Today Sunday several reports and new photographs from Avonja and Iganga
First on a sad note, reports have appeared in the UK Press about a road accident in Uganda involving a Petrol Tanker. Fatalities were reported. The UK Scout Units were not involved in this accident though one Unit (Rakai) who passed the scene said prayers for the dead and injured and their families.
Mount Elgon Expedition
Fifteen members of the Massindi Unit and two Support Team members reached the summit of Mount Elgon at 0830 local time on Thursday 17th August.
Weather condition during the first two days were very wet and cold, but greatly improved on the push to the summit.
They had left their overnight camp at 0330 to be greeted on the summit with a wonderful sunrise and a fantastic view.
On their descent they met-up with the Soroti Unit who had sadly just failed to make the summit.
Everybody descended safely, and arrived at Budadari at midday on Friday 18th.
The combined Soroti and Massindi Unit travelled down off the mountain and arrived in Soroti on Friday evening. The Massindi Unit travelled on to join their colleagues in Massindi District the next morning.
Two members of the Mount Elgon Support Team, Stewart McKay and Nick Toombs stayed overnight at Budadari to be joined by the Entebbe Unit in Mbale on Saturday 19th. The Entebbe Unit is now on its way up Mount Elgon.
By now the 10 UK Scouts with 5 Uganda Scouts have settled into a nice Explorer Belt routine - walking, riding and meeting local people. They report that they are finding everything very cheap cheap and the people are just lovely and friendly.
Even our feet aren't too bad! reports Cavus Batki and Dan Cullis-Hallworth. We, including the Ugandan Scouts, are having a great time. Our projects are going well (care to climb a mango tree anyone?) and we can't wait to carry on. Hopefully, the people we are meeting gain as much from the encounter as we do!
At every school we pass, we are asked in to speak to the children. We are getting used to the chant of "Mzungu, mzungu, mzungu" (White person).
Oh well - onward!!
The Support Team have met-up with all five groups to ensure that they are following their planed route - all are in good spirits.
One notable meeting was with Rob, Jenny, and Emma who passed us on boda-bodas (Ugandan moped-taxi - Spike) with the Union Flag fluttering behind.
Fran and Cavus's teams spent memorial night at Lukantaire - a small village consisting of only Banda's but near the local primary school.
It was an "African Experience" indeed and the villagers served "fresh" chicken roasted in pans, and even washed-up for our teams. The children were wonderful, and the Explorer Belt teams will never forget Lukantaire. The night of Cavus's team, was however broken by a tropical storm of extreme severity - almost continuous lightning for two hours and torrential rain. They survived!
Everyone else on the road is most helpful - "Bush-Telegraph" is excellent and everyone on the roads seems to know when a Mzungu team has passed through or indeed when one is coming!
Nick Winter and Dick Booth
We had an excellent journey from Jinja - it was hot - but the scenery was fantastic. We called at an "off-road" village and met all the local people - one member was handed a tiny baby, but we gave it back!!
On arrival at Pallisa we were greeted by a warm welcome from the Council Chairman and other local officials. We then proceeded to the seminary of The Little Sisters of St Francis of Assisi where we made under the trees in their garden and are very comfortable and are being treated royally.
On Tuesday we planted many trees in the centre of Pallisa - with the help of several hundred school children. These trees, when grown, will be used for timber for building, furniture etc.
We purchased rolls of cloth and had sheets made for the children at the school for the deaf at Iki Iki. Yesterday we visited them and _eleven_ other schools!!
We are overwhelmed by all the love the children have shown us and humbled and saddened to see all their needs!
All the Pallisa Unit are fit and well and enjoying a new experience.
Bob and Maureen Chandler
Tony and Christine Fulford
Peter and Betty Scurry
Our PRO in Kampala (Chris Spike Foote reports that "Tilley" appeared in a National Newspaper competition on 20th August (New Vision - Spot the caption). The picture shows Tilly writing on a piece of paper rested on the back of a Ugandan.
The headline says British scouts taming locals!