19-21 September 2007
After dinner we went to sit next to the log fire and joined the student medics who were on a short break from their elective in Rwanda. Neither of them speak Rwandan or French (a moderate hindrance one might presume) but have been involved in all kinds of interesting procedures: post-mortems (where the Afrikaans doctor expressed surprise that they had actually cut the body open rather than just sticking a scalpel/other sharp object into the aorta and seeing if it comes out dry). They have fixed X-ray machines and antirefractors at their hospital and the other day an ultrasound machine (taking 6 people to lift) was brought to them from another hospital to see if they could fix it. The error message said ‘insert disk’. They asked the ultrasonographer if he had tried this and learned that he had not, as he did not feel qualified. They tried it. It worked – thus restoring to action a machine which had been out of action for 18 months!
Feeble then enjoyed looking at lots of pictures of pus and unhealing keloid scar excisions etc. She got quite excited. Apparently all the cows in Rwanda have TB, so milk is always boiled. We (3) all had ginger beer (Stony), then walked back to Firefinch and Cisticola having ordered breakfast (lemon scones and fruit salad for me and F, bacon and sausage for TheDrain, coffee for the two of them, passionfruit juice for me).
This morning I woke up at about 5am – too terrified of the dark/tent-ness to move in case something nasty got into bed with me. F wasn’t well in the night (too much garlic in the crayfish) so she and TheDrain ended up playing monopoly. The dawn chorus was a little too loud for my taste.
My shower (first since the post bus) was bliss – outside, from a jerry can – but wonderful! Slightly odd to be showering outside (flipflops are the answer), but beautiful views from the shower over the lake. Went down and had breakfast outside F’s tent, mosicoil set alight, and quite looking forward to using the Internet later that day. Lemon scones were enormous and delicious.
At about 12 noon, we wandered up to the Swallows Restaurant to order lunch before going swimming at Jacana Dock (which TheDrain discovered when he walked round the island while F and I were playing cards). F and TheDrain went to find the rope swing. I finished the Crusader novel I was reading. Dreadful sub-Da Vinci code book – a waste of a morning even speed-reading it.
Lunch took a very long time to arrive, given that it was a straightforward request for 3 tomato sandwiches with cheese and bacon – F’s without tomato ;-).
F and I bought wraparound skirts from the little craft stall in the restaurant.
We had ordered cake for 5pm and dinner at 7pm – more crayfish (crayfish chowder, crayfish masala, stirfry crayfish and some pineapple fritters). Lady with the internet was supposed to turn up at lunch but didn’t. Frustrating.
Finished reading through Judges that afternoon.
Back at the restaurant, F enjoyed looking at some lovely pictures of pus being drained from a Rwandan’s back into a kidney dish. I took a quick peek, which confirmed my career choice of ‘not-being-a-doctor’. Spice cake turned out to be cinnamon cake – nice! – Decided that I must make it back in Blighty, along with chapattis. Made a start on ‘Desiring God’ (Piper).
Struggled to finish my dinner – crayfish chowder was good, but struggled through the chapatti. Barely touched the crayfish masala and found the pineapple fritters hilarious/overwhelming in equal measure. We had anticipated the proportion of pineapple:fritter to be in the region of 90:10, or even 95:5. However, it was more like 10:90. Imagine a scone the size of a man’s fist, with a small piece of pineapple in the centre. We had to give up and donated the ‘fritters’ to the med students.
After borrowing paraffin lamps from the restaurant, we took the 10 minute walk back to our tents and played Scattergories. Lots of mosis about.
Listened to Judges sermons to pass the time until a reasonably late point in the evening, but unfortunately it didn’t lead to me sleeping through the night.
Went to sleep at 10.45, woke at 2.30 and again at 6.30 or so. Dawn chorus in full song once more. A bird with an enormous wingspan seemed to be in the shower – I could hear it flapping its wings. Shower arrived at 8am. Getting back from the shower I discovered flip flops under the bed (I had been borrowing Feeble’s – she also discovered some under her bed). Packed up and waited for breakfast to arrive. Planned the rest of the day – up for lunch, motorboat back to the mainland, TheDrain to buy tickets for the Post Bus, me and F to go to the Hot Loaf to buy provisions for the journey back up to Kampala, investigate the Amagara Café (for food in the evening), then special hire to the White Horse Inn (pathetic basungu that we are), then walk down to Voice of Kigezi so that I could use the Internet (at last), and then walk back through Kabale, perhaps popping into the market. F and TheDrain decided to puddle a dugout round the island before lunch, so I sat up in the restaurant reading Ugandan supplements from Sunday papers (most recent copy available dated August 2007). Lady behind the reception humming ‘Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer’, which made me smile.
We checked out, and were pleasantly surprised to note that they had not charged me the single supplement, so our stay came to $270 with 30,000 USh for extras (a figure which we think was made up – but is basically about £10). Current surplus (for lo, I am an accountant, and thus must play with spreadsheets even on holiday) of 250,000 USh.
The boat came at 1.35pm with profuse apologies from the motorboat driver for being late (most amusing – clearly trained for msungu clients as we had only requested him to arrive at 1.30pm). Really nice journey across the lake – lots of dugouts coming back from the mainland (it became apparent that it was market day). The matatu driver was waiting for us (altho’ it was 1.50pm, rather than 2pm as booked – eek!).