June 28, 2007

Ggaba and rugby

This saturday I managed to squeeze in another small trip to the edges of Kampala. The guide book described the market as being similar to the 'Gold Coast in Ghana', now Ive never been to Ghana, but Id be very surprised if Ggaba was like it! Ggaba takes about 15 minutes to reach but is very different from Kampala city, for a start you quickly see that people have less money. Also its a port town, which means loads of fish, for those of you that are 'into fish' there was a 40kg Nile Tilapia being weighed when we were there.

After having a small wonder around Ggaba market, which didn't really sell anything different to Kampala markets with the exception of all the fish, we tried to find somewhere to sit. We found 'Hotel Ggaba', which only charged us 30p to go and sit on some rusty chairs- cash back. It was actually very nice, there was grass, chairs, monkey bars and a pretty nice view across the lake. For those of you that are 'into birds' there were lots of them, eagles, kestrels and heron types. It was all very chilled out.

We also spoke to some children in Ggaba, much like in Kampala there is the desperate searching for a 'sponsor' to pay school fees. After primary school children must pay to attend, so if their family cannot afford it, then they must try and find someone else to, if not: no school. Unemployment is huge here, with many students failing to find work, so those who don't attend school have little chance of finding employment in the future. I don't know what the solution is here. Individuals can be helped if the school fees are paid by foreigners, but this isn't a sustainable solution. Like so many countries the children are desperate to learn and in England we have to impose prison fines on parents to encourage children to go to school! Perhaps this is the solution: swap the truants for Kampalan children desperate to learn. Everyone's a winner.....

After Ggaba we went to watch the Uganda v Namibia rugby match. It was amazing. I did question if perhaps the pitch was smaller than a standard international pitch, but this just meant that you could see more. There was plenty to see with the ref getting caught up in a tackle in the first 15 minutes which meant that he had a pretty bloody face for the rest of the match. There was a brilliant atmosphere and when Uganda came back from behind everyone went crazy, and when they won everyone flooded the pitch. I wasn't expecting this reaction so I was nearly trampled in the process! The only thing that seemed a little odd was that the Namibia team nearly all looked like white public school boys. Don't know if anyone can shed any light on this?

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