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Uganda 2000 - Rakai District

Rakai Project 2000 | Project Photographs

Rakai District

The 9 members of the Rakai Unit came from Berkshire, Kent, Tyne and Wear, Buckinghamshire and Wilstshire. Not one of them had ever been to Uganda before and they were set to go into a "new" part of Uganda from UK Scouting's point of view. Rakai near the border with Tanzania had seen its troubles in the past but had been peaceful for some years. Early on in their training the Unit members appointed June Brownlee as their Leader. Both June and her husband Richard have Scouting in well and truly in their blood as they actually live on a Scout Camp Site.

So one of the least experienced Units set off for Rakai and here is June Brownlee's contributions.

As soon as we arrived we had a wonderful welcome by over 500 Scouts from the Rakai District. They escourted us to our camp site with singing and dancing to the beat of drums. Right through the town to the dazed amazement of local people. They certainly got to know that we had arrived!

A full programme had been arranged by Father Joseph and Gabriel and now we all have local "Clan" names!

We have seen here some great examples of the excellent Scouting Skills of the Ugandan Scouts. They are an example to our Scouts back in the UK.

The food is wondeful and we are enjoying eating plenty of fresh local produce, mangos, pineapples, bananas, paw-paws etc.

Also FRESH chicken (but that's another story!!!) I guess someone learnt quickly what running around like a headless chicken really means - ed

All of us are fit, healthy and enjoying ourselves.

Ed Note: A road accident involving a Petrol Tanker was reported in the UK Press. The Unit was not involved in this and as June's report indicates all arrived in Rakai safely. Prayers were said that evening for the dead and injured and their families.

More News from Rakai - The Ugandan Bug

Although the Rakai District Scouts had arranged a full programme for us we still managed to complete our project which was to provide the local people with access to a supply of clean water.

We spent a night with a "host family".. which gave us all an insight as to how local people live. Some were taken to visit a school, others a childrens home or the meandering river that borders with Tanzania.

Stephen and Richard were presented with a Cockerel each (as an alternative to eating a meal with a family) ... needless to say these were given to local Scout groups to use in a breeding programme and may turn out to be the oldest foul in Uganda!!!

Our mini-bus driver Appollo (Vacational Tours and Travel) and security guard Sabitte were of great help to us especially when it came to buying drums to bring home - they got the price reduced from 20000 Ugandan Shillings (6.00) to 10000UgS (3.00)

All in all we had a wonderful time and we each have many stories to tell .. ..The Ugandan people were warm and welcoming, always had a smile and nothing was a problem to them. However, we quickly learnt that everything ran on "Ugandan Time" (2-3hrs later than planned).

Our thanks to the service team for their support and constant hard work, I'm sure there must have been one or two problems for them to deal with but if there were, they didn't show.

We are now looking forward to the next visit as we all now have the "Uganda Bug"

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