Entries "August 2006":

Wednesday, 16 August 2006

A nimals and documents

Although I had spent an anxious night wondering whether Tom and Lizzie would arrive on time, or indeed whether they were actually on the flight, they arrived on time in good spirits and unperturbed by the ferocious security measures they had faced at Heathrow.

We whisked straight off in a hired vehicle to Akagara Nationa Prk in the East of Rwanda where we stayed in a deliciously comfortable and beautifully situated Lodge with spectacular views ove lakes and hills. The game viewing was not remarkable but we hadn't expected much since it is the dry season. Nontheless we saw a huge herd of buffalo very close, lots of hippos and an enormous crocodile as well as several types of antelope and zebra.

The birds were wonderful and the scenery spectacular  -everything on the hills an ochre colour with tawny grass in the park where cattle hadn't eaten everything down to the bare earth.

We stayed 2 nights and went for a boat trip round an island that out guide told us with a shudder was a very bad place, many snakes -  it looked very primordial and savage to us but had fantastic birds nesting on the trees round the edge.

The lodge had a lovely pool and an endless supply of hot water as well as excellent food and very comfy beds. We had spectacular sunrises and sunsets - next time maybe we should camp as we saw a truly fabulous campsite on the top of a hill looking over towards Tanzania.

Back in Butare we had a relaxing day yesterday - going to lunch with some cheerful missionary techers from Kenya and spending the rest of the afternoon by the swimming pool. Today Tom and Lizzie have gone off on a 2 day hike leaving me to wrestle with the task of getting my "Attestation de Matriculation" - a sort of Residents card without which I can't get my visa extended. I have to go to room 115 and del with a very grim faced man who definitely wasn't there today.  I saw him  last Friday and he refused to let me have the card despite the fact that I gave him every necessary piece of documentation and pleaded to have the card then and there but this was going much too fast for the system. Cathie and I have theory that public servants are under orders to bring everyone applying for any form of documentation, to the brink of tears before letting them have the required piece of paper. You have to prove that you are worthy and determined enough!!

Tom has brought me goodies from friends - Thankyou very much- and lots of useful things like soda crystals and food dye that I can use in my primary science!! So I am planning to spend some time in the next day planning a  course and then will come the task of persuading the teachers to include some experiments in their programmes!








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Posted by: Antonia    in: My travelblog
Sunday, 06 August 2006

Travellers Return

We got back to Kigali this afternoon after  a generally successful trip. We spent a night in kabale in a curiously gothic hotel where one of the other guestes appeared to be dressed in MA gown and morter board and was defintly skittish around the other male guests! All the staff appeared to be half asleep - our sheets were far from fresh and when Helen complained the nesxt morning they said that they changed them on Saturdays! we then went to Bushara Island for 24 hours -very peaceful - lovely birds and otters frollidking in the wate of the chilly deep lake.

Back to Butare tomorrow

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Posted by: Antonia    in: My travelblog
Thursday, 03 August 2006

Kampala calling!

I'm in a cool -literally -  internet cafe in kampala having declined to visit a street children's project with Helen-  the VSO temporary assistant with the Disability project -with whom I've come to Uganda to find out about what the UGANDAN'S DO ABOUT THE DISABLED!!

We've been warmly received by VSO Uganda and met various organisations and visited a school for the mentally handicapped.

We picked up a nice girl on the bus who was on her way to Kenya but needed to spend a day in Kampala so she stayed too in the little house VSO have lent us by the Miracle Centre Cathedral - the chanting of the congregation competes with the incredibly loud disco from the bar opposite and the howling of dogs and the triumphant anticipation of the dawn by a cockerel nearby - but there is hot water and the bed is deliciously comfortable. There was a tricky moment last night when, on returning from the little shop, Helen and I found ourselves padlocked out  - the gate high and spiky -  I had images of clambering up the wall and dropping into pricky rose bushes but happily a grumpy man was summoned to let us in.

Tomorrow we go to Kyambogo University to vist someone who deals in Deaf Studies and then hope to get to Kabale and Lake Bunyoni! Uganda is looking beautifully green and lush and I was thrilled to see saddlebacked storks stalking about in a pond by the road as we lumbered by - we came on a really sedate bus this time - not a flying coffin as on previous visits.

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Posted by: Antonia    in: My travelblog