I was lucky enough to work as a construction co-ordinator, from early 1997 until just before the millennium in Uganda. Wonderful place, wonderful people with fantastically challenging and rewarding work; although there were also terrible, dark, dark times as well. A classic journey which turned my life upside down and opened my eyes.
VSO (Voluntary Services Overseas) provided the training, and found the job. Everything else came from CARE International who employed me.
VSO also provided an incredible and mostly hilarious bunch of fellow volunteers and our collective ‘survival mechanism’ was to host (probably) way too many parties……..
Which is probably why many of us ended up married at the end of it, go figure 😉
The following images are all from the 2500sq kms of South Mbale District that was ‘mine’. I roamed far and wide, often on some pretty impressive roads. As much for their spectacular views as their technical difficulty to actually drive down them, especially in the rainy seasons! People I met were friendly, helpful and extremely hospitable, even though they had little to give. Apart from very few individuals, I found this to be true everywhere in East Africa and never once did I feel unwelcome or in danger (well, except on the road!).
Anyhoo, this page was supposed to be about the photos, not me, so here they are……
I will break here to explain about Nametsi. Several aid agencies had looked at building a HU at Nametsi but decided that it was logistically too difficult. But I had a good team plus great local support so we did it. Nametsi is in a remote village more than an hours walk after the road ends. Truly in the bush. Which made it the most important Health Unit that we did (there was more than 15). No road meant that everything had to be broken down and carried up there. I took several groups of visitors up there because it was such a great place, truly peaceful and a typical rural African idyll.
On the 2nd of March 2010 millions of tons of mud and rocks obliterated Nametsi village. Only 40 survived out of about of 350 people. Nothing was spared, even the Health Unit…..or the people sheltering in it. Children from the local school ran for the Health Unit believing that its solid construction would survive. I can’t say any more.
- What I wrote about Nametsi…
- Update about Nametsi…
- People are still struggling, many want to return to their lands, dangerous as the region is. Officials want to re settle them elsewhere but as history shows, resettlement rarely works.
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