team did a toothbrushing demo to over 100 Kafunjo kids and distributed toothbrushes and toothpaste. Lander4Uganda would like to thank Rotary Truro for kindly donating these; they were very well received!
After the boda-boda had come back with our paint, we ploughed on to lunch, by that time most of us were covered in paint. Since the outside walls were to be coloured red and blue, the group that had worked on those walls ended flicking paint at each other. This resulted in some interesting blue complexions.  Since it was a Saturday, the students went home and did a few farewell songs before going home for the rest of the weekend. Lunch was called not long after. As everyone settled to eat, the paint covered individuals had already begun to flake. Afterwards, the group said goodbye to Bruno and the staff and headed back to the hotel, for a day of rest.

 

Day 18 – Ibanda, Kafunjo and Bondy Birthday.

On Day 18 we travelled from Kamuzinda to Ibanda, and then to Kafunjo community project where director Bruno and his students gave us a wonderful welcome. It was great to meet Jon and Geraldine, James and Rose who were also working on the project. As it was Mr Bond’s birthday we gave him a cake and the Kafunjo children sang ‘Happy Birthday’ in their very special and unique way. By some miracle we managed to share the cake between 350 children! We distributed donations and planned work for the next day before retiring to our comfortable hotel in Ibanda.

Day 16 – Destruction, donations and d-cups

Day 16 – Toe Jam
By Jamie Hughes
Today the group split up into small groups to begin morning destruction before an afternoon of planets, (following day it began the Planets comp). Mr Griffiths led a team consisting of myself (Jamie) ,George, Nico and Evan to destroy old latrines, sadly Mr G suffered a fatal accident to his big toe as he idiotically dropped a slab of concrete and became a cripple for the day therefore resulting in him being of not much help to the group. We demolished and cleared the scene in the space of a morning, I think. The clearance of the area was speedily done with the help of several locals including a man called Hamza. Lunch came into fruition and a small group consisting of myself Nico, Evan and George plastered a new latrine for a disabled man called Brian. After the plastering, Planets training began for one last time as we prepared for the competition the following day. The day ended with late night games of football and netball with the boys and girls of Molly and Pauls Kamuzinda school.

In the afternoon, some students went to Frikedellen internet café in Masaka while the others gave out donations of laptops and text books and did a bra drop for the female staff and students of Kamuzinda.

 

Day 15 – Frantically finishing.

Today was an important day as we are rushing to complete jobs in Nazarene before the Planets competition on Thursday. We all chose our jobs for the morning: Termite hill destruction, kiln building, smashing the primary school floor and planting. A few students visited a lady called Teo who wanted to thank us for giving her paint last year.  She made popcorn as well as giving us peanuts, and also tried to give us one of her chickens which we couldn’t accept but were still very grateful for the offer. She had an amazing sense of humour and a very contagious laugh, especially for Mr Bond who was always giggling. Lunch was a traditional meal in Uganda; it included matoke, beans and rice. The afternoon was filled with planet rehearsals and the evening consisted of socialising with the teenage girls who live in the nearest children’s home, Lionel.  After an hour of playing games with the girls a power cut meant that a game of hide and seek in the dark was in order;  which was a lot more scary than we thought (probably due to a few people who decided to jump out on all of us when looking for them).

By Nesta Griffiths and Emily Williams

Day 14 – Work, and work

We started the day just like any other, early. We all split up into different groups to start our work; some painted creosote on timbers for the new roof, while others began to destroy termite mounds. A few lucky people were chosen to do bricklaying on the new lavatories, one of which will be used by Brian who is a disabled child who is going through his A levels.  Planets is the annual Nazarene Vocational School competition that we take part in, there are 4 planets: Venus (the best), Jupiter, earth and Neptune. We all join in in the traditional dances and songs. Some find it easy and some don’t but we all love the time we spend with the welcoming and friendly students. The competition is on Thursday and the prize is a cow donated by us, whoever wins gets the best parts and the losers get the intestines. After the long day of working and dancing we all relaxed at the house and watched videos.

By Nesta Griffiths

Day 13 – Church and a Day of Rest

By Joe Barber, Nesta Griffiths

The day started with a typically early awakening and, for the first time, the group were told to wear their best clothes. The boys were in smart shirts, girls in flamboyant African dresses. We were met by Annet who did the 15 minute walk with us to the church.  We could hear the ensemble of voices before the Church even came into sight! Upon arrival, the congregation cleared seats for us right in the middle; everyone was so welcoming. The service was made up of several choirs, who sang spiritual and motivational hymns; a speech from a newlywed couple, which was highly encouraged by the entire congregation; notices about upcoming events; Bible readings that brought tears to people’s eyes and love into their hearts and a single song which lasted over 20 minutes. You could see the joy and love in the people’s eyes as they sang their affections to god. All in all, everyone enjoyed the wonderful cultural experience and seeing how other people celebrate their religions. Back at the mission house, the students opted to do their own thing for the remainder of the day. Some chose to watch films, some chose to sleep, some chose to play volleyball and others interacted with the children.  Some real connections were made between the students of Nazerene School and Richard Lander.

See ya wouldn’t wanna be ya!

 

Day 12: Termite Free Timber, Brick Laying and Kiln Building

G’day mates,

Today we had the important task of beginning our vital work at the secondary school and nearby area at the wonderful place we now call home, Kamuzinda. We were first split into three groups, each with a different assignment to complete; the first group went off to finish preparing the mud bricks some of us had made earlier in the week, another went to paint the new roof supports for the secondary school with a special termite repellent to ensure the wood would not decay in future and finally the last lot helped to lay the foundations for the latrine and wash room being built for Brian; a young lad with a severe walking disability. After completing a few hours work we came back to the mission house and ate some of Mama Millie’s delicious grub and played with some of the children. Then the time came to go and join the planets. Much like us the students here have houses however instead of being named after Cornish beaches theirs are named after the four planets: Neptune, Jupiter, Venus and Earth. At the beginning of summer every year the school hosts an interplanet talent competition where the children must sing, dance and act their hearts out in order to win the prize of the best piece of cow and the crowning title.

We spent the afternoon with the rest of our team and learnt parts of songs and dances which we will also have to perform alongside them at the final show in front of their friends, family and fellow villagers. When the time came to leave we were all exhausted although some of us still found the energy to go and participate in a game of volleyball with our fellow Ugandans who have now not just become friends but also family and have gained a place in our hearts . We finished off the evening by moving some resources for the next day into secure classrooms and had a sumptuous meal from Mama Millie once again. Finally we had our annual nightly purge and were knackered out from watching frozen and transformers: age of extinction.

No doubt in saying I think we will all sleep soundly tonight.

Cheers n’ gone my lovers

Abi and Meg J x

Day 11 : Games, Goodbyes and Goodies   

By Emily Williams and Amelia Elliott

The day began with an early start of seven o’clock with breakfast being at eight. Our first activity for the day was at St Jude’s Primary School where we organised a football and a netball match ; both games were very intense. There were some great shots from Mr Bond and Evan who scored a goal each, leaving the score at two all. On the other hand the netball match didn’t go quite as planned, as it seemed that the rules for netball in Uganda differ slightly from those that we are used to in the UK. Despite this, and the fact that it was the hottest day we’ve had so far, our team played valiantly and the game ended with a score of 6-5 to Uganda.

After walking back up the hill to Hollandia Hotel for the final time we enjoyed a lunch of rolex (an omelette wrapped in a chapatti). At two we packed our cases into the car, waved goodbye to Bukomansimbi and began our journey to Masaka.

When we reached Masaka we had the chance to stretch our legs after an hour bus ride and look around the supermarkets and stalls that adorned both sides of the road. The market mostly consisted of clothes and shoes that weren’t what we would normally experience at home. We also walked to another market selling household objects such as pots, bowls and stoves, as well as enormous amounts of fish and chickens.

Whilst waiting for our bus to meet us at a local bakery, most of us treated ourselves to the sweet taste we had been missing so much. However, this proved to be a bit disappointing as the cakes and doughnuts we bought were very unlike those that we are more used to in Cornwall. Once again we all piled onto our minibus and headed to what now feels like our Ugandan home.

Upon arriving in Kaminzida we were all greeted with warm handshakes and hugs from the founders, Molly and Paul, and our house-mother, Mama Millie. Before enjoying a delicious meal of rice, chicken, peas and banana we unpacked our bags and settled back into our rooms.

To finish an exciting day some played ball or card games before settling down to watch the 2017 version of Beauty and the Beast.