So our journey begins …
Arriving in Uganda at Entebbe Airport is slightly different to arriving anywhere else – it is organised chaos – but it works.
Kirsty and I arrived and, after clearing passport control, we were met by Jimmy – so followed a fascinating drive to our accommodation – the sights and colours and sounds of Kampala.
Kampala is a bustling and busy city – traffic is something to behold – cars and mopeds (known as Bodas) compete for space. Apparently there are rules for the cars – they have to give way and stop at traffic lights – Bodas can do what they like and they do! Get used to hairy rides on the back of the Bodas, going round the city dodging buses and weaving in and out of the fast moving traffic – always wear your helmet – even if you do get “hat hair“ – always negotiate with your Boda driver – they do sometimes ask you for a lot more than they should, so always negotiate.
The currency is Ugandan shillings (UGX) and as at October 2017 is was £1 = 4832 UGX – but for ease we decided that £1 = 5000 UGX.
We arrived at our AirBnB accommodation in a place called Makindye - owned by the lovely Claire. We had a bedroom each and shared a bathroom for just the two of us – we had lockable cupboards to keep valuables in and keys to lock our rooms. We shared a kitchen, so we could all make our breakfasts together and get to know our “roomies". All very interesting people over in Uganda for various lengths of time – doing fascinating jobs ranging from a journalist, to a guy who is over here making sure that all the villages have running clean water.
The Child's i office is about 5 miles away, and we catch a Boda every day to work with the lovely Sylvester and his friend George – they charge us 8000 UGX per ride – so that is about £1.50.
The team at the Child's i office are great – Louise took us under her wing and explained how things work in Uganda, and we met all the other team of workers, from Social Workers to Family Support Workers, to the admin team – all such lovely people who would do anything to explain and help us in our first few days there.
Kirsty and I were taken out to meet the Foster Carers and to discuss the various issues that they face whilst fostering these children. We can then go back to the office and gear our training towards these issues. The common thread is that we all face the same challenges – different people – different culture – same problems. As usual, these Foster Carers are all doing a brilliant job.
We had already prepared training before we arrived, so it was good to get a different perspective and to really get down to the nitty gritty of the training that is needed here and “tweak “ our training materials accordingly.
Next time I’ll tell you all about our weekend safari and more about the area we called home for three weeks.