Wednesday 17 October 2018

Once again, we're off to Uganda to share our skills with local Social Workers in Kampala, at the Child's I Foundation (CIF).

For many years, Blue Sky have supported CIF with fundraising and skill sharing to help them tackle local child abandonment and support them in providing better outcomes for their young people.

Blue Sky Supervising Social Worker, Sophie Bright from our Portslade office and TLC Clinical Practitioner, Jennifer VanHeerden from our Bristol office, have recently been raising funds for CIF through jumble sales and Ben's Cycle Challenge. This week, the pair will begin their work, making a difference, in Kampala.

Jennifer updates us as their adventure begins... 

DAY ONE -

I met Sophie at Heathrow airport around 6pm and we were both very excited and chatting away all the way onto the plane. After a long and tiring flight, we arrived in Entebbe airport yesterday afternoon. It is a rustic old airport just next to Lake Victoria and has beautiful views. As ever when visiting a hot country, we were met with a wave of heat that reminded us we were abroad! Max the kindly taxi driver drove us from the airport straight to our accommodation with the Childs I Foundation situated in Kampala. The accommodation took us aback a bit as we had not been expecting it to be so lovely! It is what you might imagine a good air bnb to look like and has a European feel to it. We have a beautiful balcony overlooking Kampala with stunning views of the surrounding hill side. The bedrooms are both a good size (although I was delighted when Sophie said she would prefer the smaller bedroom as it felt cosier to her; hooray! Double bed for me!).

The administrator Ambrose met us at the apartment and took us to the local supermarkets to get some food and wifi, it was pretty funny looking back as we were both so tired and neither of us fully understood the currency yet, so I ended up paying about £3 for an avocado to a chap selling to me through the car window where we were parked waiting for Ambrose; 1,000 shillings had been asked for and I accidently handed over 10,000! Never the less he looked delighted and I reassured myself that it was a very big avocado and I might have paid the same in Waitrose!

Back at the accommodation we failed to work the gas bottle connected to the cooker and so our first meal was Avocado on toast! We accompanied it with some rocket and fresh lemon juice so it looked pretty good. Bed was a luxury after 24 hours of travel and not much sleep and so I had forgotten where I was when I woke up at 3am to a tropical rain storm! I have never heard rain like it; it poured, lightening flashed and the thunder roared. The apartment has grates at the top of the windows and so it bellowed through the house and into our rooms. I was not expecting to need a blanket as it had been warm getting into bed but by the morning I was tucked up with a thick blanket cosy warm.  

Waking up this morning felt like holiday, Sophie was already on the balcony drinking her morning coffee. It was so beautiful to see in the morning light. There are banana trees growing in our neighbour’s garden and two women were outside washing their laundry in three large washing bowls by the trees. Initially reminding me to be grateful for my washing machine and slowly holding me to consider the relaxed motion, laughter and companionship between the women. Perhaps this more rustic way is more relaxed and less rushed after all…

This afternoon we went for a walk around our local area and bought a pineapple and some passion fruit, Sophie had been about to make the same mistake I had the previous evening, handing over 30,000 shillings for a 3,000 pineapple! Luckily the nice vendor, who’s name was Edith, laughed and pointed out the error. I liked Edith and her stall was nice too; I think she will be our local fruit lady.

This evening we went to look around the other side of the area and had a proper Ugandan dinner! I had read about the Rolex prior to arriving but the meal, which is a local highlight, consists of two chapattis with an omelette containing onion and tomato inside it, was delicious! We followed this up with some sugar cane, of which neither of us have ever tried. Mmmmm! What a splendid treat! So now we have both had dinner and dessert for the grand total of £1.50! Bonus. I think I will be eating a lot of Rolex’s while we’re here. Tomorrow we will be going to our first day at work with the Child’s I Foundation (CIF) and so hoping for a nice early night this eve.

https://www.childsifoundation.org/

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