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Jinja District

The Avonja Story | The UK Contingent at Jinja
Avonja's part in 2000 | Progress at Jinja

Colin Bennet and others have reported that all of the Avonja Team from Avon arrived safetly at Entebbe as part of the Uganda 2000 epedition to a warm welcome from Uganda's Chief Commissioner, its National Executive Commissioner, Eric Goulding leader of the Uganda 2000 expedition and of course myself with the Outspan School Band. Also by what seemed like hundreds of Uganda and by a childrens choir. The luggage arrived safely and we were taken by private hire coaches into Kampala. This had been an unexpected part of the visit as we had intended to go straight to Jinja but I guess that the publicity opportunity was not to be missed by the Uganda Scout Association. In high temperatures we had to march from the Clock Tower to the City Park. The country's TV, Radio and reporters were all there and we featured on that evening's news.

Eventually, on the way to Jinja most fell to sleep in the coach. Tents were erected and everyone settled in before nightfall at 7.00p.m. Some bedded down early and some were still awake at midnight!

Sunday morning was reserved for visiting the Source of the Nile; back to Bwenda for lunch and off again to see the Bujagali Falls. I remained behind with some leaders to prepare for the visit by the Kyabazinga (the King of Busoga). No sooner had they gone than the heavens opened and boy oh boy did it rain. The Avon tents were floating and John Burnett was in 1ft. of water. The transport got stuck on the track, bogged down in a sea of mud - the UK Millennium Jamboree all over again. Bare feet were the best means of travel.

However, everyone remained cheerful and had just assembled in time for the King’s arrival. He was preceded by his spear carrying warrior bodyguards. It was a truly enjoyable occasion. He is 80 years old, trained in the UK and is charming. We commissioned a cultural dance team and they danced between the speeches. The King’s welcome was very nice. This was his second visit to Bwenda. He left us after 2 hours but not before telling a story about when he stayed in the UK whilst at University as guests of a family in the North East. The families 6 year old son asked him one day "When my Daddy comes home from work (the coal mine) he is the same colour as you, but he takes a bath - why don't you become white when you have a bath?".

Then it was time to travel to the Jinja Sailing Club for a superb evening meal and Disco. The rain was forgotten and a happy 150 + 20 Ugandan Scouts returned to camp.

Yesterday (Monday) most of the Uganda 2000 left us and we made a delayed trip into Jinja only to be given the task of planting hundreds of trees on a Leisure Park. There was no need to water them in as the field was more like a paddy field after the rain. Hard work over, we made our way to the Jinja Club for leisurely lunch and a swim in the pool. Then it was a brief trip around Jinja and the market and back to camp. Phil made a lovely evening meal. It was followed by the first campfire.

We are all busy preparing for the Official Opening of the Camp Site on Thursday 24th..

Mike Bell has arrived safe and sound and once again in heavy rain.

This afternoon two teams have left for Buwenge and Budando and will camp on school sites for 2 nights.

from Colin Bennett and others

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!"

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