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After the washout of Jinja, the weather was much more clement for the trip way down south. We were lucky to be one of only two teams (the other being Rakai) going south of the equator, so we stopped there for the mandatory photos and a little light lunch.
By the time we reached Mbarara, day-light was fading fast but instead of putting-up camp we were taken straight to the RDC (the President's representative in the area) and then onto a formal reception with all the local dignitaries. We found them all in very smart uniform while we were all covered in Jinja's mud! (red). Did we feel under-dressed? Oh, yes!
Our welcome meal was goat, nice for Bob and Laura (veggies!) and not much better for the rest of us, but the welcome was superb! By this time we had met Pascal, a wind up Ugandan Scout Leader, they wind him up in the morning and he just keeps going and going.
We later found out from a local that everyone, but everyone, knows Pascal, full of energy and a beaming smile. Such a lot of energy for such a small man. Smaller than some of the young Ugandan Scouts.
After a good nights sleep we had to cook on the rather strange (but only to us) charcoal stoves. They are really great once you get the hang of them.
(Ed Each Unit was given a supply of equipment including cooking pots and two charcoal stoves. I doubt that anything like them can be purchased in the UK but they are quite a normal item used for cooking in Uganda and very efficient.)
We spent the first part of the week touring Schools and local offices promoting Scouting and meeting local Scouts. Everywhere we went we had a terrific reception - kids with beaming smiles and singing like you've never heard before - they live with so little but are always happy and welcoming!
Later in the week we were treated to a day of rest, a trip round the local National Park, Lake Mburu. Already we've seen zebras, monkeys, chimps, warthogs, gazelles, eagles AND the back of a leopard - and this wasn't even our official safari!!
Relaxing over and it was back to formality, some more schools, and a formal invitation to join the headmaster of Mbarara High School for dinner (more groundnut sauce Bob?)
I'll leave the rest of the week (Mbarara District Scout Camp) to someone else!
That's all for now
More news of Mbarara can be read on the Brombara Project Page and photographs of the Mbarara Scouts visit to CampDowne 2000 which included Pascal.