Friday, 23 June 2006

Back to Uganda



I apologize for the lack of blogging recently. Despite finishing my exams on the 7th June, I still had a fair bit of work to do until I could relax. The dissertation process has now begun. I'm gradually getting past the denial phase of thinking I actually cannot write a dissertation to realizing that it is possible, despite my tutor's helpful comment of saying 'fools rush in where angels fear to tread', following her comment of 'why did I ever agree to let you do this topic?'....

Last weekend entailed a camping trip to Spitten Farm in Evesham for an NFI conference, which was perhaps the most laid back conference ever, consisting of 3 morning meetings over 3 days, leaving the rest of the day to simply relax and enjoy great company. It was a quality weekend - the perfect ending to another academic year. One quite cool occurrence of the weekend was bumping into a girl who I met in Uganda this time last year, who I haven't seen since. She's going back again this summer, so I'll see her there again, which is cool. It's funny to think that you can live in the same country as a person but spend more time with them in another country than you do in your home country...

On Monday I was meant to be going horseriding in the Cotswolds with my flatmates for Sarah's 21st birthday present, but they decided they wanted to spend time with all our friends rather than just the 4 of us, as everyone was leaving uni on Tuesday. So instead, we went to Longleat Safari Park for the day. Highlights of the day were:

*** Watching the mischievous monkeys rip car ariels and windscreen wipers off

*** Sharing car space with deer

*** Playing football with a cool 2 year old

On Thursday, I made the journey back to the Bay with MJ Wicks, and have spent the time since getting ready to go to Uganda tomorrow.

Last night I went to the Fine Art Degree exhibition at KIAD, which was a quality evening. My old friend Mark Thorne had some of his work on exhibition, hence going there. There was a quality folk band playing who were amazing. It was lovely to watch children and adults dance around to the music, completely uninhibited, although this lack of inhibition in the adults was probably influenced by the free alcohol, rather than just a childlike willingness to dance in front of anyone!

As mentioned before, I am off to Uganda tomorrow for a two month trip, which is very exciting. Lizzie and I are taking a team of 9 girls out to a village called Lungujja on the suburbs of Kampala to work with a school, which was established by an amazing man called Pastor Stephen. The adventure might also include a trip to Rwanda; it's pretty much impossible to imagine what this would be like - quite possibly harrowing and devastatingly sad.

We don't have electricity where we're living, so I don't know how often I'll be able to update this, as I'll have to go into Kampala, but I do plan on sending e-mails when I make it to an internet cafe, so if you'd like to hear what I'm up to, and find that I'm not updating this, just let me know and I'll add you to my e-mail list.

Tuesday, 6 June 2006

four down, one to go...

I'm 11 hours and 14 essays into my exams, with one 3 hour paper consisting of 4 essays left - this time tomorrow I will have finished my second year exams. Woopwoop!!

Revision this year has actually been quite an enjoyable experience - our dining table has become our revision area, with three of us revising around it for approximately 8 - 10 hours a day, although this has been interspersed with library sessions at the medics library. I find it fascinating thinking that I am sitting amongst the future doctors of this country. Very cool. Meals are being eaten off the floor - obviously not quite that literally, and we have found that our ability to construct real sentences that actually make sense has somewhat diminished as a result of the lack of talking and immense amount of knowledge-absorbing that's been going on. It's all good fun, this exam business.

I had some quality time with Madeleine yesterday, playing with stones and petals in the garden, and trying to eat suncream. She's going through the stage where she confuses her 'yes' with 'no', or has learned deception 2 and a half years early, pointing to her nappy and saying 'Poo, no', when asked if she's done a poo. You gotta love it.

I've got some lentil soup on the stove which I think is ready to serve, so better go and attend to it....

Friday, 2 June 2006

adventures to come

On Wednesday it was my flatmates' 21st birthday. We woke hre up at 7am, by jumping on her bed and presenting her with a bunch of balloons, and her presents. Having opened her presents consisting of a carrot, some sugar cubes and an apple, I think Sarah was a little unsure whether to laugh or cry. However, we are not mean flatmates, and are not suggesting that her diet should consist of these things, so we presented her with her wonderfully crafted birthday card (see below), which gave a more specific clue as to what her actual present was. We're going horseriding!!! We're going to go on a hack in the Cotswold's, which we're all very excited about.

We left the house at 7.30am with a blindfolded Sarah, and took her to Royal Fort Gardens
to have a picnic breakfast with some delicious pastries from the bakery and strawberries and cherries from the greengrocers - so good. It was so lovely to be outside enjoying the sunshine at 8am. Love it.

I'm in the middle of exams at the moment, and I have to say, they've been incredibly kind with the questions. I've had a couple of run-ins in two of the exams with my contact lenses, which have been serving me well for most of the time. I rubbed my eyes a little too vigorously in my exam yesterday and ended up dislodging one of my lenses, pushing it up under my upper eyelid. Gross. You don't really want to hear about that anymore. I am becoming more certain that the intensity of the work you do in exams increases your appetite. I've been eating normal amounts, but found in my exam yesterday that my stomach felt like it was eating itself, it was so hungry.

It's now only 23 days until I go to Uganda, which seems unreal in a lot of ways. I don't think it will seem real until I've actually got there, especially as I have such little time to get myself organized before going, which is not a good thing, as I am partially responsible for 9 others and not just myself. If anyone has a video camera that they would like to lend me for the trip, that would be absolutely incredible. I know it's a lot to ask, and so totally understand if no-one can or wants to. I was going to ask my brother, but have just read his blog to say he's going to be making a short film over the summer, so I'm thinking that's not possible.