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    (Added 30/08/00!)
    Reports of the Explorer Belt Expeditions

    All five teams of three, made up of two UK Scouts (Mzungu) and one Ugandan Scout, have returned safely from their expeditions in the Kamuli, Iganga and Jinja Districts, after ten days full of opportunities, and experiences which they will never forget.

    Everyone travelled 160 kms, on a combination of foot and traditional African transport, for example: chauffeured bicycles (Boa-boas) and open-backed cattle trucks.

    Between us, there are so many stories and phenomenal adventures, that we don't know where to start, so each team has briefly recounted an experience....

    Fran, Paul, and Idris

    For Paul and myself, the most memorable experience of our Explorer belt expedition, was arriving in the small town of Lukotaime. We received a very unusual welcome from the residents of this rural town, as some had fled in fear at the sight of us, whilst the rest continually stood in silence, watching our every move.

    Using the local language, our Ugandan friend, Idris, established that we were the first muzungu (white person), ever to enter this isolated village. Throughout the rest of this eye-opening day and night we broke many boundaries; teaching the community not to fear us, and building emotional friendships. We reluctantly left the following morning, with chickens slaughtered and trees planted to commemorate our visit. Paul and I were also renamed after the tribes founders.

    Heather, Richard and Barbara

    Whether it was his spindly legs or his enormous grin, the children of Uganda found Richard to be hilarious in everything he did! From slicing his fingers whilst preparing cassova (potato-like vegetable) to balancing on a Buda-buda with two two-stone rucksacks, he brought laughter to all the places we visited.

    Mos Eisley (officially Namwendura) was our first liquid re-fuelling stop - at the local pub! Well at 50p, for 1/2 litre bottle of beer, how could we refuse to boost the local economy!

    Obviously Ugandan men are taken by Northern lasses, as we had to fight off bids of up to 200 cows, for Heather's Manchurian hand - we are holding out for a herd of wildebeest.

    (He's only jealous because he's only had two marriage proposals, and Heather's had three!)

    Dan, Cavas and Ronald

    Ogi, ogi, ogi - oi, oi, oi! If you ever hear this in West Africa, you know where it came from! Just one of the things that the Ugandans rapidly picked-up from us. Other things included; politics, education and the fact that AIDS is not a disease created by the West to wipe out Africa!

    We had great fun; pedalling Boda-bodas was much more fun than sitting on the back, and buying Chairman's Extra Strong Brew at 40p a bottle, made climbing mango trees not so bad! (Oh yes we did!)

    Stuart, Ahol and Patrick

    After being informed of our partnership the night before, we were unsure of completing the ten days together, but we had similar personalities and sense of humours, so we instantly became best chums. We were unsure about following in the footsteps of our guide, by getting up and singing in front of a crowd of mesmerised children who had never seen white people.

    But four days into our expedition, we were in the most picturesque village, it just encouraged us to sing the only song we knew with actions - "Singing in the Rain"!! And as a final decision, we (and all the others) would love to come back and be XB Support Teams for the future.

    Jenny, Rob and Emma

    We thought at the start we'd end up killing each other, but surprisingly we completed our expedition, both in one piece and having a wonderful time!

    We raced across three different Ugandan Districts, using a selection of different traditional transports - the favourite being Boda-bodas! Each time we used these, our convoy of bikes was led by Rob with his Union Flag flying! The best time, was at Lyingo, on the lake shore where we ate tilapia (white fresh water fish), which were still alive when they gave them to us! However they did cook them after we had seen them.

    So the whole Explorer Belt team is alive and kicking and dying for some English food - we can't take any more rice!!

    Stop Press!

    The Explorer Belt Team arrived at the Camporee Site at about 16:30 on Tuesday afternoon after spending a few days relaxing in Murchison Falls National Park.

    Photographs of Masindi

    Six more photographs have arrived showing progress on the projects in Masindi.

    (Added 29/08/00!)
    It nearly drowned "Jinja" Spice

    "It was amazing - I'd go again!" That was how a member of the Avon Venture Scouts described white water rafting down the Nile.

    Taking a break from the hard work of preparing the camp site at Jinja, members of the Avon Venture Scouts spent the day white water rafting down the river Nile from Jinja. It was said to make the most scary rides at Alton Towers seem like a kiddies roundabout. A year ago Good-Will Ambassador. Ginger Spice capsized and nearly drowned in the falls when she did the same journey down the river.

    Avon's Scouts described it as "sheer enjoyment, exhilaration and complete fear!"

    No electricity stops the news

    A lack of electricity on the camp site at Kaazi has stopped the news getting through. Spike (Chris Foote) PRO for the expedition has been sending the news from his computer and GSM telephone to the UK where it is processed into pages for the Web Site. It seems that electricity from a generator specifically donated for the period of the Jamboree was not available to get this news back to the UK.

    Chris, who is presently suffering from an upset stomach said "I am staying on camp today and am determined to acquire some electricity to get the photographs and stories back to the UK".

    Hope you are soon feeling better Chris!