Bye Bye Liz

Trip Start Nov 01, 2005
Trip End Apr 14, 2006

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Saturday, March 18, 2006

On Wednesday morning we went to school (on time for once) and joined the children in their lines for parade, singing the school anthem. They did appear to watch us more than the teacher leading but it was fun anyway! Phiona was telling them all to make sure they cut their nails and keep their hair short to stop them from getting sick and no knots (respectively :D) We dont do too well on either of those fronts (amidst cries of 'Teacher Chris- cut your hair!) but it provided amusement for the kids. Esther, Becca, Emily and I had to go into town today- me to change my flight, them to sort out their visas, so we got a boda boda down to the main road, and visibly slumped when we saw the huge crowd of commuters waiting for the taxis- all of which were driving past full.

A few business-savvy taxi drivers were offering to take people in for 1000Ush (as opposed to the regular 600) but after a 20 minute wait, we didnt really mind paying an extra 10p, so piled in. I walked all> the way up to the BA offices from the taxi park, which took about half an hour. I turned down the wrong road originally, and asked some soldiers for directions. They directed me in completely the wrong way, and another man who'd overheard my conversation chased after me to correct them which was greatly appreciated! Anyway I found it fine in the end, and managed to change my flight- I'm now coming home on the 5th April- 2 weeks on Wednesday!! I was going to extend my time away and go to Zanzibar, but I figured I might as well save the money and get home sooner since Im more than likely going to be coming back when I have some money again!

On the way up, I had walked past one (of many) homeless people lying by the side of the road, but by accident I caught his eye. As I walked past, I found myself saying 'Sorry, I cant help' but when I'd gone I thought to myself 'Well actually thats not entirely true- I've just got 100 pounds out of the bank- that would probably count as helping if I gave even a tiny bit of that to him'. But by that stage I was a lot further up the road. So on my way back, I thought I'd buy him a bottle of water. The only place in the area, however, was the Sheraton. So in I went and it was so posh. Kind of like Las Vegas hotels, I suppose, but you dont expect to see it in Kampala! Marble floors, fountain in the foyer, really comfy leather seats, huge murals on the walls, and classical music playing over a sound system. Well I figured since I'd just paid 4x what I'd pay in the street for water (60p! outragous) I might as well sit and enjoy the atmosphere. Its so far removed from Kampala, let alone Africa, it was really bizarre, and I cant believe some business men only ever venture out of the hotel just to go to their meetings. But hey. 20 minutes later I'm back on the road, trying to find my homeless guy- but he's gone. Man. So I ended up giving it to the next person I saw, who was pretty grateful. Probably would've preferred money (especially since he was on crutches because he had a dodgy knee and couldnt afford any treatment) but water was what I had.

Anywho went on the internet for 3 hours, then had sausage, chips and doughnut (oh so healthy) at Mr Delis. Got a taxi home, went to school to pick up the keys and had jacket potatoes sweetcorn and tuna for tea, which would've been yummy but 2 people got rotton potatoes. Not me though so its OK!

Thursday was Liz's last day at school. I taught maths first thing as usual, and then went into P2 for the party! We played musical bumps and then sleeping lions (which resulted in us tickling them and screaming in their ears to try and get them to move- they were really good!) Afterwards Liz came back into P3 to give out sweets to them all and Paul, in his usual bizarre manner, asked the children, 'Who is teacher Liz like? Jesus. Because he fed the 5000 people and now Liz is feeding you!' It was quite funny :D After break she had a party for all the nursery kids too- more musical statues and giving out of sweets and popcorn. Miriam was elected to stand on the table and give a goodbye speech (by repeated what teacher Regina whispered) for Liz it was really sweet. After lunch I went to debate for the first time (which P4s up have on Thursday afternoons), which was interesting- its good they get them to argue and form opinions. (Despite the fact not many people were listening).

We took team photos in the grassy bit between the classrooms- the Smile team wont be complete from tomorrow- and all the kids jumped in the photo too. At parade the whole school said 'Goodbye Liz' and the P2s sang her a song. They all looked rather sad to see her go- and many of the teachers got quite upset. Ruth gave her an embroidered wall hanging that had taken her 4 days to make, and Kayax (from church) came round to say goodbye. Esther and I cant look at someone crying and not burst into tears too, so we were all walking home bleary eyed. At home, Eric (who wrote a love letter to Liz), Beatrice and Helen all came round. They sang a song, and prayed for her, and gave her loads of gifts too! As Liz said, she could probably set up a stall at the craft market with all the stuff she's been given.

I also decided that the time had come to take my braids out. I took all the elastic bands out at school, and then just had to untwist them and unknot my hair. I thought it'd take 2 hours MAX. Well. I started around 6ish when I got home, and worked more or less non stop until 11:15, at which point I decided to stop to go to bed. Still not finished though! It was crazy

We were all up at 5:15am on Friday morning to take Liz to the airport- her flight left at 10:30. Very tired, we piled into Stephen's minibus, and I continued on my hair. There was a stunning sunrise though, which I havent been able to see until now, so thanks Liz! It was really red, pink, orange, all merging into the blue of the sky, and the sun slowly got up from behind the mountains in the area, with palm tree silhouettes merging into skyscrapers. We waited for a while at the airport, but, like Nairobi, you need to put your bags through security just to get into the airport. So we said our tearful goodbyes, wished her a safe journey and then watched her check in through the glass for the next 20 minutes! When we couldnt see her any longer, and after an amusing discussion about what this guys name could be (he had a huge parcel with R. Smith on it),we drove back to school. Having worked on my hair the whole way there and the whole way back, I finally finished just as we arrived at school. I spent about 7 hours on it in total!! I went home to brush it (30 mins) and wash it (another 30 mins) and prepare some stuff for Paul who was doing prayers that afternoon. I went back to school for lunch (of course), and went to primary prayers again. Realised I forgot Paul's notes so had to run home (good exercise I suppose, but!) and we didnt do teacher's prayers. Phionah was a bit upset to be losing Liz- they got on best together, and its going to be strange not having her around. Going to be even weirder when I get home though!
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