TOOT TOOOOTT! Hundreds of boda-bodas (two-stroke motorbikes), matatus (minivans) and dented cars criss-cross the crowded streets of busy Kampala. Lovely to get a breath of fresh air on the back of the boda after an intensive journey of more than 10 hours in stuffed matatus. How different the Ugandan capital is from the remote village of Kisiizi! Everywhere you look you see hordes of people, women in trousers (which is rare in Kisiizi), tarmac roads; accompanied by tremendous noise. Non-stop honking, street vendors screaming touting their products and cars with rickety speakers strapped to their roof, loud African rap music blaring through.
After a great weekend in Kampala, where I visited the Royal Tombs of the Buganda Kings together with Elisa, I continue my journey to Joseph Care on Monday to visit my colleague from the CHDR in Leiden (the company I worked for in The Netherlands before I left). Joseph was born and raised in Uganda, he came to The Netherlands at the age of 17 with a scholarship. In addition to his work as a nurse in The Netherlands, he is busy building a Health Center in the green, hilly Ketende; a beautiful, quiet village, an hour's drive from Kampala. Construction is progressing nicely and it won't be long before it can be officially opened!
It feels so unreal, for over a year you only see each other in uniform at work in The Netherlands and now you suddenly walk together in Africa with a flashlight through the banana plantation, on the way to the outside toilet! Truly unimaginable… As usual, I quickly feel at home and thoroughly enjoy the wonderfully simplistic life!
“Shall we make a fireplace?!” Yes, why not! After a few hours of digging, shoveling, carrying stones and smearing mud, it's time to slaughter a rooster, which we then roast on the new fireplace!
The next morning we are taken on the back of the boda (sandwiched between Joseph & the driver), to several pieces of land for sale. The children are now on Easter holidays, so many parents need money to send their children back to school, sometimes forcing them to sell their land. In my eyes it is one big wild bush, but after an interesting biology lesson from Uncle Jo I think differently! Plants with anti-inflammatory properties, herbs to treat malaria, leaves whose juice can act as a cough expectorant, leaves to help with back pain and termites could be used to stitch a wound! Wow, nature is so rich!
“Meeeehh!” We have just finished planting trees next to the gate, when the goat that has just had its last motorcycle ride comes running into the compound with a loud bleating. What a sweetheart, I'm tempted to give him a name, but since we're going to eat this animal tomorrow, I think it's better to create some mental distance. It's a good thing I sleep with earplugs, because that poor animal has been bleating all night.
Cut down banana-trees and a long thin branch make the perfect goat-level upgrade for the new fireplace. I find that Joseph could easily make a career switch to butcher; slit the throat, peel off the skin, take out the entrails, let it dry for a while, tie it up well on the makeshift skewer. After smoking for more than 6 hours, goat is ready to be eaten. I skipped the entrails-soup, but wow, this is truly the best goat meat ever!
The week has flown by! Intensely enjoying being away for a while; Ugandan gin from the local bar, spontaneously carrying out creative ideas, good conversations and meeting new people.
Saturday I arrived back in Kisiizi after an intensive journey of more than 2 days. Unfortunately, when I returned, I felt quite sick, so I took a covid test that turned out to be positive. But fortunately I live near the church; so I can enjoy the Easter service music from my room.
Last week I put out a call to donate a chicken for families struggling with malnutrition so they can eat fresh eggs every day. Thank you so much to everyone who has donated! The goal of collecting 100 chickens has been achieved by far! Thanks to your generous gift, we provide 112 families with chicken + chicken feed.