Monday, 6 April 2009

Let the rains begin....

Some of the local children who live near my house - they all come running out, shouting 'muzungu, bye' (they mean hello!) when they see me

Two women dressed in the traditional Ugandan gomesi (it's made of polyester so is incredibly hot and sweaty - they also wear a long tunic-style dress underneath it) - they were on their way to a wedding in Masindi

A beautiful and very large butterfly that decided to settle on one of the work units in the hotel kitchen - the staff told me it was small by Ugandan standards!

The rainy season normally starts at the beginning of March but this year it's have been delayed by many weeks.The rain finally came to Masindi last week and when it rains here it really rains. There is no such thing as a light or soft drizzle here just torrential down pours and they come with very little warning. In the last week there have been quite a few spectacular thunder and lighting storms. So instead of the usual red dust, there is now lots of very slippy red mud! The one good thing is that the temperature has dropped and it is now much more pleasant and bearable. When it rains everything comes to a standstill - the Ugandans don't like to get wet and find it quite amusing when I tell them that when it rains in the UK everything just carries on as normal.

I've not 'blogged' for quite some time as the last few weeks have been quite unsettling as far as my work is concerned. Unfortunately, after a lot of thought I've made the difficult decision to leave the hotel - the job wasn't working out as I had hoped and it was becoming increasingly hard for me to carry out my VSO role there. There were numerous factors that influenced my decision, many of which I can't go into on this blog but suffice to say that I was finding it very difficult to work in an environment where staff hadn't been paid for many months and morale was incredibly low as a result. I'll be very sad to leave the staff at the hotel, I've really enjoyed working along side them, they really are lovely people, I've learned a lot from them. Their lives are so hard and everyday seems to be a struggle to pay rent or school fees and to provide food for their families, they have so little in monetary or material terms but yet they keep smiling and still have hope that all will be well - it's very humbling.
VSO are supporting my decision, so I'm now looking for another placement as I definitely want to stay in Uganda, but it may mean leaving Masindi, which will be a shame as I've settled and have made friends here now. It was a tough decision to make especially as I had such hope for the job, I'd also waited such a long time to find what I thought was the 'right' placement. Although the situation is not great at the moment and I'm feeling a bit unsettled, I think I've made the right decision. I'm hopeful I can find a placement that I feel is worthwhile and that satisfies the reasons I started on the VSO journey in the first place - it's been quite a journey, a bit of a roller coaster really, but fingers crossed it will all work out soon....... watch this space......

1 comment:

Caroline Patterson said...

Hi Shiv, Sorry to hear you've left the hotel. I'm sure another challenge is waiting for you! We'll catch up on Birthday celebrations when you return.Love the photos, helps to visualise what's it like out there. I don't know how you cope with the extreme weather conditions!