Wheels in Uganda - Phil's Blog, Day 7
Wednesday 4th July
Normal procedure now.. up and showered. Still cold and I haven’t been stupid enough to see if its still shocking. Breakfast out the way then we waited for our driver. He was unfortunately late as he had been stopped by the police. He had been given a ticket for driving without consideration for others. Now I find that very strange as I haven’t seen one driver driving with any consideration for anyone else.
Driving here is an experience for sure.. they drive on the left as the UK but giving way on a roundabout.. well no-one gives way for anyone. Bikes weave in and out all the time and I am not sure what the accident rate is but I suspect its high.
The day was spent at the RILD offices, not across the road this time but in the small courtyard in front of the offices. It was a bit of a squeeze but we managed. Glenda and I were sorting chairs and replacing damaged wheels etc.. well Glenda did most of the work I just helped with the initial un-tightening of some of the nuts.
The reality is that it is a team effort. We work as a team and I must say it's a great team to work with. We bounce ideas around to come up with a solution. If we need help we ask.
Roy was on fire with his funny remarks today, but I think I have been a bad influence on him. I heard him say “no” several times when asked if he could do something and get “on with some work” to the OT’s. So to his wife when he gets home, I’m sorry and I am hoping my influence has worn off by then.
I was really excited to know that both Pip and Roy were going on the trip as we were in Kenya together. I have the upmost respect for both of them. I will miss both of them and of course the rest of the team when we return home. I also wanted to correct something from the previous day's blog where I said Pip shopped at Waitrose... in fact she doesn’t as she has “people” that do her shopping for her.
Just in case those reading get the wrong idea, the team has gelled really well.
As such we can joke around and not be offended by comments made but instead have a good laugh. We still of course manage to do the important stuff and we do know that it’s serious business. Helen mentioned that she felt she had been blessed by one lady today who was suffering from cancer and despite not being able to communicate properly with her due to language, Helen felt they made a connection.
The day was generally quite hot and as we had no marquee today we spent a little more time in the sun. There was a little rain shower later in the day so I guess it was a little respite from the Sun... Geee.. am I moaning about the weather.. typical Brit I guess. It’s actually been pretty good here as its not been too hot. In Ghana I remember it was really hot which made working quite difficult being soaking wet with sweat. Here it’s been more comfortable. At this point when I read today's blog to the team, I am sure the team will be saying, no, it's because I haven’t done anything to get into a sweat. The team look forward to me reading out the blog to them for some reason.
I am however really grateful to you the readers as I have heard that you like to hear about what's going on here. I will apologize, as when I send the blogs off I don’t always proof read them properly so I am hoping you understand what I am saying. So bear with me please I make a mistake it's usually at the end of a long day I write this. I enjoy it though as it's a bit like writing a diary and being able to provide at least some amusement is a good side effect. It’s made me think about things that have happened to all the team, and not just me.
Anyway back to the day.. as we actually finished fairly early today. We had one chap turn up after we had packed up but he wanted some crutches so we were able to help him. I am sure that even if he had needed a chair then we would have sorted it out if we could. For all those who want to know how many OT’s and Physio's it takes to fit a pair of crutches... well all of them. I have a photo to prove it !
Now I mentioned tomorrow would be a day off. (I did say possibly) We will be going to the RILD offices in the morning just in case anyone turns up. However the plan is that for the rest of the team will hopefully get to see some of the Kampala markets and that Glenda and I will go out to do some house visits and do some interviews/filming of people who have had chairs from past distributions. Anyway we are always pretty flexible as a team to deal with what ever comes at us.
So we got back a little earlier today after packing up and sorting everything out. There are a few chairs left but they will get homes by the RILD team - I am sure fairly soon. Some of the team, myself included managed to even use the swimming pool here. Did I mention we are staying in a 5 star luxury hotel? Joke of course. We discussed before that in reality a few changes to the hotel (like not trying to electrocute your guests with shocking showers for example) could really make this a great place to stay. I sort of feel a little bad for saying that, I am not sure if it makes me sound like a snob and I am hoping that I am not at least. The hotel has been just fine, we didn’t need more but compared to what we have back at home then it's far from the same. I guess thats why this is the developing world but like on other Wheels trips I realize you don’t really need the luxury or even some basic items we have at home to survive. Sure they are nice but as long as it’s generally clean etc then tha's the main thing.
Anyway the pool was cool.. perhaps cold but it was refreshing. As soon as you got out the pool the sun was quick to dry me off, then a quick change, before we headed for dinner. Team time and we discussed lots of issues and actually got into some quite deep topics. I read the previous days blog and despite being really nice to Anna she was obviously getting her own back on me. Don’t tell her this but I am hoping we keep in touch, she’s a great person and has I think done a fantastic job, obviously she’s still pretending to be a physio of course but I’ll have to forgive her for that. Friends like her and I don’t think you would go far wrong. Now after this comment she’s probably again wondering what I am after or what I’ll then say about her. I can be sincere at least sometimes so I’ll make this one of those times. Now thats not saying I don’t want to keep in touch with the rest of the team of course.. before I get chastised by them !
We then prayed for various items, including the work that RILD do and also for the son of one of the RILD volunteers who has Malaria. Please pray for these two items also.
I was just thinking that writing this blog is perhaps giving you an insight into the way I think. Not sure if thats a good idea as sometimes it’s a random brain dump. I am sometimes, well actually most of the time, challenged by the things I see here. Seeing generally how people live is one thing. Seeing how disabled people live is then another. Sometimes my little brain can’t take it all in. Again for me it's the children that highlight this the most and seeing more children today and being able to fit them into the chairs we had with inventive adjustments was really rewarding.
So now, at the end of day 7. The rest of the team are tucked up in bed. (I didn’t tuck them in though just incase you were wondering). Been a bit of a sad day in a way for me, but after two previous trips I do sort of expect it. It’s the thought that our time of helping here is coming to an end. We have to go home soon. I’ll miss the friendships formed or reformed and I’ll miss being about to help the disabled people here. I’ll try not to think about it tonight anymore though and as it’s 11pm so I’ll actually get an early night perhaps.
Night night again from Uganda.
Please keep praying for the team to sort out upset tummies and of course for RILD and God’s work in Uganda.