Well its that time again - the travel bug has bitten and there are 37 days to go until I don the backpack, load up with DEET and head off to Heathrow for the next African adventure.This time it's a little different…
Firstly I will be working (although many of my previous trips were as exhausting as work), this time I will be working in a primary school and living on site in the remote mountains of South Western Uganda, five hours bus ride from the capital Kampala.
You might be wondering why I have chosen to volunteer in a primary school when it is a well known fact among friends and family that I bypassed the maternal instinct queue in favour of extra helpings of sarcasm, control and anal retention... Well it's quite simple, my elder sister is turning 40 this summer and since we are in the habit of taking each other away on holiday to celebrate big birthdays, I offered her a villa for a week in a hot, European country by the sea. To my surprise, joy and now slightly nervous excitement, she turned it down requesting instead "something different …. something cultural, something similar to your previous trips".
So I googled and googled and eventually found a long-running UK-based charity called "Original Volunteers" who run all sorts of projects all over the world. Everything from sports assistance for the disabled in Peru, to teaching English to 400 Ugandan 3-9 year olds in a tiny community called Ruhanga. Caroline is in love with children and I am in love with Africa, so it seemed the perfect choice… I put the idea to her and was thrilled at how excited and keen she was. I wonder whether she will say the same when we have spent 24 hours a day together, without hot running water, swollen with mossie bites and tired from failing to sleep in the heat and sounds of the African jungle for two weeks!