Today we start the trek up to Northern Uganda to look at our completed water projects. Last time I went by myself as Pete had broken his leg and was stuck in Kenya. Kampala has a totally different feel from Nairobi. Sure, there’s the same shops, money is a different currency, food is similar and some of the language is familiar. But it has a totally different feel about it.
The drive up north should take about 5 hours, but it can be up to 8 hours because of traffic or as last time, when the car broke down. There is no hurry in Africa. For example, our driver was meant to be here 45 minutes ago and he is still on his way. I will be surprised if he rocks up any time soon. Adjusting to going with the flow is not always easy for someone who is very task orientated. I’ve even resorted to leaving my watch off, although I’m thinking about putting it back on soon.
Living in Kenya has had a number of challenges, the ‘it’s always been done this way’ being one of them. Many are striving to make positive changes here, others want the benefits of change while holding on to the past. It’s a global struggle.
We are picking up hand made necklaces created from old magazines. Mothers from a small village make and sell them to pay for their school fees. People in the West buy them at 5 times the price because they look amazing and different. We use the money to continue putting clean water into remote places across East Africa. It’s kind of like the circle of life theory. In an essence, we’re helping them to help themselves.
I have no doubt that when we travel to Northern Uganda this time we will see many changes from 18 months ago. Some good stuff, some bad. What I can tell you before even going there is that the need for clean water is still a priority. Both the LRA and large NGO’s have pulled out of the area, now what is left is people who struggle from day to day to survive and provide for their families. If we can empower them to rebuild their community by giving them latrines and deep bore wells, then we have done our job.
Now, we just sit and wait for our driver. Told you it wouldn’t be soon before he arrives. Tick tock. Oh, that’s right, I left my watch in Nairobi.