Sat 26th May
With no direct flights to Uganda & various indirect options I eventually chose to go with Ethiopian airways as it was the shortest travel time & also landed in Entebbe where the transport was there to take us to Masaka. It was 13 hours travel including 3 hours lay over in Addis Ababa. Ethiopian airways was comfortable with average flight food & in flight entertainment. When you arrive at the airport use the cash point to get some shillings as not everywhere takes dollars, which is what I had recommended by the travel agent.
Sun 27th May
After a quick stop at the equator & an African massage (that’s driving on the African roads full of pot holes) we arrived at Hotel Brovad my home for the next week. Time to freshen up & change ready to go to welcome party held at the athletes village where there was food, bar where you could buy alcohol from whilst sitting around the campfire & watching traditional African dancers.
Mon 28th May
Up early & met up with everyone to learn more about what the Uganda marathon is all about & got to play some games to get to know each other a bit better. We then got placed into clans with people that have chosen the same charity to support. First stop on our tour was Dembe House which helps give young people freedom from abuse & addictions & we met some of the Street kids that are also supported by the UGM. Next was a walk into Masaka where we visited the local market, stopped at a local restaurant for lunch & the bank to get some Shillings as I didn’t get any at the airport.
Tues 29th May
Today we went off in our clans and in the morning we spent it making a recycling point that will go into a local school. In Masaka they burn all of their waste including plastic bottles & so we were demonstrating that with some used bottles, cane & wood you could create something useful. They even let me lose with a machete so this was educational but fun too! In the afternoon we went to a recycling centre where they are trying to collect the plastic bottles from Masaka’s Street, they compact them into bundles & send them to Kampala. In the afternoon we dug gardens & planted fruit trees & plants that will help to feed the local Street kids.
Weds 30th May
Today was spent at St Joseph’s school which is supported by the charity House of Love and Hope for Uganda. They work to ensure that no children go hungry while at school by providing free school meals. Last year the UGM provided the school with a fresh water well, which means the children no longer spend valuable time travelling to the water well and so have more time in the classroom. Turning up the school that had over 300 excited children at was overwhelming. The morning was spent building a keyhole garden that will be planted with fruit trees & plants that will help to feed the children. The afternoon we played netball with the children before just hanging out with them. Luckily we mixed the netball teams up as if we had played against them we would of been thrashed! They were all very, very good. One of the most heartwarming days I have ever spent & a day I’ll never forget. My favourite moment of the day was when we popped into the classroom of the kids that had been helping us with the gardening and one of the kids had very cleverly made a pair of glasses out of the fencing wire we had been using, I had to get my picture with them as it was just so funny.
Thurs 31st May
Kidsrunwild day! Running is still quite new in Uganda and so this day is great for the local children who come down to the centre of Masaka for a full sports day where there was races, tug of war & musical chairs. It’s an incredible day for the kids.
The afternoon we spent at Lake Nabugabo where you can chill out, swim in the lake & enjoy traditional fish & chips. The fish was caught that morning in the lake & was delicious 😋.
Friday 1st June
Today is a rest day in preparation for the marathon, I chose to spend it by the pool chilling. At 5:30 there was a pasta & pool party, with a local dance group performing whilst we eat our pasta or gluten free pasta. This was also an opportunity for people to go into town & get any last minute souvenirs or go out & visit any of the projects.