Welcome back to Uganda!
We’ve changed the names in the short true stories below to protect their identities (how serious does that sound!)
We’ve recently returned from a seven-week holiday in Australia. Many people have asked us since we returned was it as good as what it looked like on Facebook? Yes it was!
Many have also asked us: how are you settling back? Generally, well, but here’s some small insights to the realities:
Whilst away we paid Tom, a friend of ours, to stay in our house, keep it clean, and to do one main job for us on the house. The job would have taken about 2 weeks to complete. As we returned to a dust-ridden house in the middle of the dry season, the job was half-complete. On the positive side the dogs and guinea pigs are still alive!
Tom rang Dan a couple of times whilst we were in Australia. On one occasion he began the conversation saying that he had become a “very perfect” motorbike rider, practicing regularly on Dan’s motorbike (after being told not to ride it). He also tells Dan that his two sheep have died and he doesn’t know why.
Jack is a good friend of Dan’s and takes care of a few cows and the late sheep that Dan owns in Gulu. Jack takes a little time to make his way to greet Dan and after they sit down for a long time Dan hears how one of his cows has died – and the story gets worse… Jack’s grandmother killed the cow (and probably the sheep too). She feed the cow plastic bags knotted together that had been boiled in salt water. Why? Who knows, maybe she is jealous of Jack and Dan’s friendship… or maybe she is jealous that her grandson has a few cows that he is looking after.
Finally, a friend of ours picked up a letter from the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) which has been waiting for us for a couple of months. The letter was more of an invoice asking READ for Life to pay 4,250,000 Ugandan shillings (about $1,600AUS or £900) for the government to evaluate our phonics readers. To paraphrase, that is for us to pay government workers who are already on a salary to do their job. The letter was ready a couple of days before we flew out, I’m glad we received it when we got back, otherwise would have thought about this one too much on the beach!
Thanks for the welcome Uganda! Will have to blog soon on the positives to balance this one out. We have lived here long enough to expect these things to happen, and almost anticipate them. But don’t worry – we always bounce back!