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Freedom Elaine's journey home......

My first days in Kampala

UGANDA | Thursday, 23 July 2009 | Views [964] | Comments [3]

So i'm here at last and i've finally escaped Ireland's clutches!

Africa is not at all what i imagined.  It feels very normal to be here, just like any other trip really.  Its funny i expected to be a but culture shocked when i arrived, but really it feels very familiar.  Things don't get me wrong are very different and the culture is deffo very different.  Not to mention every time you walk down the street, you yelled at "Mazungo, Mazungo, How are you!" which is the same as saying white person white person how are you! Odd, yet now it feels strangely normal. 

I'm staying with the other volunteers in a guest house just up the road from the project, which is cool, cos i immediately have a group of friends out here.  Although i must admit when i first got here, i was feeling really out of all the in jokes etc. But now after my first week, i'm well up on all the in jokes.  The only thing is im completely out numbered, we have 2 Canadians staying in the guest house and now 4 British, so im the only Irish there.  Im actually the only irish volunteer on the project so ill have to work hard at keeping my irishisms....

The project itself is based in Namawongo on the first street up from the Namawongo Slum, where approximately 7,000 people live in tiny one rooms shacks on the side of a swampland. It is amazing to go down there and to see the extreme poverty and standards of living that these people survive under. I was amazed though that as a group of people they have the most open hearts i have ever come across.  They are so smiley and generous with the tiny things that they have.  And also so house proud of their own tiny little space in the slum.  I went down with one of the local staff from the project to check up on a few of the families of the children that we sponsor. The kids were just playing out among the rubbish and general sewage, it was eye opening to see how my fellow man is living.  It really feels great though to be working with a charity whose cash  and support is going directly to those that need it most. 

UHFH has around 60 children sponsored mostly within our preschool nursery at the office and some in a local school.  All of these kids come from the slum itself and most family are refugees or have been displaced from other areas of Uganda. So in the morning when the kids are in, the place is like a zoo and i must admit being used to the quiet of KPMG, this is very differnt!

Ive also had my first trip on a motorbike here. In Kampala they have boda's instread of taxi's that you get around the city! Needless to say its deffo an "experience"  But in truth im loving it. Even if every time i get on i am praying to archangel michael and his gang to keep me safe as the boda, sppeds through the dirt roads and the traffic. I hope to have pictures up online soon...

chat to you all soon

El :)

Tags: charity work, kampala, slums, uganda, uganda hands for hope



Hello again,
I am just back from choir and having glass of wine while I read your blog. Great to hear all about your project & look forward to seeing your photos. Would it be good idea to put a link to Hands of Hope charity on this blog so that poeple can have a look!


  Anne Daly Jul 23, 2009 8:43 AM


Just read your account of your impression of your stay in Uganda, I found it great also your comment about your escape from Ireland as I did so a very long time ago but only to England!

  Anna Walsh in Brighton East Sussex England Aug 4, 2009 8:25 AM


Oh Els amazing phtos. It must of been magical. Dying to hear all about it when you come back. x

  Bird Oct 3, 2009 3:51 AM



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