My 19 days in Kampala, Uganda have now come to an end. It has been a visit of very mixed emotions. The main one being the loss of little Bonita from Tetanus, a five year old pupil from the Ndeeba Primary School we sponsor. A beautiful little girl who was part of the school choir, she stood out in the front on her own because she was a little girl who loved to sing the main choir standing behind her. She was in the front for my welcoming ceremony, singing away. You could tell she just loved it. A beautiful girl, with a beautiful smile.
No words can ever describe the shock of the main Kampala Hospital. We are so lucky to have clean decent hospital, with staff on duty 24/7. Medication regularly on hand. Here we had to search for nurses, and even doctors. Nikki was sent to “find and buy”” the anti tetanus serum and spent a long time driving around pharmacies, small hospitals anyone she could think of but the whole of Kampala had NO SERUM! Eventually through a doctor friend, who was a good 2 hour’s journey outside of Kampala, she found the serum and the little girls uncle was sent on a Boda (motor bike) as quicker than a car in the crazy Kampala traffic. He arrived back and the serum was given, but unfortunately throughout the night, through once again lack of nursing staff on the ward (there apparently were none) her 3 hourly anti convulsant medication was not given. Thus at 11.30 Friday morning little Bonita’s body could take no more and very sadly she passed away. We are all very upset. I am horrified at the standard of the care in this children’s ward, the state of the wards. I know it is Africa, I know it is a 3rd world country, but these children are Uganda’s future, Africa’s future. I dread to think what the rest of the hospital is like. Following that and making arrangements to have her little body taken home for the night with her mum, sister and neighbours, Bonita was buried on Saturday afternoon, another extremely moving ceremony. Those few days will certainly leave a lasting memory.
On Sunday we went out for the day to the source of the River Nile. This is in Jinja to the East of Kampala on the shore of Lake Victoria. We had lunch overlooking the rapids where white water rafting takes place. The scenery was beautiful. We walked down towards the river edge and it was hard to believe you were stood at the edge of the world’s longest river. We then drove towards Lake Victoria to the actual source. Once again beautiful scenery, the point where Lake Victoria turns into the River Nile and sets off on its journey through Africa to the Mediterranean Sea a journey which apparently takes around 3 months.
I have just returned from my final visit to the school. It was hard saying goodbye to them, they are brilliant kids, smiling, waving, calling out. I will miss them. Rose the Director of the School is wonderful and with the teachers extremely dedicated in giving these children the best education they can. It would be so much easier for them, and the children, if they had a better school to teach them in instead of the wooden shack with squashed up classrooms. A school where they could perhaps have a library, a music room, and decent toilet facilities, things we have quite naturally at home. This is why we are doing all our fund raising events, why we send out emails to people, and why we try to keep everyone up to date with our little Blog items. Without your help this will not be possible and we thank you all for the support you are giving to us and I hope it will continue. Thank you.
Now I am packed and ready for my flight home tomorrow morning. I came out here not knowing what to expect and I think I have seen the “Real” Uganda, not the safari type of holiday. I have walked through the slums where everyone calls out and waves, they are so happy to see a Mzungu! I have been in the houses and eaten with them here and out in the villages on net distribution day. I have been made extremely welcome by them all. I know I will be back many times. My daughter took me on a long week-end to a (in her words) War Torn Country (Congo) and a few days later followed it up with a trip to an enormous indoor market in the centre of Kampala (Oweeno I think it is called, apologies if wrong). You can now do dot to dot on my legs from the bites!! What other mothers get this treatment from their daughter?? But I love her to bits and I am one of the proudest mums around. I will miss her when back at home but I know she will soon be back for our big fund raiser………
THE ROW FOR LIFE at the end of June. So please please give us your support for that too. She works extremely hard out here and I am proud of her.